July 28, 1999 - Day 48 - Connellsville to Bedford, Pennsylvania

77 miles - 3282 total miles

July 27 roadkill - 11 (Most critters I saw on the YRT were alive)
July 28 roadkill - 34

14% grade
14%
    I'm beat. Right out of Connellsville this morning I went straight uphill for 4 miles. Later in the day I saw a sign that said '14% grade'. If that hill was14%, then the one I did this morning was closer to 20%. I never recovered. I felt weak all day, and the day was one climb after another. But nothing as bad as the first one.
    About noon it clouded over, then rolling thunder, then serious thunder and lightning, then a monster storm blowing in from behind. (Tailwind!) While I was climbing Laurel Summit the rain was so bad that many cars had pulled over. Visibility was about 100 yards. It let up but rained steadily all afternoon, letting up around 5:30.
    I was completely soaked and actually getting chilly. I was starting to worry about getting too cold, but it began to clear and I warmed up again. I got good use out of the GoreTex today. Boy, that stuff gets an A+. I took the lenses out of my glasses, just leaving the rearview mirror on. My helmet visor kept the rain out of my eyes except when going too fast downhill. That was an adventure. Fun.
    All my pictures are taken after it cleared. I just couldn't take a chance getting the camera wet. As it was, all the computer gear stayed good and dry. It was a good test of the system. A semi went past at one point and just kicked a tidal wave over the bike. Yowza!
    The farmers in this area needed this rain. I thought maybe I'd try to make some money by trying to pass myself off as a traveling rain man. ("...and that rhymes with Trouble....")

PA countryside
Typical countryside today

Foothills
Road drying

    You can see how today's riding was by the road in the distance. Some real downhill screamers.

Old House
Washington didn't sleep here...
    The farther east you travel in the country, the older the towns and buildings get. In Colorado, late 1800's. In Illinois, 1830's. Now, mid-1700's.

Jean Bonnet Tavern
...but he did eat here.
    Supposedly on one of his ill-fated trips to try to conquer Ft. Duquesne, GW stopped at this inn and had a meal. It's a wonderful place to eat now, with a hotel on the second floor.

Chew Mail Pouch
Chew Mail Pouch
    A blast from the past. These are fading now (being replaced with 'Dip Red Man').

gulf gas station
Gulf Station
    And another one. This might be one of the nicest preservation jobs I've seen. Isn't it beautiful? It's in Bedford, where I'm staying tonight.

    In closing, a message for my niece Sarah and her husband Greg who are looking to buy their own dairy farm.

Mowry's Farm
Mowry's Dairy Farm
    Just thought I'd pass this on to you. Here's two more pictures of the place. It's just east of Bedford.

Mowry's Farm
Mowry's
    I spoke with Mr. Mowry. He said he's selling because he's losing his help (his sister's kids). But I did notice a number of other farms and properties for sell in the area, so I wonder if there's some other reason.

Mowry's Farm
More Mowry's Farm

    My Aunt Rosalie and Uncle Hal Hurst are driving up from Hendersonville, North Carolina (where I took my spring test trip) and we're going to meet for lunch in Breezewood, which advertises itself as "The Town of Motels". Hal is 89 years old and their big honkin' diesel Mercedes has 240,000 miles on it. Hal had some dental work done recently and told the dentist he wanted the work to last 30 years because he's living to 120. Wait til you meet him.
    Maybe I'll be in Gettysburg by tomorrow night.

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