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Just after waking up, C came into the room and told me that we needed to pack. I looked at her in confusion and pointed out that we didn’t because I had arranged for us to stay with Chris for 2 nights. Apparently I was mistaken. Chris had mentioned the night before that he was leaving for a trip to Cape Cod when we left, but I had assumed he hadn’t meant today. We had told Mike that we would see him after he got back from work and now we weren’t going to be able to. Blah.

By the time I came downstairs, Chris was busy on the phone trying to come up with alternate arrangements for us. He had come up with a list of ideas ranging from a bike shop in town that would probably be able to help us to a friend of his that lived one town over. That seemed the best idea to me and although it’d mean we didn’t have a proper rest day, it would split the next days ride in to two short rides.

With alternate arrangements organised Chris took us to Wellsboro Diner which dated back to 1939. Apparently people came from all over the state to eat there. It still had it’s original layout which was fun and made it feel like a step back in time, but the food was pretty mediocre.

After the diner, Chris gave us a tour round town. Since he, his parents and grandparents had all grown up there, he knew all there was to know. He pointed out random things such as a house which had received it’s front door from Abraham Lincoln, the windows he had helped restore and the part of town his grandparents had owned. He also took us in to the hotel which was filled with old pictures and explained the history of Wellsboro through them.

Our last stop was an estate agents where Brenda, his friend that had agreed to host us, worked. We got introduced to her to prove we weren’t crazy and then waited while he caught up with her. She said she would be home around 6 and so we headed back with Chris to pack and head out.

We had been told about the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon and we were eager to visit it. The best viewpoint was at the top of a 3-4 mile climb and when Chris offered to drive us up to it we accepted. Some cycle tourists think it’s wrong and that you have to ride everywhere, but as our previous acceptance of help has showed, we aren’t purists. It was lovely being driven up the hill and there was a spectacular view of the Pine Creek Gorge aka Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania.

We took our bikes out, threw bags on and then rode down. It felt a little wrong enjoying a downhill without the climb, but we took it. The roads were quite narrow and curvy with a speed limit of 25mph so we couldn’t bomb down anyway.

At the bottom we stopped to eat our typical crackers and tuna lunch. Breakfast at the diner had filled neither of us up so we wolfed it down. A cyclist called David came up to us and spent the next 20 minutes speaking with us. He had been out on a ride with his group to enjoy the solstice, which I had completely forgotten about, before bonking and needing to stop. He had done a previous coast-to-coast ride and is now in training for the epic Great Divide route.

After saying goodbye we finished the short ride to Galeton, a small town surrounding a lake, where we met Brenda and her two delightful children Joshua and Gretchen. Joshua had been out on his dirt bike and had some great stories of life in the rural area that is Galeton. After a spectacular yet incredibly simple dinner we started up a campfire and C got to try S’mores. A deliciously moreish incredibly sugar filled snack to finish a day.

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