Do You Mind if You Have to Share a Room?
Biking the GAP trail in Pennsylvania
We saw the windmills spinning in the breeze on the ridge of the Laurel Mountains and we knew what was ahead. It was getting late and we had put in almost 50 miles for the day and needed to find dinner and a room for the night. The GAP or Great Allegheny Passage trail, entered a long, high bridge, suspended over the interstate and railroad tracks. Meyersdale, a small railroad town, was only a short ride away where we hoped we would find accommodations. We cycled by the small community cemetery perched on a mountain top that holds the graves of many local families before reaching the restored train station and some park benches.
Kiosks in front of the small museum advertised a couple of places with rooms. The trail was high above the town and as you looked out you could see town down a steep road. We road to the furthest place first. It was an old motel and looked more like the rooms were rented by the hour. We road back to the town center where we found the other establishment in Meyersdale’s historic old commercial district. There was a sign on the side of the building next to a large door for vehicles, but no way to summon anyone inside. The front of the building housed a very nice restaurant where we inquired about a room in the building which had once been the R. Reich Furniture and Mortuary.
Someone took us upstairs to show us the rooms, all of which were pleasant. The man walking us through the rooms paused at one. “This is our best room,” he said, “though it’s haunted”. He said that several guests had reported seeing a woman, a non-paying guest, in the room. We could stay there if we liked. Sue and I looked at each other. Sure, why not. We were tired and the restaurant food looked good. The proprietor opened the large door of the garage and we stored our bikes securely for the night.
We had a very nice dinner and went up to our room. It was dark when we decided to see if we could find a snack downstairs. The restaurant was closed and dark and the doors to the outside locked. We were alone inside, trapped in a haunted building.
We went back to our room and eventually fell asleep. We heard the creaks and moans of an old building all night, but never saw a spirit. In the morning, awakened by the rattle of dishes, meal preparation and sweet smell of fresh coffee, we got dressed and went down where we found our bicycles at the garage door ready to be packed for the day’s ride. Our breakfast was ready, and the building was once again open for business. The woman in our room, if she had been there, had left for the day. Maybe she visited the next guests, but we were more than happy to not share the old building that night.