Friday was a beautiful day to start my 100 mile Cycle for a Cleaner Future!
I went out on the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) for about 30 miles from Boston, PA to West Newton, PA and back with my friend Karl.
This stretch of trail is especially interesting because there are at least three unique water features along the way:
White falls is, well, a white water fall! I'm not entirely sure if the white deposits on the rock are natural or due to pollution, but I'm pretty sure it's a form of mine drainage or some other industrial pollution. (picture taken in March 2020 on a previous trip)
Red Falls is, like my "red" hair, more orange than red! This is definitely mine drainage, and it smells strongly of rotten eggs as you bike past. A pungent, yet strangely beautiful, reminder of Western Pennsylvania's history of extraction that I'm biking to advocate for a transition from. (Photo taken in March 2020 during a previous trip)
Both of these falls drain down the hillside into interesting water feature #3, the Youghiogheny River (pronunciation). "Youghiogheny" is a Lenape word approximately meaning "contrary flow", and folks call it the "Yough" (pronounced "Yock") for short. It flows into the Monongahela River, which goes to the Ohio and the Mississippi Rivers. You can read more about the history and features of the Yough here, and support its care by donating to The Youghiogheny Riverkeeper. The following picture is me with my bike at one of the many bends in the river. This is a calm section. There are incredible rapids not far from here in Ohiopyle that form one of the most famous white water rafting runs in the country!
Next weekend, I'll be biking with Karl again on an overnight trip on the GAP from Connelsville to Confluence and back over two days. 60 miles total. We'll bike past the most tumultuous part of the Yough River, and we hope to go for a swim near our campsite at the Yough River Dam!