Out On My Own
Megan has plenty of friends and family to visit so for the last push I’m flying solo. We managed not to kill each other after 3 months of sharing a tent (Megan is a patient woman), but some time apart is healthy. We rode the first day together from the small town where she was raised to the heart of oil country.
Don’t worry, I’ll see her in Boston for Thanksgiving.
The first oil fields developed in all the world are to be found in Northwestern Pennsylvania. The boom times have come and gone leaving behind plenty of history and the corpse of the petroleum industry all through the Allegheny (AL-leh-gay-nee) river valley. Within the past decade hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has replaced traditional drilling and so oil money has returned. Every field outside of Pittsburgh seems to habe fracking equipment now.
Meanwhile, the days are short and cold and as always I’m looking to make tracks. As I warped here from Arizona I didn’t cross the Rockies. My penance is crossing the Alleghenies instead, which I have honestly been dreading since I started this trip. There is no flat ground here, unless you find a road that parallels a river. If you foolishly deviate from a river you’ll find endless short and steep hills until you hit a Great Lake, the Atlantic, or Ohio. Unlike the roads crossing the significantly taller mountains of the West the roads here are steep. I think of it like interval training. People pay a lot of money to train like this!
It’s not all bad of course theres plenty of good riding through the Allegheny National Forest and for the most part US-6 follows the path of least resistance. Its just as well that I spend half my days climbing because day time temperatures are plumetting. As long as I’m struggling I’m warm.
Heading in the direction of pies,