GREAT ALLEGHENY PASSAGE AND C&O CANAL
2010 Pittsburgh to Boston
The Station Square area along the Monongahela viewed from the Smithfield Bridge. After crossing the bridge we headed outbound on the South Side Trail to the Hot Metal Bridge.
Downtown Pittsburgh and the Point viewed from the Hot Metal Bridge. After crossing the bridge, we headed outbound for the last few blocks of the Eliza Furnace Trail.
At the end of the Eliza Furnace we continued for 0.9 miles on Irvine Street, a nasty 3 lane (1 in our direction) road with fast moving traffic, which became 2nd Avenue in Hazelwood. The latter has 4 lanes and is a much more bike friendly city street. On the high Glenwood Bridge, we opted to take the sidewalk/bike lane separated from traffic by a concrete barrier. To our surprise, when we reached the Homestead side of the river, the bike lane ended at a very long stairway down to ground level. We simply lifted or bikes over the barrier and continued on the roadway. There was very little outbound traffic on the 4 lane bridge at this hour; and we could have easily ridden across the bridge on the road.
The second deviation from the cue sheet was at the mixing bowl at the end of the bridge approach where I got confused and missed the exit to Riverton Street. Instead, we found ourselves on the road to the back end of the infamous Sand Castle's parking lot. This was a lucky break because the gate was open and we sailed right through to the Waterfront. I can see why Sandcastle is a stumbling block to completing the trail. There is almost no room along the narrow road between the park proper and the railroad tracks. I would have no problem riding along with visitor traffic; but I can see Sandcastle's point. It's a McDonald's hot coffee case just waiting to happen, i.e., someone does something really, really stupid and then sues.
The coffee in the sleeping car wasn't ready upon our 5:05 AM arrival in Pittsburgh; so we took advantage of Panera's in the Waterfront. The Waterfront is a large, very attractive shopping center built where a steel mill used to be. It had the usual chain stores; but a modern type of shopping venue done up to simulate a town center, similar to what you might find in California or Colorado. I'm not sure how well it goes over in the winter time.
I was relieved to find a set of platform type pedals at Dick's Sporting Goods in the Waterfront. The cordial salesman even installed the new pedals. I carried a hex wrench set for my SPD's; and Jeanine's pedals were the folding type, so I thought I had no need to carry a pedal wrench.
The Riverton Bridge, between Duquesne and McKeesport, the first of many impressive bridges along the trail
At the Marina in McKeesport, we enjoyed lunch, left-over steak from the dining car the night before. The trail through McKeesport had been improved since our 2006 tour, not that I find riding city streets that big a deal.
On thing that had not changed was the up hill, away from the river, routing of the path around an industrial plant just outside of McKeesport.
At the top of the hill between McKeesport and Boston.
At the bottom of the hill the trail accompanied unused RR tracks; but soon the tracks died and the trail took its rightful place on the former Pittsburgh and Lake Erie road bed.
There seemed to be quite a few cars parked at the trailhead in Boston as we made a right turn towards the Yough Shore Inn. I had expected an uphill climb with no shoulders; but both fears were unfounded.
The Safari Room at the Yough Shore Inn, one of several "theme" rooms.
The partially covered deck on the back of the Inn overlooking a wooded hillside.
Breakfast menu at the Yough Shore Inn.
Seriously, there was an extensive selection of items that seemed to be designed especially for bicyclists.
Departing the Yough Shore Inn. I would not describe it as your standard yuppie week-end get-away type of place. Nor did it have yuppie rates. But it was nicely set up for touring cyclists.First Previous Next Last