At just over 27 miles, today’s ride was the longest single ride we’ve done since Rich’s surgery. Our first thought was to ride the Lehigh Gorge Trail south from White Haven, perhaps to Penn Haven Junction. But in the interest of a) getting the uphill grade over with first and b) riding the more open part of the trail in hopes of sunshine and warmth on a chilly day, we decided to ride from Glen Onoko to Rockport. John was considering joining us, but since we never received a confirming e-mail or phone call, and he didn’t show up in the driveway by 10:00am, we decided to leave. Unfortunately, we got our wires crossed—and, unbeknownst to us, he passed us on the road as we were leaving Jessup and later missed us again at White Haven (because we weren’t at White Haven, due to the change in our initial plans). Oh, well.
Because we’ve had such great weather this year, it’s become typical for the trail to be insanely packed with people, especially on the weekends. We had to park in one of the secondary lots at Glen Onoko, which has never happened before. But on the trail, we were easily able to pass most of the large packs and still have some sense of solitude. Although the south end of the trail was always rougher than the north, this time it has obviously suffered severe damage from last week’s storms, and possibly some hasty, poorly done “fixes” to damage from work on the adjacent railroad. In a few areas, it was more like “real mountain biking,” which we haven’t been able to do in a while, than just riding a rail-trail. I had a great time working my way through short sections of three-inch-deep sand. Rich was doing great and feeling good, too. We shared some leftover pizza from The Library (it’s still the only pizza I like cold) at the waterfall just north of Rockport, before turning around and heading back to Glen Onoko. Of course, the strong headwind that suddenly arose made the downhill ride tougher than we’d expected!
After the ride, we were both dying for a beer and some food. Our first thought was to take a quick drive through Jim Thorpe; maybe one of the restaurants there would call to us. Sadly, we were about ten hours too late. We’d forgotten how the first hint of fall in the air somehow compels folks from twenty nearby counties to flock to the “Little Switzerland of America.” Traffic from town was backed up past the light at the west end of the Route 903 bridge. We turned around, not even attempting to go into the heart of Jim Thorpe.
Unsure of their offerings we bypassed Crocodile Lyle’s (in Jim Thorpe but on the east side of the river) and Da’s Pub (outside Blakeslee on Route 115); some research later showed that both would have provided, at the least, a good beer and a decent snack. We instead decided to go straight home, put away the bikes, and then get some sushi at Kabuki in Peckville. The shrimp and vegetable tempura was light and tasty, and the tuna roll was delicious as always. The spider roll is one of my favorites, as long as I don’t think too hard about what I’m actually eating—it’s soft shell crab, not spider, but still somewhat odd as it’s eaten whole. Rich was thrilled to discover that beer (Kirin Ichiban) was available, and although it was far from exciting, it tasted fine after a long ride. Maybe next time they’ll have the Tiger lager.