Linda McKenna Boxx, president of the Allegheny Trail Alliance, was instrumental, along with the organization's project manager, Jack Paulik, in the completion of the last 15 miles of the 150-mile trail connection from Pittsburgh to the 184-mile C&O Canal Towpath in Cumberland, Md., to create a 334-mile connection between Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C.
The Great Allegheny Passage took 35 years and $80 million to complete, with the last 15 miles taking six years. On June 8, she and other trail enthusiasts left Washington, D.C., and biked the C&O Canal and then along the now-completed link to Pittsburgh. Ms. Boxx and her fellow cyclists celebrated Saturday with a ribbon cutting at Sandcastle Waterpark in West Homestead before pedaling 6.5 miles to Point State Park for a dedication of the Western Terminus Marker of the trail.
We asked Ms. Boxx, who lives in Latrobe, to tell us a little more about herself:
Most mornings I get up at ... 5 a.m. and wake up my brain with a Sudoku puzzle and coffee.
My perfect weekend ... heading up to Somerset County.
I'm surprisingly good at ... graffiti removal.
My emergency dinner consists of ... white clam sauce with onions and garlic over linguini, ingredients I always have on hand.
On my last vacation ... I biked the Carriage Roads in Acadia National Park, Maine.
Pet peeve about Pittsburgh ... not bicycle-friendly enough (but getting there!).
Favorite spot in the 'Burgh ... Market Square. I remember my mother buying fresh fish at a market in the 1950s-'60s when we would come into the big city. And it's such a great spot today.
My biggest surprise about Pittsburgh was ... finding out that family business McKenna Brothers Brass stood 100 years ago where the PNC's Firstside Park is now.
Can't live without ... my three sisters.
The best gift I've ever been given was ... hmm. First son's name is Nathan, which means gift. But no disrespect to second son!
When I'm not at work, I can often be found ... at home, working.
Someday I'd like to ... spend a year traveling around Europe.
The accomplishment I'm most proud of is ... working on the Great Allegheny Passage!
The best advice I've ever gotten ... From my father: "Good, Better, Best. Never let it rest, till the Good is Better and the Better is Best."