Trail Ride 05-26-2010

May 26 Ride
On Wednesday, May 26, I rode 70 miles roundtrip from my home in Torbert Village to Bohen Run, one mile above Blackwell Village. Life was exploding all along the trail, both flowers and animals, with the temperature reaching into the upper 80s. Highlights included seeing four wood turtles laying their eggs under the rail trail gravel, in the stretch between Ramsey Village and Jersey Mills; a Canadian goose standing on a rock in the middle of Pine Creek at English Island below Waterville; a ground hog scurrying along in front of me for about 10 or 15 yards just south of the old Gibson Hotel below Cammal Village; a beautiful yellow-and-black butterfly flying in my direction aside and just ahead of me for about 25 yards just north of Hocker’s Lane before Cammal; a doe that I startled beside the trail just above the Hilborn Comfort Station below Cedar Run Village; and then, most fortunately, a magnificent bald eagle picking its fish prey out of Pine Creek on the west side across from mile-marker 138 below Cedar Run, flying with it up into a tree on the west bank and ravenously tearing it to shreds eating it, and then soaring off into the sky heading north, most likely towards its nest across from Cedar Run.
Other notable items: lily pads in the Pine Creek “English Island channel” near mile-marker 158, accompanied by the sound of frogs croaking; the drone of crickets at various locations (especially, it seemed to me, near the bridges I crossed); “friendly” flies out in hordes, ready to land on me the moment I stopped cycling, but not, gratefully, the biting type (Sue Bencus, co-owner of the Pettecoat Junction Campground in Cedar Run, told me that they were the flies imported to control the gypsy moths); garlic mustard still in bloom between Slate Run and Cedar Run, along with a host of dandelions gone to seed, ready to be parachuted by the wind; and my passing 2300 cycling miles for the year.
My two refreshing rest stops: (1) Wolfe’s General Store in Slate Run for a turkey and Swiss cheese Panini bread sandwich—yum! (2) the Cedar Run General Store for a scrumptious coconut mango swirl Perry’s ice cream cone!
My not so refreshing moment, followed by my rescue—passing Cammal just after 5 p.m., neither the general store nor the Wagon Wheel restaurant and bar were open, and I was out of water and rapidly becoming dehydrated. I’d have to make it to Waterville. But then, at Dry Run Comfort Station below Jersey Mills, I ran into Walter, a friend, who offered me an extra bottle of water that he had been carrying. Salvation!

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