Sportstour in the Alleghenies

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by c1skout, Apr 30, 2016.

  1. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

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    Low and behold, I find the gravel road! Right where I remembered it being. On the back end of the hotel parking lot. This is called Bark rd if you can't make it out on the sign-post. The last time I came across here was during hunting season, so I didn't know if there would be closed gates in the summertime.

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    Bark rd is gravel, and kinda loose. It's posted with a 25mph limit, and that was about right for the Enfield on street tires. I stepped it up a few times just for fun, but it'd get awfully squirrely over 35!
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    There are a few houses or cabins along the road, but not a lot. I also noticed a few 4 sale signs on some undeveloped lots, so there could be more on the way. I rode in a few miles then stopped at a gameland parking area to have my picnic.
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    The gnats were persistent there, so I had to walk around in circles while I ate, otherwise they'd land on me and basically be bugs! I had a nice picnic regardless. The wind was blowing a rustling song through the trees, and there was a back-beat of thunder rolling in from the south east. The Enfield kicked right back to life and I was off again. I found a local crossing the road and stopped to take their picture.
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  2. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

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    The spine of this ridge is generally about 100 yards wide, and the road strays from roughly centered on the top to more on the east side. You can catch the occasional glimpse of the valley on either side. Mostly though all you can see is the sky through the trees. This is the only tree (branch) I saw blocking the trail. Yes, I left it there so other trail users can partake in the excitement of navigating over or around it.
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    Here's where I popped out at the other side.
    I traveled 13 miles north to US30 according to the optimistic Enfield speedo.
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    There were other trails leading off Bark rd that appeared to be open to travel, but I didn't try any of them. I noticed at least 3 to the west. Looks like Buchanan state forest has more trails open than I had realized. Here's a link to a PDF of the maps if you're interested.
    http://www.docs.dcnr.pa.gov/cs/groups/public/documents/document/dcnr_20033193.pdf

    At 30 I turned around and headed back the way I'd come. There was a scenic overlook a mile or so back and I thought I'd get some pics. Looking south-east.
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    And north-east.
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  3. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

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    I left the scenic view to the circling turkey buzzards and continued on my way. I went back out to US30 and headed east toward McConnellsburg. I climbed the hill east of town and stopped at the Mountain House bar. The internet had told me there was an old concrete arrow on top of the hill there, and I wanted to see it. Here's a link to learn more. http://www.dreamsmithphotos.com/arrow/
    I rode around behind the bar and saw a bunch of "posted" signs, so trading discretion for valor I gave up, parked and went into the bar to have a Pepsi. I told the barmaid and some locals about the arrow, they all said they knew nothing about it. In our conversation I got the feeling that NOT wandering around on the powerline was probably the best idea, so I gave up on the arrow and mounted back up. 30 back west to 522 north, and I came across some more historic markers.

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    I stayed on 522 to Orbisonia, then took 994 over to Entriken, where I stopped for a pic at the lake.
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    When I hit 26 I headed south for a bit, stopping at Eats-n-Treats for a sammich and ice cream cone. This is a good stop if you're in the area, and I'd say that even if a relative didn't own it!
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    With my belly filled up again I was ready to head back home. 26 south to 164 all the way to Portage, then small roads the rest of the way. I put about 240 miles on, and smiled the whole way.
  4. NurseBill

    NurseBill Been here awhile

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    You were in my neck of PA.
  5. edsollen

    edsollen Adventurer

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    I live about 10 min. east of the Mt House and taught school in Loysburg for a few years, really enjoy the ride reports of the area.
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  6. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

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    Thanks, I used to stop at the store in loysburg occasionally when in the area, but since they put the bypass in I don't go through town much anymore.
  7. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

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    Here's a shot of the Pickin- Chicken from today.
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  8. ramkas

    ramkas Been here awhile

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    Wow. Thanks for doing that. It looks a little worse for the wear. Chick Slagle owned it when I was there in the 70s. I think later he sold it to the hunt family. I think that was the same hunts who would deliver heating oil to our house. I lost track after that. Probably more than you wanted to know.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  9. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

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    I put a new drive tire on my Enfield the other night.
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    I had the day to goof off so I strapped a fishin rod on and put my picnic lunch in the top box. I headed down into Johnstown, then took 271 south toward Westmont. There's a big stone arch along the road and I'd wondered what it was for. I stopped today to investigate.

