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A Birthday to Remember
To celebrate her 81st birthday, my amaz-
ing mother-in-law, Margaret Mathis,
wanted to take a bike ride with her fam-
ily along the Great Allegheny Passage.
On the second night we made a gourmet
dinner of salmon, pasta and the morel
mushrooms we had picked along the
trail that day.
Early the next day we packed our
leftovers and headed out, planning to
picnic after passing through the Big
Savage Tunnel, south of Meyersdale.
But on the other side we were met with
a downpour of rain, and so retreated
back into the tunnel for shelter.
With nothing left to do but eat we
unpacked our gourmet picnic. One by
one, other bikers stopped in the tunnel
and we shared our lunch with a growing
group of very appreciative riders! We
explained Margaret’s birthday wish as we
shared our delicacies. Suddenly a sponta-
neous chorus of “Happy Birthday” burst
out, and the sound and joy was magni-
fied many times over inside the tunnel.
MT. LEBANON, PA.
Old Home Week
The Winter 2013 issue was like “old
home week,” mentioning five trails that
we have traveled in the past.
The first one was the Illinois Prairie
Path, near the place I worked for many
years. I also rode on the Chicago, Aurora,
and Elgin Railroad from my hometown
to Elgin when I was in high school.
The Katy Trail was a pleasant ride
for us along the Missouri River. We also
rode the Great River Trail in Illinois, but
more often in Wisconsin, from Onalaska
to Trempealeau where there is a great
luncheon to be had in a hotel overlook-
ing the Mississippi River.
The Root River Trail in Minnesota
is a great 30-mile ride, mostly downhill.
We once rode the William Munger Trail
from Hinckley to Duluth. In the 32 years
since the Great Western Trail opened
near our home in Illinois, we have ridden
many trails, from Anchorage, Alaska, to
Fred and Jo Mills
Having ridden just about every trail on
the island of Honolulu, the idea struck
me recently to do a 50-kilometer ride in
each of the other 49 states. Over the past
months I have spent 88 days on the
mainland and achieved my goal. I called
the adventure “Biker Buck’s 50-50.”
In 19 of the states I rode rail-trails.
My three favorite experiences would have
to be the Sauk Rail Trail in Iowa, the
Tammany Trace in Louisiana, and the
Banks-Vernonia State Trail in Oregon.
These three were special because of their
focus on the communities they connect
to, and the outstanding physical condi-
tions and points of interest on the trail.
You can see my photos and stories
from Biker Buck’s 50-50 at bikerbuck.
Just wanted to tell you how much I
enjoyed three trail rides I did while on a
trip to the East Coast recently. I have a
Brompton folding bike, and have taken
it on two separate trips this year. In
early October I did a short ride on the
Washington & Old Dominion Trail in
Then I rode the Valley Forge to
Philadelphia Art Museum section of the
Schuylkill River Trail. Because of a big
rain storm, I had to ride the bus back to
Valley Forge. I was able to just fold my
bike and take it inside the bus for the
return trip. I later rode the Baltimore
and Annapolis Trail in Maryland, from
Annapolis to Glen Burnie and back,
before flying home to Seattle.
I found all the information I needed
for these trip on your website. Thank you
for helping me enjoy these great rides.
Pass It On
All Rails-to-Trail Conservancy members
can have a real impact on building more
trails. How? Recycle your copy of
magazine by leaving it in the
waiting room of your local doctor or
dentist, where other people can read it.
This will help others learn about
rail-trails, and is a fun way to increase
support for your favorite hobby.
Back From Minneapolis
Having just returned to my home in
Florida from Minneapolis, I loved your
article on the Midtown Greenway.
Minneapolis has so much to offer in
terms of bike trails. The Midtown
Greenway ends at the Mississippi River,
where another trail (Grand Rounds
Scenic Byway System) takes you along
the river and then around three lakes.
There are so many other trails in this city,
including connections to the downtown