[old picnic table...image credits Gary]
Sunday here in south-central PA was magnificent--temps in the upper 60s, sunny, no wind. So we (3 generations) made our annual fall pilgrimage to Caledonia State Park for a brunch cookout.
The menu consisted of pancakes, eggs, bagels and cream cheese, sausage, and the "heart attack sandwich": thin-sliced beef tenderloin sauteed with onions, smothered with melted cheese, covered with an egg and served on a toasted bagel.
Pure cholesterol, of course, but I figure that in any balanced diet, there gotta be room for 1 heart attack sandwich per year. At least I hope so.
And Nature seldom disappoints. We walked through one open section of trail surrounded by grassy brush, and were suddenly covered with ladybugs, as my son found out:
They were fun and harmless...plus knowing the reputation of ladybugs for being good luck, we carefully brushed them off and were on our way.
Anyway, the Appalachian Trail goes directly through the park, and we hiked a short, flat section of it with the grandkids. To them it's a fun hike, and they really have no idea--and truth be told, neither would the bride--of what it's like to actually run the trail. It's like there are two trails, or perhaps more properly, two trail experiences: one for families and/or regular people, and one for trail runners.**
And that's today's connection with Ultrarunning: the feeling of self-sufficiency, of being a good animal, of yearning to see what's up around the bend or over the next hill. How covering vast distances on foot makes regular hiking seem, well, simply too pedestrian.
**better make that 3: the through hiker experience