Celebrate the Summer Solstice Spend a Night in a Fire Tower

 

fire tower

 

I am celebrating Summer 2017 by spending the night in a fire tower.

Why? Because it’s there. It sounds cool. A cool adventure indeed.

This fire tower is located at Seneca State Forest in West Virginia. It is patterned after a western style fire tower. It was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1935 to provide better coverage of the Greenbrier River Valley. It stands at 53 feet with 69 steps to get to the 14′ X 14′ living quarters.  This is at 3445 feet above sea level, one of the highest standing towers in West Virginia.

There is no bathroom or electricity on the tower. There is a toilet and fire ring at the bottom of the tower, on the ground. I guess I will make sure I will have taken care of *everything* when I climb up for the night!

Stay tuned for the night in the clouds report!

 

American Eagle Day

Today is American Eagle Day!

American Eagle Day

National Bird

June 20 marks the anniversary of the bald eagle being selected as the USA national emblem on June 20, 1782 by the Second Continental Congress. (Didn’t they have anything better to do than decide on a national emblem?)

The Bald Eagle is both the national bird and the national animal of the United States of America and appears on its Seal.

Eagle

Endangered No More

July 12, 1995, the species was removed from the U.S. Federal Government’s List of Endangered Species and transferred to the List of Threatened Species. In June 2007, it was withdrawn from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife in the Lower 48 States.

They’ve made an amazing comeback from an estimated 417 nesting pairs in the early 60s to over 15,000 pairs today!

Eagle

I am fortunate to have a bald eagle nest just about five miles from my house. It has been cool to stop by there every week or so to check on the nest and the baby eaglet.Close up of Eagle in Nest

Celebrate our national bird! If you don’t have an eagle nest to peer into, check out the live eagle cams on the American Eagle Foundation page.

CO GAP 2017 Recon on the GAP

I was in the Laurel Highlands, working the first Aid Station for the Laurel Highlands Race at Maple Summit Road.

Workng the first aid station means you are done by noon and have a lovely amount of time to spend in the Laurel Highlands.

I decided to bike from Ohiopyle to Connelsville. Ohiopyle to Connellsville is 17 miles. I was all game for that before I started. After? Not so much.

I much prefer OP in the off season.

I have spent lovely amounts of time in Ohiopyle. But it’s usually out of the town, on the running/hiking trails.

Tourists Everywhere

Tourists are everywhere  People walk-and ride-all over the place, unpredictably. I unclipped and spun in my lowest gear to keep my eye on people.

After two-three miles out of town, there was nobody.

Great Allegheny Passage

It was lovely through here, dappled sunlight reflecting in the greenery. The Yough River is on your right, you can hear the screams of the white water rafters having fun.

Yough River

Speed Up! The Second Fall/Fail

I decided ten miles one way was enough. As I was carefully turning on the trail, I was WHAM! Down again! A too slow turn means no momentum and down you go! This time, I landed on my knee and no handlebar in sternum.

seondfall

The Incline

I took a little break after my fall, eating my sandwich and drinking some water. Falls do knock the stuffing out of you a bit. I felt kind of sluggish on the path.

Really? I couldn’t get up to the same gearage as I had started out in. Then I remembered the trail CLIMBS from west to east.  Ugh!

It’s gradual. It’s not bad. But I guess since I was tired, dehydrated, I wasn’t really loving the incline. I’m glad I found this out now.

On my ride I will be going East to West. Yes, my elevation is much bigger, but at a shorter distance, about 25 miles of more steep uphill, versus about 125 miles of a steady incline.

Daily Miles

Change of Plans: Going with Plan H

Mile 77 GAP

My husband has decided to join me on my CO GAP Adventure. Which means, he will be driving the vehicle on the journey, and I will be biking. I will meet him at the end of the day in a hotel room.  Which means A) less gear for me to carry B) baths and air conditioning daily C) change of clothing too!

Revised Daily Mileage

We have friends to stay with in DC, so we will drive to DC after my work on Sunday. Then, the schedule will be:

Monday-Mile 60 Harpers Ferry-gulp! Big miles, but that’s the idea!

Tuesday Mile 99 Williamsport

Wednesday Mile 156 Paw Paw West Virginia

Thursday Mile 184 Cumberland Maryland-end of the C&O Towpath

Friday Mile 44 (now on the Great Allegheny Passage) Rockwood-hotel room in Somerset, PA

Saturday Mile 88 Connelsville PA

Sunday Mile 150 Pittsburgh PA Finish

Onto getting more time in the saddle!

