Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Back in the USA

I left Canada on Friday and was back at work by Sunday night.  Much was crammed in between.
First on the agenda:  trail run with Cole in New York.  I'd chosen Chenango Forks State Park in Southern NY. 
5 miler along a historic canal and through the woods.

The sun even made an appearance-- what a novelty!
Next up was a run in the state of New Jersey.  The traffic, especially construction traffic during this trip gobbled up at least 5 hours of my time-- and daylight.
I pulled into Stokes State Park at dusk.  Half of the run was done in the dark, by head lantern.
We did only 4 miles or so.  I stopped my Garmin to talk to a park ranger and forgot to turn it back on when I'd resumed the run.  The ranger didn't like us running around in the dark, seems it's not safe or something, whatever dude.  I promised to head back to the car, but then I passed it and kept on going...
We're pros at getting in trouble!
And staying in trouble.
The result of raccoon versus Hyundai.  Both lost.  I'll be able to Jerry-rig some wires and carefully hidden bolts to reattach the trim piece and the rest of the bumper that snapped on one side.  My car may get 43 MPG, but it's not even a tin can,it's as sturdy as a pop bottle.
 The next day, we woke up in Pennsylvania.  Handy...the last state on my list.  On this trip, we added four more states to our tally.  Only five in the Northwest and five in the Northeast to go and we'll have trail runs in all contiguous states.  
Cole reading the signs before takeoff at Cowans Gap State Park.
"We're going up there, kiddo."  "Why? It's nice and flat down here."
Ahhh, the path less traveled.  The mountain trails were more like deer trails than hiking trails.
Or bear trails.  I had my hunter orange on, but bells for bears now appeared to be more relevant!  
"Ma, why you so slow?"  Because it's rocky and slippery and I burned my running shoes over a campfire, shrinking the toe box and my big toe nail is black, that's why.
High speed game of hopscotch most of the way.
My Garmin's battery died during the run, pity as it was a good one, 700 feet of straight climbing up the mountain.  Technology and I, not a symbiotic relationship.  Even my cell phone that I use to take all my pictures had rebelled against me in Canada.  I thought I had figured out how to send all my pictures to my email account using free wifi.  Wrong.  Verizon, wisely, shut down most of my phone's capabilities after I'd crested over $300 of data and roaming charges.  So much for keeping this trip under $1000. Live and learn.
The entire PA run was done in a shroud of mist and rain.  Eerie and ethereal.
Back on the road, I had some shunpiking to do.
If I could do all my traveling on secondary roads, I would.
You don't see sights like this on the freeways.
Nor do you get the chance to paint a pony.  I had happened upon a small fair.
Amish families were serving up free breakfast.  I devoured the pancake, Cole inhaled the sausage.  
Farm country in Southern Pennsylvania is spectacular. 
I'm barn crazy anyway, but these had me on Cloud 9.

And these are only of one style of architecture. 
I overnighted at my client's mountain home in North Carolina, my favorite home away from home.  I hesitated to leave the next morning because of all the storms. Mistake.  I hit traffic from 50 miles outside of Atlanta all the way through to the Southern side.
Sunday afternoon.  Why would anyone choose to live here??? This is insanity.
Getting home to happy faces made it all OK.
My Morel.
I walked into a nice clean house and promptly destroyed it.
Hours of cleaning, washing, drying all my gear.  Even my binocular case had to be washed, everything smelled bad from being wet for day after day.

It was all worth it. What a grand trip this was.  My family stocked me up on The God's Elixir (maple syrup).
Over a dozen cans...that ought to last me a while.
That will go well with the pecans that have begun falling.  Oh, happy days.
On this trip, I also learned that my idea of setting up a camera on Cole's harness is one I should relinquish, unless I want to keep buying new cameras every time he bashes one into a tree.

We'll be back up to Canada again soon.  I miss it already.

I'll be back.