Northwest River Trail
I can see the lives of our bikes greatly improving! They will get to fulfill their purpose and be used to do what they were built to do - rolling down the road enjoying the scenery along the way. Until this week, I believe it had been about a year since we had been on them. On our way to the campground, we had passed lots of signs for the Northwest River Trail. We checked it out online and found a parking lot for the trail in Bainbridge, PA. We hopped on our bikes and headed toward Marietta. It was a lovely paved trail that was about 50% shaded. It was the perfect combination of flat & straight mixed with hills & curves. Running so close to the river, we were a little bummed that we didn’t have more river views. We rode past a few historical markers and soon came across an old limestone factory/mine. They had a place to park your bike and we were able to climb to the top of the mound for a great view of the Susquehanna. After soaking in the scenery, we continued down the trail and after a slight ben in the path, we came across a super cool old Railroad Bridge that crossed the river. It was way overhead so it provided some lovely shade while we watched the water ripple over the rocks in the river. We find the way water moves around obstacles in the water very mesmerizing. From the bridge, we headed up a slight incline still heading toward Marietta. We continued until we arrived at Riverfront Park, where there was a large pavilion and public boat ramp right along the Susquehanna. We turned around and headed back to our starting point. Today’s ride was about 8 miles. Russ & I were glad we found such a nice trail so close to we were are staying in Elizabethtown!
When we returned to the car, we strapped the bikes onto the bike rack and started heading out of the park. That is when our lovely start to the day took a turn for the worse. We heard a noise like we had ran over something and then quickly Russ mentioned that he had lost power steering. Some lights lit up on the dash and we were able to pull into a parking spot. We looked at each other for a minute with a deer in the headlights look before we did anything. Seriously? Russ popped the hood and immediately noticed the serpentine belt that had been replaced less than 2 weeks ago had slipped off. Yikes!
Good Sam Roadside Assistance to the rescue! (Thanks Mom & Dad for the Christmas gift! This is the only Christmas gift we hope to never actually use!) The park we were at did not have an actual address, so it took quite a bit of time to explain to the representative where we were located. After hanging up, I received a text with the tow truck driver’s contact information. After the go around, they still did not get my location correct. A quick call to the tow truck company, Shenberger's Towing, to make the correction and about 15 minutes later, we were watching our Honda Pilot getting loaded on to a flat bed.
Good Sam wanted to know where we wanted to be towed which seems like a simple question. Being unfamiliar with the area, we really had no idea how to answer. Strangely on our trip to the trail today, we were going through the quaint little town of Maytown. For some reason I noticed an old auto garage building and actual said the name of the business out loud. Apparently it stuck out to me, because that would be were we would be ended our day – Arnold’s Garage!
When we arrived, we were greeted by the super friendly and helpful mechanic/owner, Keith Arnold. After popping the hood and a little looking around it became obvious that the belt wasn’t the only issue. The bolt had broke off that was holding the tensioner – also brand new a few weeks prior! He said it would take at least a day to fix. We didn’t have a way to get back to the campground, making for the perfect time to take our 1st Uber ride. Thank goodness there was one driver available in the Maytown area. Thanks Irena!
While today didn’t go nearly as planned, we still had a lovely day of biking & getting creative and using our resources to make it over a little speed bump in the day. So many people to thank today….
Now we just hope it can be fixed somewhat quickly because we are without any vehicles. The Big Tow’er is at the shop getting a drom (storage) box installed, the Honda Pilot is at the garage, and even are bikes had to be left at the mechanic.
UPDATE: Arnold's was able to fix the car in just about 24 hours! They were able to back out the sheared off bolt in the tensioner from the engine block. Thank goodness! Keith said if his mechanic wasn't able to get the bolt out, he wasn't sure what the next step would be. Arnold's checked with both Honda & Napa Auto Parts and they weren't able to get the necessary bolt until early next week. However, the hardware store in Mount Joy had them in stock! Keith's dad lives in Mount Joy and comes to the garage everyday. He saved the day and delivered the precious bolt that was needed to fix our car! Just another reason I love small town businesses! Russ and I hope that we can find a mechanic/garage like this in every town we need one in. Thanks Arnold's Garage for coming to the rescue!
We were thrilled to hear that our car was ready for pickup, but unsure how we were going to get back to Maytown to pick it up. Time to get resourceful again.... Uber? Of course all day there was no Uber drivers available. After all, we were kind of in the middle of nowhere. Russ walked up to the campground office in hopes they might have some suggestions. We lucked out when one of the KOA Clean Team Members overheard and offered to take us there since her shift was ending. Thanks Jeannie - we enjoyed your conversation and hospitality on the trip to Arnold's Garage. You were a lifesaver!