Sunday, May 9, 2010

Obsessed with the Lehigh River Gorge

No, not me... hubby! Ricky can't get enough of the Lehigh River - the entire length of it from White Haven in the Poconos to below Jim Thorpe at Walnutport. He likes to ride bike by it, drive by it, stop and gaze over walls at it, smell it, touch it, study it, study the levels of it on the internet, take pictures of it, near wreck the van on the side of the bridge looking at a rapid on it, and oh, that's right - he likes to go down it on his kayak with hundreds of other like-minded individuals. So since it was kind of a crappy weekend in Central PA, he decided to forgo paddling due to wind on Saturday (and it was going to be too cold on Sunday), and instead, ride bike on the rail trail next to the Lehigh River Gorge. Since it's only a little over an hour's drive, we don't think twice about packing up the toys and heading to the Lehigh. It's actually a very nice ride -- never boring due to the boats on the river and the varied types of people on the trail. On Saturday, we were entertained for more than hour with a group of 7 kayakers that had one poor soul along in a recreation boat that probably shouldn't have been on the river. He was old, it took him forever to get ready (and you could tell the others were frustrated before they even hit the water!), his boat had no flotation and got pinned twice, he had no helmet, and he swam twice in the short time we watched. We knew it would be a looonnng day for those guys. Rick said at one point "this is better than watching a movie!" And it was, but at the same time it was very sad that his fellow paddlers allowed him on the river. They really should have said they didn't think he should go along. We rode 30 miles on the rail trail. There was a lovely bank of woods violets, and a spied a valuable discovery -- hundreds, maybe thousands, of glass insulators still intact on dozens and dozens of poles for 12 miles along the west side of the railroad tracks. Some of them looked very hard to get to (on the side of the mountain) and the poles didn't look in too great shape. I thought if I took my climbing ropes and ascenders, I could scurry up the ropes, take a couple, and make a small fortune. The value of glass insulators varies from about $2.00 to $300.00 EACH. There are thousands of shapes, sizes, colors, and companies - and each one has its own value. There were all kinds of insulators on the poles at the Lehigh. Most looked blue and amber. Of course I'd ask permission of the railroad to shimmy up poles 'cause it IS on railroad property. Rick didn't think they'd give me a problem if I asked. Let's see, now when can I find the time to collect glass insulators? (I'm dreaming again!)

Sunday - The Lykens Watershed property was perfect on a cold, windy day for a nice long trail run. I eked out another 10 minutes longer and about 7 tenths of mile more to hit 9.2 miles at 1:49:49 which is a 11:48 mile pace. I'll take it! It hurt a little, but I felt SO good afterwards. I finally love running and am hooked. You burn a whole lot more calories running than riding bike AND you don't have to suck down energy food while doing it. Nice...