Sunday, October 11, 2015

Bike Riding in JIm Thorpe

Ken and I woke to the 7:00 alarm and got ready to go to Jim Thorpe - a road trip!  By 8:30 the 4 of us were loaded in our CRV along with our bikes for the 1 1/2 hour drive to Jim Thorpe, an area that Ken and I really enjoy and a place that was new for Chuck and Melissa.

It was a scenic drive with our 1st stop being at the memorial and burial grounds of the famous athlete, Jim Thorpe.  Before being known as the town of Jim Thorpe, it was called Mauch Chunk.  The town has been called the "Switzerland of America" by the Swiss Tourist Board due to the picturesque scenery, mountainous location, and architecture, as well as the "Gateway to the Poconos."

Following the 1953 death of renowned athlete and Olympic medal winner Jim Thorpe, Thorpe's widow and third wife, Patricia, was angry when the government of Oklahoma would not erect a memorial to honor him. When she heard that the boroughs of Mauch Chunk and East Mauch Chunk were desperately seeking to attract business, she made a deal with civic officials. According to Jim Thorpe's son, Jack, Patricia was motivated by money in seeking the deal, The boroughs merged, renamed the new municipality in Jim Thorpe's honor, obtained the athlete's remains from his wife and erected a monument to the Oklahoma native, who began his sports career 100 miles  southwest, as a student at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The monument site contains his tomb, two statues of him in athletic poses, and historical markers describing his life story. The grave rests on mounds of soil from Thorpe's native Oklahoma and from the Stockholm Olympic Stadium in which he won his Olympic medals.

Then we parked at the entrance to the Lehigh Gorge State Park and after unloading our bikes, we loaded up our water bottles and some snacks and began our bike hike on the level, wide, and well-maintained Lehigh Valley Gorge Rail Trail.  Ken and I have been here numerous times, but we have never seen the water so high, choppy and swift.  We did watch some folks travel through the rapids on a guided rafting tour, and they were really moving!!!

First thing we saw when we started riding the trail was the
scenic railroad tour.  Just adds to the beauty of the trail!

These rafters had a strong flowing current to paddle with
and some rather large rapids!

It was a perfect day for a long bike ride with the temperature near 50 degrees when we started and then getting to about 65 with lots of sunshine. Unfortunately along the trail we also spent a lot of time in the shade and then it was rather chilly.  The trees along the trail were extremely colorful and with the trail following the Lehigh River and the railroad tracks, it is so pretty.  We rode out 9 miles and then turned around and went back to the car.  We sat on a large rock in the parking lunch and enjoyed our packed lunches in the sunshine. 

Melissa and I started the ride with hats and gloves.  It was only
in the upper 40's, but beautiful.


Love the reflection.

It started to get warmer and we could "shed" the hats, gloves
and heavier coats.  At times it was still cool in the shaded areas!

Just enjoy the beauty of all these pictures!

Then back on our bikes to ride another 2 miles into the town of Jim Thorpe. The first 3 weekends of October they have a fall festival with food vendors, crafters, and live music.  It gets very crowded, so riding bike into town is so much easier than trying to find a place to park and fight all the traffic.  We walked around the center of town festival area, and then along the streets of the downtown 
area, where there are many unique shops and an abundance of old architecture. Then we rode our bikes back to the CRV, loaded them and started the drive back to the CG having ridden 23 1/4 miles today.  

When you start the ride into Jim Thorpe you go over this
railroad bridge!

What a beautiful sight from that bridge!

The downtown Fall Festival was rather crowed..... well as the downtown area.

This really is a "throw back" 5 and 10.  Still has the town's
original name.

This coffee shop is such a "throw back" to our Hippie Days!!!
Ken really enjoys it!

The beautiful old Inn at Jim Thorpe!

This is the historic district above the downtown

Another picture from the railroad bridge from the other side.
This was on our ride back to the car!

The drive back went well and we stopped at Pertrizzo's Italian/American Restaurant where we each ordered a small pizza that was almost 18" and delicious.  They make their own sauce and crust.  Had we known that a small pizza was that big, we would have shared.  Definitely a place to go to if you are in the area!  That pizza with onions and green peppers was only $13.25!

We were back to the CG by 7, unloaded the car and put things in their proper place.  Chuck and Melissa were here from 7:30 to 10:00 and we played Skip-Bo (W), Pinochle (M), and Sequence Dice (W).  A great day and a fun evening.

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