Wednesday, September 2, 2009

C&O Canal and GAP Ride - Day 7 - The End of the Trail

The closer we got to the end of the trail, we noticed that the demeanor of the riders we encountered changed. More often than not, these riders refused to make eye contact with us and in no way, shape or form were they going to return our greeting. They all seemed to have the exact same expression on their faces - a scowling concentration on a particular spot of the trail that was 15' ahead and slightly to the right of their front wheel.

Considering the huge number of people we passed over the last week that were jovial and friendly and quick to smile and wave, the mannerisms of the folks we now encountered was peculiar. I'm not going to venture a theory as to why. People live their own lives in their own way. It's not my place to figure them out or judge them. I'm just gonna keep riding and every rider I pass, I'll give a smile, a wave and a friendly greeting. what they do in return is entirely up to them.

The closer we got to the end of the trail, we also noticed that the trail itself and the scenery changed drastically as well.

The wonderful crushed gravel trail that we had enjoyed immensely since leaving Cumberland, ended abruptly on a run down, pot hole infested paved road just a mile or so outside of McKeesport.

The beautiful, dense forest was replaced with a huge metal scrap yard.

The tranquility of the woods was broken by tractors and machinery working feverishly on the mountains of scrap.

We followed the dilapidated road and the limited number of trail signs into town. We crossed a bridge over the river and once again found some semblance of the trail. It was littered with broken glass. All evidence of the trail ended in Riverfront Park. We were at the end - we think. There was no sign to mark it. It just ended. As did our ride.It was an anticlimactic and disappointing end to an otherwise phenomenal week.

A little later, Bob's son met us in McKeesport with a chilled bottle of champagne.Ahhhh - maybe it wasn't all that disappointing an end after all. Cheers!!

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