Pennsylvania & the Laurel Highlands

Last weekend, we made the trip to the Laurel Highlands region of southwestern Pennsylvania for the Laurel Highlands Ultra. Debbie had a magnificent race and we had an excellent trip. We trucked west through Allentown and Harrisburg. We didn’t do much sightseeing on the way.

Like last year, we stopped in Bedford, PA for lunch. Also like last year, we camped at Ohiopyle State Park, which is in a great spot sitting on a bluff above the Youghiogheny River. The Great Allegheny Passage rail trail goes right by the park, cuts through Ohiopyle, and winds its way towards Maryland.

The park has a couple of rustic playgrounds and a bunch of campsites. I went for a run on the rail trail and then throughout the lovely Ferncliff Peninsula Natural Area. I ran along the river and then returned to our site.

Debbie got up early on Saturday morning to run down to the start of the race in the center of town. It was only 1/2 mile away. I saw her off and then took a little longer to get our kids up, fed, and the campsite packed up. We spent the day crewing for her. We spent Saturday night at the trailhead at the end of the 70 mile Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail in Seward where the race finished. We spent a restless night in the van. Debbie was hopped up on sugar and caffeine after her 13 hour and 34 minute jaunt. I got up before sunrise and headed south on the trail for a little trail run.

I checked out the last three miles of the trail and got a feel for what it must have been like to finish a 70 mile run. I was back at the van in no time and we had breakfast before rolling east. Our long drive back to Connecticut was broken up by a few pit stops. We had a late lunch in Bethlehem at Alando’s Cuisine, a Kenyan restaurant. Then, we went to the famous Vegan Treats bakery for a little dessert for the road. All in all, it was a wonderful family adventure.

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