Pine Creek Rail Trail, (The Pennsylvania Grand Canyon) Blackwell, Pennsylvania March 21.2012

This is our 15th Stop on The WooFDriver Tour!! We are going about 200 miles from home today to what some call The Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, it is classified as Gorge!! Wow!! I am excited. This is what I live for of course!! Unbelievable scenery and my dog’s enjoyment!! The trail is called The Pine Creek Rail Trail, and it is deep in Pennsylvania. This trail is over 57 miles long, but we will be covering only about 13 miles today because of the unseasonably warm temperatures.

Click Here For A Link To This Trail!!

We got the earliest start so far on our Touring schedule. We got on the road around 7:30. We met Dave around his way because we would pass by his house in route for Pine Creek. The Pit Crew today is Jim, Chris, and Dave. After a long ride of 4 hours plus at about 12:00 we were at our trail head!! The dogs are really traveling well also, they are being patient and well behaved even on these longer truck rides. The skies were overcast and temperatures in the low to mid 60s. We actually thought it was going to be sunny and a little warmer but at least it wasn’t raining. This was also more comfortable for the dogs!! The trail surface seemed to be a crushed limestone. Today we were also trying out water bowls for the dogs that we actually mounted to The SuperQuad ADV. These water bowls hold a lot of water and are no spill or more appropriately less spill!! This would keep water available to the dogs the whole trail at their own digression. This was an excellent idea from Dave and well implemented by Chris!! It worked wonderfully, and is now, part of the bike and our running system.

The run started off great low traffic(virtually no one else) and the dogs were running at a good pace. We were enjoying incredible scenery!! The mountains, the river, wild shale type stacked rock that formed the hills and mountainsides that were right next to us an arms length or so away!! Some of these rocks were beautifully covered and colored with moss, they had water trickling down down the face of them!! There were also a few waterfalls and streaming water views!! The tress were bare still because it is early in the year, even though these warm temperatures make it feel later in the spring. The bare trees allowed for more expansive views. There were a lot of pine trees, I guess hence the name Pine Creek Trail!! Jim told us these particular Pine Trees are in abundance here because of the altitude. They were spectacular to look at!! We passed through a really cool small village or town called Cedar Run. We also passed a lot of RV’s and what appeared to be vacation cabins. This place is probably rolling in the warmer months!! We ran into a big piece of machinery working on what appeared to be the drainage of the trail. He was wider than the trail so he moved aside as we squeezed by. Because of the remote location with virtually no cell phone service, Dave being our Tour Planner, was prepared and armed us with walkie talkies. We could than, at certain points communicate with Jim and Chris on the other bike they were riding to meet us.

When we got to our 8 mile point of our run today, we ran into an open area which provided a good spot for the dogs to get a river break!! We radioed Jim and Chris. They were actually one mile from us, how convenient and good timing. At this point we actually saw a sign to be careful about Rattle Snakes in the area!! Oh boy!! it is still was a little early i think for snakes but we were on alert!! We waited for Jim and Chris,  and than actually drove on the field leading to the river on The SuperQuad ADV.. The dogs were on board of course but Dave stepped off to avoid any extra weight as I was going to go “Off Roading”!! It went well and I got the WooFPak down to The river. They had a ball. I so much enjoyed the views of them splashing around the water, with the mountains in the background,  a beautiful yellow field to our right and green pine trees across the river!! They looked like Wolves in the wilderness!! This is a watercolor view that will always be in my memories!! I was so looking to spot a Bald Eagle!! I have never seen one in person!! This seemed like the perfect place to find one. Well I mentioned that to Jim, and he told me when he was at the lot where he and Chris parked, he read a sign that said to be quiet it was a Bald Eagle nesting area!! He continued to say right than he looked up in the sky and saw a Bald Eagle!! I wouldn’t be so lucky, but I was happy for Jim and excited to know that there are Bald Eagles close by!! After our river time, we were back off on the trail to ride another 4 to 5 miles or so. This is where we had a small bike catastrophe as Jim said!! Rest assured nobody got hurt and nobody was ever in danger!!

What happened was really unexpected though. The rear axle on The SuperQuad ADV just sheared off and broke?!?! The left rear tire fell of the bike. The dogs, who are so well conditioned and trained, were not even phased!! Of course I stopped immediately, the dogs wanted to keep pulling even though now it was lopsided!!  Again this is why I have to have The Pit Crew on these tours!! All of the crew is mechanically inclined. We even carry some tools and spare parts. As far as an axle we didn’t have one of those unfortunately though!! But we were still prepared to handle a problem of this magnitude!!

We switched the dogs to the other bike that Chris and Dave were riding. It is already outfitted as a backup dog rig!! Jim and I took the dogs to finish the trail. Chris and Dave took the broken down SuperQuad ADV to the closest road which intersected the trail. This road was about a mile away. Dave actually stood on the broken down bike and was able to use the electric motor as he balanced himself so he could ride it!! Dave was “surfing the trail”!! Nice ingenuity Dave!! Check out that video clip!! Jim and I took or time with the dogs, and still got to enjoy and savor the remaining miles!! The sights were still abundant and the sun had just started to peek through the sky. When we got to the truck there was a nice area to let the dogs take another well deserved dip in the river. Jim proceeded to take his truck to pick up Chris, Dave and the broken down SuperQuad while I stayed and unharnessed the dogs. They met me back at the lot to load up and head home. This was an incredible Tour outing!! Tonight dinner was at good old Cracker Barrel!!

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