It's a long, long way to ride a bike

From Pittsburgh to D.C.

But we just did it anyway,

To see what we would see.

We started out at Point State Park

Went eastward up the Mon.

Then up the Yough and Casselman

To Cumberland beyond.

Great Allegheny Passage

Is this trail's official name.

And if you bike or walk it,

It brings out your best game.

Along the way you'll pass Homestead

And old McKeesport town;

And later, Perryopolis,

A little further down.

Some distance south Confluence looms

Where three streams become one.

The Youghiogheny, Casselman,

And little Laurel Run.

And after that there's Meyersdale

Our best accommodations.

The Levi Deal Mansion

Exceeded expectations.

The governmental shutdown

Had us feeling blue.

If the east path of our trip was closed,

We weren't sure what we'd do.

Then we met Len from Langhorne

Who said 'twould be a breeze:

Just carry your own water

And pee among the trees.

The scenery as we rolled along

We viewed with great elation.

The mountains, rivers, valleys,

And all of God's creation.

We reached the Eastern watershed

Five days into our trip.

Our sunny days were over then;

the skies began to drip.

We rolled downhill to Cumberland

With raindrops in our face.

We crossed the Mason-Dixon Line

And went to our next place.

The C&O Canal Towpath,

The next leg of our quest,

Stood before us as we made

Our bike trip from the west.

The trail, where mules pulled barges

Was really very level.

The only problem was the skies

Were raining like the devil.

We rode the trail to the east,

Where mule-skinners plied their trade.

We slogged on through the mud and rain;

Sometimes, we even prayed.

Little Orleans, Bill's Cafe,

And soon our mood grew lighter.

Some good hot soup, a glass of Jack,

And then the world looked brighter.

After Orleans, Williamsport

And Hagerstown, emdee.

Hot showers and a nice warm meal

Have set our spirits free.

Then on to Brunswick, Maryland,

Harper's Ferry by the way;

We traveled on, through mud and rain,

As we neared our final day.

Only 50 or so miles more

Of this sojourn to cover

We'll reach D.C. this afternoon

And then this trip is over.

Along this leg the big Potomac's

Really quite fantastic

The Great Falls at old Olmstead Isle

Are simply just bombastic.

At last, the northwest quadrant

Of the place your tax is spent.

We made it, we're really here!

And we're all glad we went.

Nine days and miles numbering

Over three three five.

We rode, got wet, got tired, and yet

We're glad to be alive.

Art Schwabenbauer of Downingtown made this ride in October.