Another late start, 9 AM for this second 50 + mile ride to Confluence, PA. Forty miles into the ride, I was undecided weather or not to stop for a late lunch or keep moving in order to make dinner at tonight’s campground. One of the things about touring is that I eat stuff like nuts and figs or dates to fuel and eat really hearty and healthy in the evening. The food offerings the first two nights was sparse and lacking protein and vegetables. I did have a light cucumber, avocado and muenster cheese on whole grain toast washed down with a couple of Yuengling beers. That decision end up being a disaster when with less than four miles to the B&B the rains came.
Normally rain is not a problem but when your biking on stone dust in the rain s your bike, your clothes and everything else gets coated in muck. The owner of the B&B was wonderful and understanding when I arrived soaked, muddy and disheveled. Sandy gave me all the scoop about the place and handed a key to the place and headed off to her residence a few miles away.
The first order was to get to the nearby laundry mat where the friendliness of people toward travelers soon appeared. The soap machine was not working and a woman doing her laundry offered me her’s to use. I also did not have small bills to turn to change. She directed me to the local market and also asked the manager to stay open long enough for me to finish my wash. It was already 7:30 and the place closed at 8. Before my laundry was complete, another bike tourer came in with her stuff and I gave her the bad news. She also got soap from the good Samaritan and began her wash. She disappeared for a few minutes but returned with a 6 pack of beer and offered everyone a can. The manager, myself and she sat outside and talked till the clothes were done and everyone finished their washing chores smiling with numb faces.
Earlier in the day as I was about to leave the campground in Cedar Creek I met a man riding a fully loaded bike going the opposite direction. He had traveled from Minnesota to York, Pennsylvania and was on his return ride. I mentioned that his panniers looked really loaded and he responded that he had heavy clothing because it was snowing in St Paul when he began his ride.
Back in Confluence, after 2 beers and approaching 9PM, it was time to find a place couple entering their fifth week in business. Eric and Jaimie, who served me a burger that immediately went to the top of my list of “best burgers”. Two other bikers joined me at the horseshoe shaped bar, who had ridden 91 miles from Pittsburgh this day.
Tomorrow will be a zero mile day spending some extra time in Confluence doing the touristy things like a visit to one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s homes or maybe a white water rafting trip.
Touring cyclist from Minnesota