A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Stone Tower Loop Run (The General!)

On Saturday morning, my dad, my brother Tyler, and I ran the Stone Tower Loop. There are so many interesting things to do and see on this loop run. I highly recommend trying it... but only if you're in good shape. The climbs were insane!

If you are interested in running the Stone Tower Loop, here are directions and a map. Everything you need to know about getting to the trail head and how to navigate the trails are at those links.


We parked at the Stone Tower Trail head a bit past Dehart Dam on route 325.


First, we followed the red blazes, which was a connector trail. We did not go up the Sand Spring Trail (blue blazes). We would go down it later to finish the loop.


Once we started running, it was less than a quarter mile until we got to the first interesting obstacle- a cable bridge that would help us get across Clark Creek. Luckily, the cables were taut and it wasn't too hard to get across. Here's Tyler, showing how it's done!




Then it was up... up, up, up, up! Lots of boulders, a little bit of running, but basically a climb up the mountain for the next mile and a half.







Holy sheeeeeet!




Once at the top of the mountain, we got to the Stone Tower. I wouldn't have seen it if I didn't know to look for it.



There was a VERY deep pit up there by the tower. I took a picture, but it's hard to see how deep it is. Surely it was man made, but for what?


That's my dad, being stupid and going across some rocks along the pit.
Dad, what are you trying to prove!?

Then we ran down a bit to the Appalachian Trail. I didn't realize this, but this part of the Appalachian Trail is not at the very top of a mountain but down a bit between two mountains. When we hit the AT, it was right at the mailbox at Yellow Springs.

 

All of the trails to this point in the run were not as well maintained as the AT. For the next two miles or so, we enjoyed the nice, wide, clear AT trail. Tyler entertained us with a couple crazy stories about when he used to go camping with friends.



Soon, we got to a sign that instructed us to turn left to go onto the Sand Spring Trail and check out The General.


We passed a cool fire pit!

Finally, after about another half mile, we got to The General! No one knows how it got there. It's just chilling in the middle of the woods. It is thought to have been there since the 1930s. Obviously, we took a ton of pictures!









Then it was up the mountain again. It was so steep! And then... down the other side via boulder jumping. I was glad we went early before it got warm and the snakes came out!



Once we got down, we searched for Sand Spring. I don't think you're going to find it up there, Tyler!


 Found it! The spring was bubbling. So cool!


We were all pretty tired by this point, but there wasn't much farther to go before we would be back at our car. We passed a boulder field on the way.

I wonder how many snakes are in there sleeping!?

Back across the cable bridge!











In less than a quarter mile, we were back at the car! I felt like a noodle! It was only an 8 mile loops but it was a very challenging 8 miles!


What a fun day in the woods with my family! I would love to do this run again, but it will have to be early in the morning when it is cold out because I do not want to run into any snakes that could be on those rocks!

How do you think The General got there?

Monday, April 23, 2018

Weekend Wrap Up!

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Happy Monday!
I hope you had a great weekend.
Here's what we were up to...

My alarm went off at 5:30 (like normal) but I turned that shit off and reset my alarm for 7:10. I never do that! But this morning, I knew my body needed sleep for two reasons...

1. I had a killer workout the day before and was very sore.
2. I walked 11 miles at work on Thursday and conducted 2 chorus concerts.

Sleeping in that late was cutting it a little close since I had a meeting at 8:00! But by 7:40 I was in my car ready to go!


It was an in-service day, so there were no students at school. After my first meeting, I went to a second meeting that was for the entire staff. An outside agency and officers from the East Pennsboro Police Department talked to us about what to do if there is an active shooter at school. It was very informative but also scary and sad. My mind was envisioning things that I didn't want to envision. (Not like I haven't thought about it before...)

At lunch, I got to leave for the day since a had a 1/2 trade day from attending the Mass Casualty Incident Drill last weekend. It was magical to leave at 11:30 on a Friday!


That afternoon, Paul and I went to see the movie Chappaquiddick. I got the movie times wrong, so we got there a half hour early. To kill time, we walked down to Big Lots and ended up leaving with new sunglasses, garden art (gart) and new patio furniture (not pictured!)

Here are my sunglasses:

These are for "real".

These are for "fun" occasions... like the beach, Knoebels, etc.

And the patio furniture:

Thanks to my mom and dad for picking it up for us! Nothing fits in my little Cobalt!

I can't wait to sit out on the back porch and play cards with Paul on our new table!

When we got home, I checked the mail and found a bunch of trail race applications...


That evening, Paul went out with friends, so I chilled at home and blogged, watched TV, and went to bed early.

It was a great Friday!

Jelly has a new nickname: Bat Boy. This is because he has been going BAT SHIT CRAZY at night! Last night, it sounded like he was purposefully running into the closet door! I have to play dead because his goal is to wake me up and I don't want him to get his way. Then in the morning, he sleeps like an angel...


That morning, I met my dad and my brother to do the Stone Tower Loop run to see The General. This was a very tough run because you had to go up a mountain twice! Here are some cool pictures, but come back tomorrow for a full recap!








On the way to meet my dad and brother, a car full of teenage boys passed me. Their bumper sticker said "Show me your titties". REALLY!?


After our run, we showered and then met my mom and the rest of Tyler's family for lunch at an all you can eat buffet. The food was okay. I mean, it didn't taste bad but it was buffet food.


 Plate #1

Plate #2

Oh, Ellie!

Are you ready for the many faces of Clark!?





After lunch, I walked over to Marshall's I am looking for a purse like this. Why didn't I get this one? Because it was $49.99.


When I got home, I cleaned and did some cooking. Ana and Roger were coming for dinner! Of course I didn't get any pictures! I could just kick myself!  Paul made his yummy chili and I made guac and margaritas. We laughed and chatted with Ana and Roger until pretty late. They are so much fun, I hope we hang out again!
On Sunday morning we decided to go to Lowes to look for a bird feeder and mulch. It was the worst decision ever. Lowes was a shit show. Every little thing was annoying me. Paul couldn't find a bird feeder he liked, so I bought the mulch and we got the hell out of there.

Me on the way home from Lowes, about to kill somebody!

But I was in such a bad mood! I was like, RAGING even though we were at home in the peace and quiet. I had to workout, that was the only thing that was going to make me feel better. I went out front and did two deck of cards workouts in the hot sunshine. That did the trick. I was all better after that.



However, I wasn't quite done with the sunshine! I did a ton of yard work, including mulching and getting out my gart. (Garden art.) Unfortunately, I bought 8 bags of mulch but they only loaded 6 into my car. I got enraged again for a few minutes.







After nearly four hours outside, I was ready to come in. I showered and realized I was quite exhausted. The rest of the night was spent relaxing and trip planning. I have my eye on another race...

Tell me something fun you did this weekend!
Any outdoor projects you are working on?
Do you like buffets?