So far we’ve had a decent Spring; at least, the days I’ve had off have been warm and clear. (Does this bode well for the Summer?) Today John wanted to come along for the ride on the Lehigh Gorge Trail, which was fine with us.
John followed us down to the White Haven trailhead, where we usually prefer to park. But this time our route would be slightly different. Instead of heading south along the trail as usual, this time we rode back north through White Haven and caught the other, unfinished end of the Gorge Trail as it heads north just beyond the Ugly Mugs tavern, at the end of Susquehanna Street. This part of the trail was rougher than the well-known part of the trail, and it was peaceful and deserted. Some rocks and sand, remnants of the railroad, provided more of a challenge than we’ve ever found on the lower section of the trail. This is actually part of the D & L Trail (known locally as the Black Diamond Trail) that, when complete, will reach Mountaintop.
We rode north until the trail dumped us out onto Middleburg Road. Uh oh … where do we go now, we wondered? We didn’t see any signs or another trailhead in sight. As we stood alongside the road, a burly man in a white pickup pulled up alongside. He looked like the type who might harass us, but he actually just wanted to know how appropriate the section between Middleburg Road and White Haven was for mountain biking. He claimed to have ridden the section between Middleburg Road and Mountaintop on a quad. This was just where we wanted to go! He pointed out the trail connection to us; it was just a few hundred yards from where we stood, but because it was atop a hill and around a slight bend, we’d been unable to see it. I’m glad he came along just in time!
As the man had warned us, the section heading north was extremely rough. The trail was covered side to side with fist-sized ballast rock, which makes for a bone-jarring ride, to say the least. We reached a bridge after about two miles, and seeing no end to the ballast we decided to turn back. After passing through White Haven again, we rode the Gorge trail south to just about a mile beyond Rockport. We made our usual stop on the way down at the waterfall for snacks, and a few more stops on the way back because our butts were getting sore. We were already daydreaming about pizza.
Pancho’s Pizzeria (the Mexican/pizza place where Rich and I took refuge a few years ago in a downpour) is now under new ownership as Carmine’s Pizza. We decided to try it, and the pizza was excellent! The ride home with Rich in the sunshine was a perfect beginning to the HOT April weekend that was to come!