Return visit to the Laurel Highlands

Recently I spent a long weekend cycling the Laurel Highlands. I travelled with members of my bicycle club to the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP). The GAP is a premier rail trail that links Pittsburgh with Cumberland, Maryland. Last summer, I cycled the length of this trail and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Trail; travelling 325 miles from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C. It was a momentous adventure for me. I wanted to share some of the highlights with my fellow cyclists.

Without a doubt, the biggest change that I have experienced in my life since bariatric surgery in 2008 is the activity level in my life. Bicycling has become my passion and I find myself cycling three or more times a week. I never would have pictured myself cycling, hiking, running, snowshoeing four years ago.

Many people do not understand the transformational nature that weight loss surgery can affect in a person. Uninformed people see it is the easy way out. They imagine pounds just falling off. It is not that simple. Maintaining a healthy weight after surgery takes real work. Surgery can help a person drop those pounds. However, success after weight loss surgery comes from a person transforming oneself.

For me that transformation meant discovering a love for outdoor fitness activities. This new level of fitness changed my health outlook. It changed many of my habits including my diet. I now strive to live a healthy active life and eat well. That is something I could have only dreamed of before bariatric surgery. The surgeon’s scalpel did not make those changes in my life. I had to make them and commit to living with them for the rest of my life.

I am sharing a gallery of some my favorite photos from my recent GAP excursion. The beauty of the Ohiopyle, Confluence and Meyersdale areas is amazing. It is an ideal vacation sport for the active vacationer with abundant opportunities for cycling, hiking, rafting, and kayaking. Those wanting a slower paced vacation can enjoy quiet times along a river in a B&B and casually driving through the mountains. I hope you enjoy the photos.

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