Archive | Outdoors

Looking Down

I had hoped to return to the dirt roads for some miles on Tuesday morning, but heavy thunderstorms overnight and morning rain had me thinking otherwise. The idea of the fresh dirt put down by the county combined with heavy rain was not something I felt like putting myself—or my drivetrain—through. So, I headed into the wet woods to stomp out a couple of miles with my camera before getting home to do what I do. Which is hard to put into words, so I won’t.

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Frogs & Yoga Pants

My morning ride time lurched towards me like a salt covered slug and I was thinking of a reason—any reason—not to ride other than “I just want to drink coffee and watch our Nation continue to burn down around me on the inter-web-o-sphere and then go hide under the covers and wish it all away.” Well, it turns out that some oncoming thunderstorms would have a say in my decision.

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So it Begins

2018 has arrived. Great.

I like to believe that a new year is a catalyst for change, but I am a realist (that’s code for pessimist) and greet the new year with as much enthusiasm as getting French kissed by your great aunt (the one with the perfume that smells like Febreze, sagging bosoms, and a beard).

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Advantage Taken

Oh, the holidays. Not a fan. I struggle on so many levels to actually enjoy them that it’s not worth getting in to. The key for me is to find enjoyment where I can and to make the best of those situations.

My original Black Friday plan was to meet up with a friend of mine for lunch but that plan was nixed before it happened when he was forced to cancel. So, I went with Plan B: a Black Friday hike on the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail.

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Solstice Stomp

Wednesday I celebrated the Winter Solstice with a snowshoe stomp around in the woods on Sally’s Trail. A fat bike ride on the same trail would have been possible, but with winds gusting up to 40 miles per hour the day before, I was hesitant to believe L.C.’s tales of the trail being in good enough shape for a proper ride. So I slapped the Tubbs on my tubbiness and headed our for a 3.5+ mile loop to blow the stink off me and give cafeteria Pagan thanks to the sun which will be inching itself back into our lives in the weeks to come.

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You Can Go Back Home Again


Wednesday morning the Unit and I took off to the Fatherland (western Pennsylvania) for the Thanksgiving holiday. Most of the next four days would be filled with visiting family, eating, driving, eating, visiting family, arguing, driving, eating, and driving. My hope for Black Friday was to get up at the ass crack of dawn and head out to Walmart to get my hands on one of two 90″ Sonie™ flat screen TVs for $19.99. I’m joking of course, my goal was to sleep off my turkey coma, continue our family visiting, and if I was lucky get a window of opportunity to drive up to the mountains for a hike. Goal accomplished.

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What Happened?


This week has been a blur of riding, hiking, drinking, self-pity, anger, and resentment. I know I rode my bike once (Monday?). I also know that Tuesday was spent at the bike shop getting a crap ton of stuff done to the Boone, and that Wednesday I rolled down the driveway, into the cul-de-sac, said “fuck it,” rolled right back up the driveway into the garage, changed out of my kit and went to find peace and solitude with a walk in the woods.

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A Lumber in The Woods


lum·ber \ˈləm-bər\
1: to move ponderously [Ponderously, what the hell does that mean?]

pon·der·ous \ˈpän-d(ə-)rəs\
1: of very great weight [Seems about right]
2: unwieldy or clumsy because of weight and size [Yep, still seems right]
3: oppressively or unpleasantly dull [OK, that seems a bit much, but two out of three wins]

Wednesday night I had one of the best night’s sleep all week. Meaning that I didn’t spend the whole night mouth breathing and dealing with flu-like aches and pains for eight hours. Given that I haven’t done any physical activity since Saturday I knew I needed to do something–anything–outside. I was feeling better, but I also knew that a ride was probably not the best choice just yet, so I found my heavy (but water proof) crap hiking boots, and headed to one of our nearby county parks to lumber around the wet woods for four miles and take some photos.

I didn’t exactly burn four days’ worth of comfort foods and pity alcohol off my Merriam-Webster defined clumsy, oppressive, unpleasantly dull body of great weight and size, but I did get outside, took some photos, and enjoyed the first day of the week that I didn’t just want to sit in a vat of scalding hot chicken soup and pray for the end of days tethered to this planet.

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