Sep 24, 2012
Distance today = 48.21 km; Total distance = 12,121.28 km; Location = Punxsutawney – 40 55.683′ N, 78 59.056′ W; Start time = 0809, Finish time = 1535
Today was even cooler than yesterday. I ran in a T-shirt, but could quite as easily have worn a jacket. I’m definitely not complaining – too cool is much better than too hot.
Again, the run consisted of some quiet back roads with lots of forest. However, this is starting to give way to farming land. The soy bean crops are just about ready for harvesting now. I even picked a pod today, opened it, and ate the beans raw. Not recommended, but they would be OK if one was really hungry.
I have now made it to Punxsutawney. This is the town that is famous for the groundhog called Punxsutawney Phil. Since 1887, each February 2, which is known as Groundhog Day, the town officials gather as Phil emerges from his hole. The legend has it that, if Phil sees his shadow and returns to his burrow, there will be six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t see his shadow and stays above ground, he is predicting an early spring. It is the basis of the movie Groundhog Day, although the movie was filmed elsewhere.
Punxsutawney claims to be the weather prediction capital of the world, which is a bit rich given Phil’s predictions have only enjoyed a success rate of 39% since 1887. There is a similar ritual in the town of Essex in Connecticut (which I’ll be passing through in about a month), although I’m not sure what Essex Ed’s success rate is.