CO GAP 2017 Planning Daily Miles

Planning Daily Miles

Planning my CO GAP Daily Miles

 

Daily Miles

Days Available

I have Monday through Sunday available in August. I will leave Pittsburgh on Amtrak to travel to DC. I will then start my journey on Monday after arrival in DC.

Camping or Beds?

This is the big queston! See how many miles can I pedal?  Camping gives me more options. But I am travelling solo. Which only bugs me..a bit. If I camp, I have to bring camping gear. More weight. If I choose to stay inside, I have to make the mileage every day, to get to my reserved indoor space.

Tentative Plan

The plan:

Amtrak to DC Monday

C&O Towpath:

Bike to Miles 48-55 Point of Rocks, Brunswick, Maryland-camp

Bike to Mile 99  Williamsport, Maryland Hotel Room.

Bike to Mile 141 Little Orleans, Maryland, Camp.

Bile to Cumberland, Maryland Mile 184-hotel room

Great Allegheny Passage

Bike to Rockwood Pennsylvania Mile 44-camp

Bike to Connelsville, Pennsylvania Mile 88-hotel room

Bike to Pittsburgh, mile 135.

The basic plan is camp-room-camp-room-camp-room. If I don’t get clean on my camping days, I will at least shower every two days.

Plan H-The Husband Plan

The husband has made a gesture that he wants to join me. And by joining me, he means being my sag wagon and driving a vehicle, joining me at my hotel rooms in the evening.  If Plan H occurs, then I shall have a room at either a B&B on my camp days-like Leesburg, Paw Paw, Rockwood.  The H Plan makes it very easy for me, as I wouldn’t have to carry camp gear, or extra clothes.

I am training with the intention of going solo. The husband will have to make up his mind sooner than later, so I can reserve hotel rooms for the camping days. Stay tuned to see what plan is finally chosen!

Save

Save

Save

Save

May Movement Challenge

I made a challenge to myself to do some physical activity every day for the month of May. And track it.How did I do?

May Movement

May Movement

Since I have not been running, I have been struggling to remember my workouts that I have done. In May, I pledged to move every day, some sort of movement. I have five zero days of no physical activity-three of those days were really long work days (10 or 11 hour shifts) and the other two? I just didn’t feel like it. Call those rest days.

MayMovement

The rest of the month, I hiked, walked, biked, did trail maintenance, gardened, ran a brush hog mower.  I meant to do more core and upper body exercises, but after I stabbed myself in the chest with a handlebar, I was not up to doing push ups or sit ups for the month!

Do you track your movements? What’s your goal for the sunny month of June?

Celebrate National Trails Day

Celebrate National Trails Day

National Trails Day

What is National Trails Day?

Held on the first Saturday of June, National Trails Day is a nationwide coordinated event promoted by the American Hiking Society and the trails community to connect more people to trails.  All trails hold adventure and it is up to YOU to unlock the magic that can be found on a trail.

National Trails Day
Find a New Trail

I’ve said it before, two of my favorite words are “New Trail”. This is a good day to explore a new trail. Drive to that trail head you’ve passed a million times and discover what’s beyond that little green tunnel.

Take a New Trail Partner With You

By concentrating on a single National Trails Day, it is hoped to attract new trail users. Do you have a friend who might want to go for a hike?  Call them up and take them with you. It doesn’t have to be an epic climb to Machu  Picchu!  Machu Picchu National Trails DayGo for a little walk around the local metropark!

National Trails Day

Get Outside!

 

Save

Save

Summer Bucket List

It’s coming, it’s coming! Summer is coming soon, are you ready?

Summer Bucket list

 

How will  you celebrate summer this year? What is going to make your head snap up in late August and you realize you did not get around to do?

Why not make a list and check things off?  Print your list off, post it on the frig or bulletin board, and see how many activities you can incorporate into  your summer living. Why not try something new, outside your comfort zone?

My Summer Bucket List

go swimming

Stand up paddle board (you can rent these at many state park locations for an hour or two)

eat an ice cream sundae

Go fishing

Slack line

Set up  a hammock

Hike

visit a farmer market

visit a local garden

Plant a few tomatoes even in a pot for summer flavor

Eat some sweet corn

Hang your clothes on a clothes line

Watch a baseball game live. It doesn’t have to be Major League. Watch T-ball or watch senior citizens play ball, it’s really worth it!

Play frisbee

Make a fire and have some s’mores

Fly a kite-get one at the Dollar Store!

Get out and watch fireworks around the 4th of July. This year, I’m going to make the effort to go “to town” to watch

Observe the total sun eclipse August 21 2017

Ride your Bike somewhere

Go to the county fair or other local state celebration

What are you going to do this glorious summer?