Friday morning we got up early ready to begin the adventure part of our vacation. We had booked a 2-day package with Pocono Whitewater for mountain biking and whitewater rafting and today was the biking day. We ate a quick breakfast at the hotel which consisted of a full buffet with everything you could desire. The price of the buffet was high, especially given we don’t have huge appetites, but it was convenient and we did not have time to go out and find somewhere else.

poconosbusWe drove about 45 minutes to the nearby town of Jim Thorpe to start our biking adventure. The package we booked was for a 25 mile downhill-ish ride in the Delaware River Gap National Park. Basically the company drops you at the top of a mountain and you spend the day biking back to the base camp. So the ride is a slight decline but not downhill per say.

I was very impressed with the organization of the company. We were one of the last parties to arrive and we quickly checked in and filled out all of the waivers, we were then given color coded tickets and ushered to the next door where we traded in one ticket for our bikes, we then brought the bikes to the man who was loading them on the bus and then we were loaded on the bus with the last ticket. There were probably about 50 people in the group and everything was very well organized. The rental bicycles were in great condition and we had no problems with the equipment.

poconos biking mapIt took about an hour to get to the top with our bikes. There were two stops, one for the 10 mile ride and then the second stop was further up the mountain to make a 25 mile ride.

The weather was perfect for riding, warm but not overly hot. The best scenery was definitely at the top of the mountain. We saw lots of little waterfalls along the way as we were following along the Delaware River. Twenty-five miles may have been a bit much especially on the lower half where the scenery was very repetitive and it started to get boring. I am glad we went for the longer route as the shorter route misses most of the good scenery.

While on the ride we decided to stop and have a picnic lunch so we could rest and refuel. In the morning we had picked up some sandwiches and had been carrying them in our bag. While we were enjoying our subs a man who was bicycling by stopped and was saying something to us we couldn’t understand. We just smiled and nodded hoping he would move on and stop being weird. Well then a minute later his wife catches up and says there is a bear on the path ahead! Before I could have another bite of my sandwhich Little Star had all the food packed up and was already on the move. We could see up ahead there was indeed a bear cub on the path. The man we had met earlier was chasing it off the path (I think he was actually trying to take a selfie with it!) while we slowly bicycled nearer with the wife. By the time we got there the bear had run off and we stuck close to the couple for the next few miles. Later on the path we saw signs to beware of bears!

Downtown Jim ThorpeAfter the bear sighting the ride was fairly uneventful. The bottom half of the path was pretty flat and ordinary. Fortunately the path was well labeled and we ended back in the town of Jim Thorpe at the bike shop around 3 in the afternoon.

We were exhausted after our adventure and headed back to the hotel to rest for some time.

By the time dinner rolled around we were not feeling much adventure left in us. We tried to arrange for the hotel shuttle to take us to dinner but the front desk people were not being very friendly or helpful. Then we saw a sign in the lobby for a hibachi/sushi place called Desaki which was nearby and offered their own shuttle, which seemed much easier. The restaurant had a fun atmosphere – pretty much what you would expect from a hibachi place. There were lots of families in the restaurant and that seemed to be the crowd they catered to. We were craving sushi and we ordered some rolls and sake. The food was fairly average but the waitstaff and the shuttle driver were both very friendly and welcoming. After we paid our bill the driver quickly brought us back to our hotel, even though it was a shuttle bus it felt like we had our own private driver.