Day 52: New Stanton, PA to Bedford, PA- 78.04 miles, Total 3273.5 miles
I realize that most posts start with a mention of breakfast, typically at a hotel and involving waffles. This morning, however, left Edie and I scratching our heads. First, why vomit in the hallway on the way to breakfast? Second, why were there twenty or more people in a breakfast area that was designed for ten, max? Third, why were the majority of said people from India? We’ll probably never know the answers to these questions. We do know that if ever in New Stanton, PA again- avoid the Days Inn like the plague. It’s no wonder the Fairfield Inn was booked solid.
We cut breakfast short due to the crowds and poor waffle maker (undercooked). Today marked our finale into a rest day, making tomorrow our last rest day. We plotted a 71 mile route for the day, knowing that we would be facing some serious hills. Our route took us over the “mountainous” climbs that the S Route avoids with a very off trajectory bike path. I doubted I could coerce Edie back onto a crushed limestone bike path again. After her distaste for the Katy Trail, I knew we’d better stay on pavement. Besides, they couldn’t be that bad, we already conquered the highest pass on the trip and all the tough stuff was out West.
Wrong, the past few days already had us doubting these statements enough. Today sealed the deal. We hit our first climb leaving Donegal that took us up 750 ft in two miles. It was intense! From there we lost about 400 ft followed by nearly 1,200 ft of gain.
We worked up quite the appetite and broke for lunch around the half point in Somerset. Edie and I found a great independent sub shop and sat down for our meal. The whoopie pies for dessert made the stop and we left all smiles.
A brief tease of rain nearly killed the positive whoopie vibe, but it passed and we rolled on. At lunch we decided to follow the S Route again, as the mileage was the same as Google maps. The route is very well marked with signs and takes some of the guess work out while riding. It mainly followed Route 31, a fairly straight shot. We continued to encounter numerous climbs, but none as devastating as the first two. All in all, we climbed 4,536 ft, with a max elevation of 2,716.
The S Route took us off of Route 31 briefly and much to our surprise (and approval) was all downhill. Even when it deposited us back onto 31, we kept going down. You weren’t going to hear any complaints from us, though. We’ll take it.
Before we knew it we passed the Cannondale factory and landed in our destination of Bedford. We entered on the street the town was built around to reveal plenty of historic buildings and a quaintness. Google steered us 3 miles south of our hotel, but luckily a friendly (now a rarity) local pointed us in the right direction.
Of course, the direction was up a hill for the entire time. We reached our interstate community of commercialism and it felt all warm and fuzzy. The glow of fluorescent signs and corporate logos holds a degree of comfort for us now. After a stop at Sheetz, we checked in to the Fairfield Inn ordered Papa John’s pizza and turned on HBO. Products of our environment, I guess (get us home soon).