Monday, May 31, 2010

Blue Monkey Soujourn, 2010

Five years ago, Brian B., Kyler and I took an overnight float down the Schuylkill River. We are now up to a record 15 sojourners this year.

We met at Port Clinton at 1:00 p.m., and left a car there and proceeded to Auburn and the put-in point. We were on the water by 2:00. This was the first year that the Enck's were self contained. Kyler was up front, Tristan was in the middle and I was in the back.

We were a little worried about water levels, but the first day's paddling went well, and I think we only scraped bottom once. Nobody spilled, and we made our first stop at the old canal locks about an hour into the paddle. Along the way we fished, and the smallies and fall fish were coming to hand pretty steadily.

After the exploration of the locks and refreshments, we proceeded to camp. I'm always a little worried that somebody is going to be there, but once again, it was empty. We unloaded gear, made camp, and then enjoyed the rest of the evening relaxing in the woods. The kids had a blast playing in the creek, fishing and shooting BB guns.

We were up fairly early the next morning, and on the water by 9:00. On the last part of the float, the low water made things a little tricky, but once again all boats came through. We shuttled cars, loaded canoes then headed to 3Cs for breakfast.

Another great Blue Monkey Sojourn.

GTN Triathlon, 2010

After having to take a DNS in April at the Hempfield Triathlon, I was ready to get the first triathlon of 2010 under my belt. I felt pretty good, and well trained, but I wasn't sure how good of biking shape I was in.


I picked up my packet the evening before, so on Saturday morning I was ready to go. I arrived at the race by 6:30 a.m., and had plenty of time to warm-up, which consisted of a 4 mile ride, and about a half mile of running and form drills. I saw a lot friendly faces and enjoyed catching up with everyone. I ate a fruit bar, and had a Red Bull prior to the start.


I was in the 9th wave, which was good from the standpoint that I had plenty of time to get ready, but later, on the course, it was tough navigating around all the competitors that I caught up to. Last year, and the years before, the men started first, then the women. This seemed better to me. I'm not a world-class athlete, but I was rapidly overtaking women, and in somewhat of a dangerous manner. As for the swim itself: it was my best swim ever, and I PRd by almost a minute. The laps in the pool are starting to pay off. Time: 9:40.


Started out well, but with about 2-3 miles to go, the 3 weeks of training that I lost, because of my knee injury, became evident. I just didn't have the gas at the end. My bike time was about 1-2 minutes off, and I wasn't able to finish as strong. The ride took a lot out of me, and I felt it on the run. I did, however, manage a 19.5 mph pace.


Not so bad. went under 7:00, 6:54, but, I cramped on the false flat on the run. It wasn't t the point where I had to stop, but I could feel it.

Final Results

78th overall; 11th in Age Group. I was happy. Up next, Pinchot.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

SNP/Harpers Ferry 2010

Kyler and I departed last Friday for the Shenandoah National Park to the strains of AC/DC, Ozzy and Rob Zombie. Not necessarily my choice for the trip south, but Kyler was happy with the soundtrack.

The drive down was uneventful, and we made good time. We got to front Royal around 10:45 and met Andy B. for lunch. After lunch, we departed for the Old Rag Mountain parking lot to begin our hike up Nicholson Hollow.

This was Kyler's third backpacking trip, and he is definitely getting stronger. Playing soccer has been a great conditioner for him. We made good time up the trail. We only stopped once along one of the larger waterfalls on the Nicholson Hollow Trail. I got out the Tenkara rod, rigged up and caught my first brookie on the hughes with the new rod.

We arrived in camp around 2:00 and set about getting things in order. We rigged up my 16' Noah's Tarp from Kelty, which gave us a nice place to hang out. This tarp would be a little too big for a longer backpacking trip, but it was no problem hauling it in to the Hughes River, and it provides a great place to hangout, especially if rain threatens.

After camp was set-up, Kyler went down to the creek to play, and Andy and I sat around shooting the breeze. Andy then went fishing, and went down to watch Kyler build his great dam across the creek.

After supper, I got the Tenkara out again and landed about a half dozen more brook trout. We then played Uno until around dusk. We then went on a salamander hunt led by Andy B. We captured and observed five different species. After out herpetology foray, Kyler was whooped, and he went to bed.

The next day, we had breakfast, and then Kyler and I filled a daypack and headed out for an adventure. We went upstream, and fished a little, built cairns, caught and observed bugs, climbed rocks and explored a cave. basically, we just enjoyed a morning in the woods with no agenda. We met Andy on the way down the trail, and headed back to camp for lunch.

After lunch, we went downstream, and fished our way back towards camp. We then had supper, played our new favorite camp game, Uno, on the veranda, and again, Kyler was out by dark.

On Sunday, we got up had breakfast, broke camp, and hiked out, we were in the parking lot around 11:00 a.m. I decided that rather than go home on Rt. 81, we would take Rt. 340 and stop at Harper's Ferry for lunch. Wow, what a great find. If you never have been there i recommend it. We had lunch at the Secret Six Pub then explored the town, climbed to Jefferson Rock on the AT, visited the AT Conservancy, headed back into town for ice cream, then strolled along the river. We were just going to have lunch, but ended up spending the entire afternoon there.

All in all, it was a great trip. We both had fun, and it was sure great spending time with Kyler.