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Finishing our Tour in McKeesport, PA: Our final ten miles and a cloudy-sky sandwich filled with happy sunshine!

Finishing our Tour in McKeesport, PA: Our final ten miles and a cloudy-sky sandwich filled with happy sunshine!

As predicted, it was a rainy night. We were so thankful to stay nice and dry underneath our picnic shelter in the cemetery. By morning it was foggy and overcast but the rain had stopped. For me it was a somber morning as I packed my gear one final time. I am so sad to say goodbye to this beautiful country and close to door on our incredible adventure. I bought a tee shirt at the Confluence Cyclery with a map of the C&O Canal Path and the Great Allegheny Passage on the back. The front of the shirt says ‘The Ride of My Life,’ and it truly has been.

We only had a short ten miles to cycle today into McKeesport where the trail currently ends. It was a quick chilly hour long ride. Our trip ended under cloudy skies just as it began. Our tour has been one big cloudy-sky sandwich with a huge helping of beautiful warm sunshine in between. We couldn’t have asked for a better two weeks of bicycle touring.

Some people have complained in their journals that the trail through McKeesport is through a bad area. We didn’t think it was bad at all. There is one section on the roads through an industrial area which was safe although not very pretty. Downtown McKeesport is another story with an off-road paved trail through a lovely landscaped park along the river. Looks like there is still construction going on so it should just get better here.

It was hard to believe that our tour was really finished, very bittersweet. We were elated about our accomplishment but we don’t want it to end. Gerry’s wife, Debbie, was waiting for us at the end of the trail. Thanks, Debbie! We unloaded our bikes in the parking lot; looked like an explosion of yellow and red panniers all over the place. We managed to shove all our bags in the trunk somehow and strapped the bikes onto the rack. Raindrops began to splatter on the car windshield before we even left the parking lot at McKeesport. Craig and I just smiled at each other. We managed to cycle for two weeks and never got rained on!

First we drove the 4 ½ hour drive back to D.C. to pick up our car. 4 ½ hours to cover the same distance we have cycled over the past nine days. We found our car safe and sound where we left it at David’s house (THANKS David!). Transferred our bikes and bags to our car and said our goodbyes. Gerry and Debbie are heading up the east coast to visit family and Craig and I are going home to St. Louis. Tonight we traveled back to Cumberland for another night in the Slumberland Motel. Traveling up the six mile hill to the motel was much easier this time in our car! Tomorrow night we’ll stay with Kevin and Trish again in Ohio and on Saturday we’ll be back in our cozy little house in St. Louis with our sweet little doggie, Satchie, and my mean little cat, FooFoo. We are finished!

I’ll sum everything up with a final thoughts post and a post about our gear after we get back home. Thank you for reading!

A cold and somber morning for me. All packed up and ready to ride for the last day of our tour.

A cold and somber morning for me. All packed up and ready to ride for the last day of our tour.

Heading out of the cemetery in the morning.

Heading out of the cemetery in the morning.

Cranking on the pedals on a cloudy day.

Cranking on the pedals on a cloudy day.

Slightly unnerving bridge heading into McKeesport. My fear of heights kicked in and I had to talk myself out of a hyperventilation session. Irrational I know.

Slightly unnerving bridge heading into McKeesport. My fear of heights kicked in and I had to talk myself out of a hyperventilation session. Irrational I know.

The end of the Great Allegheny Passage for three long haul truckers.

The end of the Great Allegheny Passage for three long haul truckers.

WE DID IT!!!!

WE DID IT!!!!

Pannier explosion in the parking lot.

Pannier explosion in the parking lot.

Pack it up!

Pack it up!

Homeward bound under dramatic evening skies.

Homeward bound under dramatic evening skies.

Mother Nature bids us adieu... for now.

Mother Nature bids us adieu… for now.

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