And so it begins …

For the last year I have been thinking about taking this journey … creating this experience.  It is an incredible feeling that my son Sam and I are about to embark on a trip of a life time.  I actually do hope to do this again … but this will be one that I remember for a long time.

Over a year ago I learned about the Great Allegheny Passage while planning our 2011 vacation to Pennsylvania.  I was looking for where we could rent some bicycles, and found this trail.  I was amazing that an impressive trail like this existed … through some beautiful country near where I grew up.  The GAP Trail starts with a few different rails-to-trails rides in the Pittsburgh area, which combine near McKeesport, PA to then follow a series of rivers, pass over the Eastern Continental Divide, and drop down into Cumberland, MD.  The entire journey continues on from there along an old canal to Washington, D.C.

At the end of 2011 I was committed to do this ride – or a part of it – in 2012.  And so I began the process of planning the trip.  At first, Sam was not very interested in the ride, but as I shared my plans with him apparently grew interested.  One day while driving in the car he said “Ok … I’ll go!“.  Uh … go where?  “I’ll go on the bike ride with you!“  And so things kicked into high gear.

I immediately picked the time frame, bought the plane tickets, and began the planning.  I found the bike rental company through the GAP website, and also the places to stay along the way.  I also began to plan for this … the website.

I had already created a site called, to create embeddable maps of SPOT Satellite GPS units, and so I revived the site and am using this as the first real test.  I’m also taking another GPS to record the full resolution track of GPS data.

I’m also taking my JVC Everio HD video camera, and plan to record the entire trip … in full resolution.  If all goes well, I’ll be posting the videos – fully integrated with the maps – to allow you to see any part of the trip by clicking the various waypoints on the maps.

So … we’re packing … and double checking … and getting things together …

… and so The GAP Experience begins!

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