September showed promise for finally transitioning us away from GlobalWarming Meltdown to cool, crisp fall weather - albeit by first making us suffer through many hysterical and shrill weather prognosticator alerts about severe storms and dangerous winds - but never actually using the dreaded "Derecho" word again.
The Moody's held their annual Drum Point Seafood Boil and Radio Nerd get together with the Pescatores, Darmodys, Makowskis, Perkos, Tresslers and even Olson attending, representing visitors from four different states, if you count Mike's usual state of befuddlement.
I decided to bicycle down again this year, about an 81 mile ride south. The weather forecast was for early clouds, increasing heat and gusty winds out of the south and southwest - pretty much in my face. The ride started out great, and I noticed that in honor of September all the roadkill began with the letter 'S': squirrels, snakes, sparrows, stupid deer, Sasquatch, etc. Twenty seven miles in I stopped at my usual 7-11 snack/coffee recycle stop and the sun burned through the clouds and the winds started up. My longest previous ride this year was a 60 miler, so at my next stop at the 54 mile mark my body said "Oh, good - he is done for the day" and was not very supportive when I hopped on the bike for the final 26 miles.
I was ordering all the various body parts to quit their bitching as we cycled down Rt 2/4, and I noticed up ahead yet another vehicle blocking the shoulder. This is annoying because they have carved those whoompa whoompa strips into the shoulder markings, meaning every time I had to leave the shoulder I got some serious rumble massage activity. As I neared the vehicle I noticed it was the same color as Carl's Jeep, it was a Jeep, it even had a PA license plate like Carl's Jeep - and oddly enough Carl was sitting in the driver's seat. He tried to tempt me into throwing my bike in the back, but I manned up and soldiered on to sludge through the remaining 18 miles at continually decreasing speeds in the 90 degree humid heat and increasing wind.
Six hours and 81 miles after leaving home I got to Chris and June's where Felicia immediately said "We passed you 10-12 miles ago, I'm suprised it took you so long" but I maturely resisted the urge to strangle her with my spare inner tube or comment on people in cars sitting on their keisters making the terrorists happy by burning refined petroleum products rather than propel themselves with their own muscles generally do tend to have a skewed view of how long it takes to get from point A to point B - NOT TO MENTION AT THE END OF AN 81 MILE RIDE IN THE GODAWFUL HEAT WITH A DERECHO-LIKE WIND SMACKING YOU IN THE FACE HOUR AFTER HOUR...
Instead, I asked "Where's June?" and it turned out June had cut the dickens out of herfinger while slicing an onion and was at the hospital. That lead me to avoid any of the food that had onion in it, so I passed on the seafood boil and had a great meal from all the other stuff the Radio Nerd wives had made. June finally made it back from the hospital with her pinkie semi-permanently in the Kate Middleton tea drinking position.
A few hours later the manly men went down to Chris's dock and watched as the storm front moved through, a very impressive sight. That put the ixnay on any boating so back inside for a fine dessert and more comparisons of smart phones and tablets and other middle aged people's toys.
At the Moody-fest Carl mentioned that the persimmon tree in his yard was dropping fruit, and Carl being Carl, he decided to make cookies out of them. When we met for hiking, he gave me a few. Knowing Carl had Scandavian roots, I immediately recognized them for what they really were - Norwegian Troll Turds.
Carl and I did get some hiking in, doing the Appalachian Trail/Loudon Heights loop at Harper's Ferry but discovered they have closed the Loudon Height's trail right in the middle, supposedly to keep people from following it down to Rt. 340 and walking on the shoulder. That did not stop us and we completed the 7.2 mile loop and strolled through Harper's Ferry park gawking at all the reenactors, as it was the anniversary of one of the many times Harper's Ferry was shelled and taken over by the opposite side from whomever had shelled it last.
This past weekend, I managed to do the "Back of Sugarloaf" 51 mile loop, a very hilly ride that is always a good gauge of my level of cycling fitness. I think this year the answer was "Outlook Hazy, Try Again." I usually park on the side of road near Lilypons but there was a police car with its lights flashing there. So I detoured a few miles to the picturesque town of Adamstown where I sometimes park at a small community events field. They were setting up for a "Zumbathon" but said I could still park there.
I got started and passed more police cars and many signs for the "Rangar Relay" which turned out to be not a typo for some kind of Park Service employee shuttle, but instead a 200 mile run from Cumberland MD to Washington DC, run by teams of 12 people in shifts. As I was out early, I never saw any of the runners but a neat concept. I stopped at the 27 mile mark at Lewis Orchard's farm store, which had many varieties of apples but none of which had been made into any pie-like substance, let alone any troll turd-like cookies. So, I had to have a healthy snack and get back on my way.
At the 50.5 mile park I got back to where I had parked and the Adamstonian female population was Zumbaing away, raising money for the Susan G. Koman foundation. The stage was set up so they were all wiggling around facing the area where the portapotties were, so my bladder, which had been very outgoing in reminding me for many miles it wanted badly to interface with the outside world, suddenly got shy and I hopped in my car for the ride home humming songs like "Horse in the Desert, "How Dry I Am" and "I'm a LumberJack and I'm OK, I Work All Night and I Sleep All Day" which gets stuck in my head everytime I start humming.