Western PA features repeated steep climbs. This one measured in at a 14% gradient. I managed to stay on the bike, but there simply is no gear low enough to make this climb comfortable.
The views are worth the climbs though.
My mother's side of the family (Livengood) is from Somerset County, PA. I'm sure that when Peter Livengood came to the area from Switzerland, the terrain seemed tame by comparison. Family history says that he was the first person to cross the Allegheny Mountains in a Conestoga wagon.
Rather than climb these hills, the PA Department of Transportation (PENNDOT) preferred to dig through them. As a result, the PA Turnpike was referred to as the Tunnel Highway. Two of these tunnels east of Breezewood were abandoned in 1968 when a bypass was completed (abandoned PA Turnpike). If you are in the area, this ride is definitely worth doing. Bring a strong headlight for the tunnels.
|Myna entering the first tunnel|
|Me entering the second tunnel|
|Flat road, no traffic, a few potholes.|
|The view from inside the tunnel--the squiggly white line is the distant light at the end of the tunnel and the sway of my hands.|
The abandoned turnpike ride goes from just east of Breezewood to just west of Hustontown. Much of our ride across PA followed Bike Route S (PA Bike Routes). The climb up to Cowan's Gap is a nice gentle rise.
|The beach at Cowan's Gap State Park|
We stayed with my father-in-law Don in Chambersburg, PA and had dinner with my parents in Waynesboro, PA.
Note: I am currently at home in NJ--life here is busy, but I still have material to share with you.