The Great Plotnik

Monday, October 18, 2010

GPD Reports From Rail Trail

A slick weekend from Great Plotnik World Headquarters Brooklyn Correspondent GPD. He and buddy Chris ("Wanna Go Bowling in the White House?") met near Cumberland, Maryland and took off along a bike trail that has been built alongside the old C&O Railroad right of way. They rode for three days and camped along the way, having been careful to pack all the correct gear including a tire patch kit and a bottle of scotch.

The October countryside was spectacular. They were mostly in southern Pennsylvania, a country Plottie remembers as being rural and beautiful, but poor. By the 70s, when Plot and Duck would pass through periodically on their way to or from Auntie Melba's home in southern Kentucky, from the farm in Cat's Whiskers PA, most industry the region had ever had there had long since been removed, first to the Carolinas and now probably overseas. People were barely getting by and land was cheap. That's how Plottie and Ducknik could buy their beautiful little twelve acre farm in 1970 for $8,000.

The local towns, many of which were once thriving railway depots or farm goods shipment centers, especially if they were on rivers, had fallen into disrepair or been abandoned.

What's happened now? Well, the Great Allegheny Passage Bike Trail, for one. GPD reports that every little town now has a bike shop or two, and the area is swarming with young cyclists who all need camp grounds or B&Bs to stay in, breakfast and dinner to eat and stuff to buy. Maybe a doctor. Maybe a special butcher (got to bring home some scrapple). Maybe a real estate agent?

Of course, the locals are probably tea party-ers who wail about government intervention, while they patch that tire of the bike belonging to that rider who rode in on the trail the government built, but hey.

This really sounds like fun. Their first day was up -- mildly, GPD says, but he also says his quads have never been so sore -- but days two and three went down. They ended up in McKeesport, PA, fifteen miles outside of Pittsburgh.

Plot is thinking about his own aging quads this morning and wondering about it...Hmmm.....


At 12:17 PM, Blogger notthatlucas said...

That sounds very cool! What a great way to see that part of the country. You could totally do that (there are probably no issues with double-parking jerks and such that you fight in the city).

At 1:38 PM, Anonymous karen said...

Aaawwww. I'm envious. I miss seeing those beautious autumn leaves.

At 7:56 PM, Anonymous jj-aka-pp said...

so, what is Chris ("you want to go bowling...") up to now that he has left that job?

The last time I went bike riding, you'll recall I rode in to a parked Taxi cab in N.O.!

I'll wait for the book, with pictures...thanks :-)

At 8:10 AM, Blogger mary ann said...

how great ~ you know my parents were from McKeesport, PA. Not exactly a garden spot back then...


Post a Comment

<< Home