It looks like His Boniusness beat me to the punch and actually wrote up a ride report in a timely fashion. You can read it here. Anyway, mine’s mostly a photo dump with a few comments.
Bone and I decided to meet at the Stony Valley Railroad Grade parking area at 3pm on the 6th of October in the 2012th year of
our Lord^H^H^H^H His Noodly Appendage. I didn’t tell him, but I had planned all along to ride there from home. Bwahahaha!
For the gear heads, from left to right. The saddle bag is perched on a Bagman support and holds my tent stakes and a Big Agnes Lost Ranger. There’s a Eureka! Spitfire strapped to the top. Three bottle cages with full bottles. The white one underneath is a Kleen Kanteen vac flask. It works great for road coffee. The Ostrich bag holds most of the food, along with camera, phone, wallet, keys, mon-ay, tools, jacket, extra shirt, some gloves, basically anything I might want to access during the ride. The Lone Peak panniers hold a Big Agnes Insulated Air Core, a pillow, my kitchen, some warmer clothing, toiletries, and maybe some food. I can’t recall exactlywhat. That yellow thing is a tent stake mallet, stolen from the car camping 8-man Tent Mahal.
The skies had been threatening rain for a while, but held off until just after I left the house. So I stopped and put on my rain shell within a half mile. Of course, it stopped raining a few minutes later and wouldn’t rain again until the next morning. It was windy and cool, though, so I kept the jacket on until I left the river front. Here we are crossing the Susquehanna headed toward Harrisburg, home of the Mayor for Life – Linda Thompson.
And then making a left to follow the Green Belt north along the river.
There’s lots to see along the river front part of the Green Belt. Like Tom Corbett‘s house.
He’s a pretty easy going guy, so I thought I might ring the bell and ask if he wanted to come along, but I couldn’t figure out how to get to the front door. Does the mailman just chuck packages over the fence?
Here are some pretty flowers. Let’s hope the city council doesn’t find out about them.
Pretty sure this is the PA Vulcan compound.
End of the line. Time to turn east and head through the burbs.
Northern Harrisburg has some really nice neighborhoods with big houses, wide streets and mature trees. I’ll bet the folks who live here vote in the mayoral election next time around.
Leaving the city and heading north just a bit farther takes us to Ft. Hunter. If you’re ever in the area you should take the time to check it out.
It’s also a good place to stop for the essentials.
Bridge to nowhere. Been there?
The old tavern house. Unfortunately, they don’t serve anymore. What’s up with that?
Heading north out of Ft. Hunter along PA Bike Route J is interesting. The only road on this side of the river that goes through the water gap is US 22/322. It’s a limited access highway, 55mph, and normally not open to bicycles. They make a grudging exception here. Bring your steel nerves. Train tracks cross over the highway in the gap and the shoulder under the bridge is only about 4 feet wide. The alternative adds 22 miles and goes over a big damn mountain.
But I made it to Dauphin, underwear intact. That’s Stony Creek in the background. I’ll follow it all the way to Rausch Gap.
There was a bar behind be.
I purchased a refreshing beverage.
This was the best part of the ride. The 12 miles from Dauphin to the trail head melted away all too quickly.
For those of you thinking an S24O isn’t complete without dirt, I agree. Let there be dirt!
This gravel road follows the old railroad grade. I’m pretty sure I was speeding.
I got to the trail head before Bone…
…and decided it was time for this.
|From October 2012 S24O|
But he wasn’t far behind me. Let’s go!
8 10 13 miles of this.
This is the Appalachian Trail. About 1/8 of a mile up the hill is a shelter, along with a composting toilet and lots of tent space.
Our light was fading fast and our eagerness to set up camp took a bit of a precedent over our picture taking activities. But the camera came back out Sunday morning. I took a few horrible low-light, shaky photos. First up, breakfast.
Everything tastes better cooked outside, and few things taste better than bacon and eggs. So this was absolutely perfect.
Here’s the camp site.
Bone can move faster than light.
The trail back was pretty much the same as the night before, only colder and wetter.
My original plans included riding all the way home, about 30 miles from A to B, but conversation along the way evolved from bacon to bacon cheeseburgers. And then to Five Guys. It was decided, with 10 miles of rail trail remaining, that my bike should take a ride on Bone’s car and we two should get bacon cheeseburgers and fries and sugary soda-type drinks for lunch.
And that is how we
defeated the evil zombie king of St. Anthony’s wilderness went on our annual fall S24O.