23.Sep.2012

Sep 23, 2012

Distance today = 53.33 km; Total distance = 12,073.07 km; Location = Indiana – 40 35.272′ N, 79 09.629′ W; Start time = 0810, Finish time = 1622

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/226220548

Last night was truly worthy of a Saturday. We were in the town of Ligonier, and visited the Ligonier Tavern for dinner. They had an acoustic duo, Tim and Sam, entertaining the crowd with rock classics. Carmel mentioned to them that I used to play, and the guys invited me up to do a few songs during their break. It was a great change to my standard night on the road.

Today was much cooler – the coolest since at least May. I started on very quiet roads through serene forest. Unknowlingly, I decided on a route that took me over a small mountain. The 20% gradient made for very slow going as I crested the climb of more than 1,000 feet. Have a look at the profile on the Garmin link above. The descent was even longer, and my thighs felt like jelly when I reached the bottom.

The rest of the day was reasonably flat. I had 20 km to go after the town of Blairsville, and it was on a divided concrete highway with cars zooming by. These concrete highways have small corrugations for rain run-off, and the corrugations make the cars three times as noisy as normal. It doesn’t make for good running.

However, I stumbled upon a parallel cycle path, the Hoodlebug Trail, which used to be a railway line. It was such a pleasant improvement, and made the rest of the day a relative joy.

I must have seen at least a hundred chipmunks today as I ran through the forests. These creatures are so cute – even more so than their cartoon versions would imply. If they could be tamed, they’d make the best pets.