Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Pittsburgh Visit

When I started out on my journey, I had made my plans vague on purpose.  I have been in the woods and on the trail enough lately to relearn the fact that plans change all the time.  I had left open the possibility of returning to DC on my bike after resting in Pittsburgh for a few days.

When I pulled up to the wall at the bottom of the steps at my parent's house, I couldn't feel my ring and pinky fingers on both hands and my grip felt as weak as a newborns.  Holding on to the the handlebar was causing a lot of pain in my whole hand and I had to change hand positions constantly with little relief.

As I mentioned early in my trip, I had remembered other people reporting this symptom when doing the trip, so I got out the phone and fired up the magical Google machine.  Within a few minutes I had diagnosed the problem (cyclist's palsy, an injury to the Ulnar Nerve as it passes through the wrist bones ) and had given myself the advice that maybe I should find another way home.  Thank you Dr Joe.

A few finger swipes and some thumb typing later, I had a reservation at Avis in the North Hills for an SUV to be picked up the next Tuesday.

Thursday evening was spent getting caught up with Dad.  He was doing real well and was much more mobile than the last time I was in Pittsburgh.  We had some Arby's sandwiches for dinner and I went and picked up a case of PBR 16 oz cans since Kristan was due to stop by and a Hipster needs her PBR.

Porch Party Palace
Friday was a nice day.  I spent most of it hanging out over Cath's and jumping in the pool whenever it got too hot sitting under the umbrella.

Megan and Hunter
In the early afternoon I was hanging out on the porch with Dad and I went to the edge of the porch and there was a freaking snake on the porch steps.  I ran in to get my phone/camera and took a couple pictures of it.  I'm not sure what kind it was, but it slithered down into the ivy and later hung out with just its head sticking out of the leaves.  Pretty cool.

We had a little cookout that night.  Cheese steaks and Hamburger among other nice things.  Tom came back down and we hung out on the porch late into the night talking about old times and the fun things we did as kids on the street and all around.

My phone doesn't take super moon pictures very well.

Saturday was a busy and fun day.  Tom and I headed up to Conneaut for the annual Boat Show that the Miklos' sponsor every year.  It felt like a mini family reunion as I saw aunts, uncles and cousins that I haven't seen in awhile.  There were more people there who were related to us than those who weren't.

Looking towards the cottage from the Burgh

After checking out the boats and hanging out for a while, we decided to ride around the lake.  We stopped at the park and walked around for a while.  There was an art show going on and there were some pretty cool pieces in the various tents.  We found my Mom's and Aunt Collette's boardwalk board as we walked around the park.  

When the day's show was done we all went over to the cottage to hang out and take a quick swim.  We ended up staying for dinner as there was all kinds of food flying about.  We did our part to help get rid of it.  Hamburger day number 2.

We took our leave of our cousins and the cottage and started heading over to Bruin where we would spend the night.  After stopping in Slippery Rock to fill Tom's Growlers, Tom took a short cut along one of the back roads.  As we moved up the road we could see a bear silhouetted on the road.  We hurried up to the spot she had disappeared and we saw her climb a rise in the woods.  Behind her were two small cubs.  I tried to take some pictures, but it was starting to get dark and I was all excited and all.  This is the best shot.

Those black spots are bear cubs
Me, Cath, Ed, Eddie, Austin and Tom sat on the deck into the night with the bug candles burning and enjoyed the evening.

The next day we headed over to Marty and Michele's and had a nice visit before they went out to one of Billy's games.  Marty is doing fine in his recovery.  It had been a long road, but hopefully he will be able to put some weight on that leg before too much longer.

On Sunday Turk came over and we were hanging out on the porch and over at the pool.  Kristan and Jeremy came over and it was cookout time.  Hamburger day number 3 was in the books and it was a fun night hanging out and watching the Pirates come back from a 6 to 3 losing eight inning to win in the ninth 10 to 9.  Kind of exciting if you are a baseball fan.  I would just check in every once and awhile to see what the score was.

From Tree
Monday was make some pies day.  On Friday, Tom and I had cut down a branch from the cherry tree and had picked all the ripe cherries we could from that branch.  We had some pie crust mix and as I was destoning, Tom was whipping up some mighty nice pies.  He got two full pies and I little one in the cast iron skillet.  It was quite delicious.

To Bowl 
To Pie

We also went out to the thrift store so I could get a cooler shirt.  My wardrobe was limited as you usually keep down the weight you carry when you are out on the trail.  I had very little in spare clothing.  We also did some junk picking on the way back.  Tom got some good painting supplies and found a fan that still worked fine.  It helped keep me cool that night up in the second floor bedroom.

The next day, Tom took me out to the North Hills and I picked up my SUV.  I started heading home.  I went a route that was close to what I had rode on the way up.  I took 51 out and then 40, crossed the Yough Lake and hit 68 then Cumberland.  From there it was all highway back to Pasadena, MD.

It was a lot faster going back...

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