Over the next few weeks my long Wednesday rides will be somewhat cut short by obligations. This is a very busy time of the year for me. So I was very pleased that the rain I heard falling during the night was gone when I set out at 8:30 AM in 70 degree weather, not sure of how far I'd go, but determined to get in some miles and get some pictures. The latter process began as soon as I started out with some previously promised pictures of Spring on the trail, specifically the Azalea Garden and another view or two from Kelly drive.
Of which these are two.
Then I continued on thinking that I would change my route a bit by taking a new fork toward Plymouth Meeting rather than toward Norristown where I'd just been Sunday. The Plymouth Meeting path is only three miles off the main Schuylkill path, but I thought that would be enough for today and I'd see where it went etc. However when I came to that fork in the road (after traveling through Manayunk again and going up the hills on Umbria street but not making the wrong turn and going up Shawmont again) I found this:
Off to Norristown it was. Took a couple of shots of the Norristown Transportation Center ( really just a train station, after all) shown here:
By this time the thought of stopping was long gone from my head. I continued on knowing I was going to Valley forge. Along the way I passed the now defunct Breakaway Cafe. There's been a lot of chatter on some email groups about some kind of incident here on Sunday, perhaps attacks on cyclists by local hoodlums, not clear and not confirmed. I'll report if I hear anything, but here is the place. It's a shame it is no longer functioning. It would be a great spot to take a break, mingle with cyclists and have a mechanic handy just in case.
Finally, arrived at Valley Forge. According to the signposts I think the mileage is calculated to this point where the Park must "officially" begin: It is the Betzwood Movie Studio, a pioneer spot in the making of the earliest movies. But the park really doesn't begin there.
It requires a few more miles and crossing my favorite spot, the bridge that actually goes along Interstate 76. I wish every freeway had such a set-up.
Finally one reaches the Park and the first rest stop. I had my snack and used the facilities. I wished I had more time to actually ride around the park. I wished that they had some info on where the other bike trails are and how one could reach them from here. Perhaps when and if the rental facility in the parking lot ever opens, they will be able to tell me.
All in all, a great ride of 49 miles.