The Yellow House Hotel at dawn.
I arose early thanks to being early to bed. I worked on my journal for a bit, then wandered down the street to a gas station/store for coffee and a large cinnamon roll. Sitting on the front porch of the hotel while having my breakfast, I watched the sun rise on a gorgeous day.
By 8 AM, I was on the road headed south toward Birdsboro. When I got to PA 442, I saw a detour sign for PA Bicycle Route L. I wondered what that was about, so I quickly Googled "PA Bicycle L detour" on my iPhone. (Having a smartphone on tour is so.... smart!) The returned results included a discussion from a bicycle discussion group where a poster said the detour was due to bridgework and should be finished by the end of August. I thought perhaps the work was done but they hadn't gotten around to removing the detour signs, so I went straight on instead of taking the detour. After about a quarter mile, I spied a couple of men power-washing a Bobcat. I stopped to ask if they knew if the bridge was still out. They did and it was. So, I turned around, went back and followed the detour.
The detour took me through downtown Birdsboro, where I stopped at a convenience store for a cold fruit punch. At the far end of the town, I rejoined route L south. But as I did so, the road I was to follow had a sign about another bridge being out 8 miles on. Still, assuming that the powers that be (PennDOT) wouldn't have routed me that way without a way through, I followed on route L with reasonable confidence.
An Amish farm. (There were Amish buggies in the barn.).
Meyer Homestead graveyard
The route entered French Creek State Park, and riding through the forest was wonderful. Knowing about the bridge outage, I was on the lookout for another detour sign, and sure enough, there was one. Bicycle route L detoured through the main part of the park, past the campground and day-use areas before rejoining the original route south of the bridge that was out.
Route L intersected the east-west Bicycle Route S at PA Route 23, and I turned west to start the bottom section of my loop tour. I stopped in the small town of Elverson for lunch (an "American hoagie") at a deli. Eventually, the bicycle route left PA 23 and cut through Amish farm country along various back roads. Although there were a few short, steep hills to negotiate, I found this fascinating. Although I grew up near Amish farm country, I had never really seen it from this perspective.
Finally, I came to Lancaster. I rode through the city to the western edge, where I found a motel. After getting cleaned up, I walked a couple of blocks (on a road not at all friendly to pedestrians) to Carlos and Charlies, a smalll restaurant where I enshrined myself in the bar. After treating my dehydration with a Yuengling's, I ordered a couple of beef burritos with black beans and a Corona. That hit the spot. Satisfied, I went back to the motel for the night.