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    I thought I may as well swing by Grandview, since I'm heading that way. Here's the unknown dead from the "big" flood in 1889. I believe there were a lot of unknowns because Johnstown was booming back then, and a lot of the people who lived and worked in the town were fresh immigrants. Many probably without family in the area.
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  10. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

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    I stayed on 271 when I left the cemetery, all the way into Ligonier. I stopped at the fort for some pics.
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    Fancy cannon.
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    It's neat to think that this fort was here that long ago. There wasn't even a USA then! This was the western frontier.
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  11. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

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    I left the fort and headed west on US30. At the 259 junction near Idlewild there is a large gas pump. It was built by the students of a local technical school for the Lincoln highway.
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    A few more miles west is a causeway that crosses the river. I stopped there to fish a bit.
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    I've had good luck here before...... but not so much today. I saw a couple trout flash on my lures but couldn't seem to hook any. All I caught were a couple creek chubs. The other one was bigger, honest!
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    At least I wasn't skunked. I fished about an hour, then headed back to the bike to have my picnic.
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  12. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

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    After lunch I loaded up and headed back east on 30. Lotsa other bikes out today on this road. I took some pics of fort Ligonier as I rode past.

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    I saw this historic marker just past the fort.
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    I turned off 30 onto 381 south toward Rector. This partial fieldstone barn was along the road and caught my eye.
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    I turned in toward Linn Run state park, planning to take the road through and up to the top of the mountain. Here's the creek along the state park road.
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    Almost 20 years ago my wife had a 4wd Mercury Topaz. We were out in the winter for a Sunday ride, and headed up this road. We didn't know it at the time, but it's popular for snowmobiling. As we climbed the hill I realized ours was the only car on the snowy mountain! We got a lot of funny looks from all the people on snowmobiles.
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  13. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

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    I started up the road but didn't make it far. It's closed. I turned around and headed back to the park office. I took these pics of the CCC camp markers, but I didn't find out what they had built here, sorry. There are a lot of rental cabins in this park, and a creek, and that's about it that I could see. Good area for hiking and mountain biking I think.
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    I talked to a ranger and he said the road has been closed since the heavy rains in June washed part of it away. They are supposed to start working on it in the next few weeks. I shoulda asked about the CCC, but didn't think of it. I backtracked out to 30, then headed east again. I climbed Laurel mountain toward Jennerstown and then took 985 north. I shot a pic of this old barn on the fly.
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    I do some hunting on the mountain in the back of that last pic. And I know some gravel roads are up on the ridge so I figured I'd go up and see if any gates are open for travel.
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  14. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

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    I made a left off 985 on a local road, then a right on another, working my way over and up to the ridgetop. These roads were recently tar-n-chipped, so when the rear of my bike started feeling frisky I didn't think much of it. But frisky soon turned into faulty and I realized I'm getting a flat! I debated what to do, there's no services around here, so I just headed the way I was going until it went plum flat.

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    I have tools with me, so I could set the bike on it's side and pull the wheel. But I don't have a patch kit or air pump so removing the wheel would do no good. I DID have a phone with me today (I don't always) and I had enough service to get my brother on his way with a trailer to rescue me. I had about an hour to kill after I got my rescue en-route.
    Here's a flower
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    Here's where I sat and ate the rest of the food I had with me.
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    Another flower
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    We loaded the bike up and headed home. I pulled the wheel and found the valve stem had torn free of the tube. I inspected the inside of the tire and saw no damage or foreign materials, so I installed a new tube and put it back together. That's ride #4 for the Enfield. Second time for a flat drive tire, once for a broken drive chain and one for a stuck exhaust valve. I still haven't got my new knobby dirty. Maybe next time.
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  15. gsjay

    gsjay LHBMWR #294

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    I live 2 miles north of this barn...……
    just of Route 985.
    You should stop next time you're in my neck of the woods.
    jason
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  16. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

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    Thanks, Jay. I'll have to watch for you when I'm in the area. Near the play-house? Do you know where Boy Scout rd is? That's the way I was heading when I got detoured with my flat.
  17. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

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    My boy sings in the local Barbershop choir, and they were performing at 2 today. I had the morning to blow so I thought I'd go and try to find another of the old airmail route concrete arrows. I struck out on the last one due to a bunch of "posted" signs in the area, so I hoped for better luck this time. I had the gps coordinates loaded into my handheld so I threw some snacks together and headed out, telling the Mrs that I'd meet them in Somerset for the show.

    I took 53 to Portage, then caught 164 down over the mountain. I stopped in Morrison's Cove when I saw this mural.

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    164 runs to 26, which I took north towards Marklesburg. This old stone house caught my eye so I snapped a shot of it as I rolled by.
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    I stayed on 26 until I found Old Mountain rd, then made my turn and started up. It shortly took a turn for the worse, and not knowing what to expect ahead I decided I'd turn around before I took a spill. Here's where I was when I decided to abort.
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    On my way back down to 26 I noticed a local out doing some yard work, so I stopped to pick his brain a bit. He told me that the road didn't get much worse, but there are a lot of runoff ditches and off camber spots on the way up. He felt I could have made it as long as I was careful. As we talked a bit and I told him what I was looking for we decided that the spot I was looking for would be better accessed from the next road up the hill, Mountain rd (I was trying old mt rd) He said it's a township road, gravel the whole way up and in pretty good shape. I thanked him and headed off. Back to 26 then another mile or so north and I turn up Mountain rd. I headed up till the asphalt was starting to give way to sporadic gravel, then I happened to look at my watch and I realized it's 12:30 already! I'm gonna be late for the show! I have to abort again.
    I turned around, used the Men's room, jammed a granola bar down my throat and drank a bottle of water. Here's a pipeline right-of-way shot from where I turned around.
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  18. Runswithscizzors

    Runswithscizzors Been here awhile

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    Always glad yo see a new post! Thanks for taking the time.
  19. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

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    I did at least find an arrow. This was painted on a chunk of asphalt near where I turned around. It'll do for now. I got a concert to get to.
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    Back down to 26 south, where some fellow in a 3 series BMW flew around me in a double yellow. I was moving along pretty well already, but decided to take advantage of him running blocker for me a while, so I let him just far enough ahead that I could keep track of him, and I paced along. He shook the trees all the way to Hopewell, where we got behind a diesel pusher towing a pontoon and leading a 4 car parade. After a couple miles of the rolling roadblock my front door passed the whole line in another double yellow, going into a blind right-hander :yikes. I stayed in the parade and didn't see him again. The motorhome turned north on 36 and I had a clean run the rest of the way to Everett, then 30 west past Bedford, and 31 west to Somerset. Got an nice pic of a farm along 31.
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    Here's a landscape from the top of the hill on 31
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    I rode in to Somerset, and the second pedestrian I saw gave me directions to the High School (the first wasn't local and couldn't help). I was a bit late, but still saw a good portion of the show.
    I hate being late for anything, so the ride was kind of spoiled for me once I realized I wouldn't be on time. It's tough to enjoy the scenery when I'm stressing out about making time.
    After the show most of my family went out to eat, then I led them home on a scenic route, through some more farms and woods on 601 and 985. That's it. I ran just over 180 miles and still didn't find the arrow. I'll try again another time, when I have the whole day.
  20. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

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    Thank you! Nice to see you're still following along!