Friday, April 12, 2013

When its time to change, You've got to rearragne!

I grew up in the small town of Waynesburg, Pennsylvania.  Yes, I had running water, electricity, and even sea-ment sidewalks, you could say we had ALL the creature comforts you wanted from civilization. But where I grew up, I was only ever a 3 minute walk from being in the woods. As a result, a large part of my childhood was spent exploring the hillsides and crick bottoms of rural Western PA. When I was young, I was limited to venturing only as far as I could hear my mother's calling. But as I got older, my adventuring took me further and further from home.  Being in the scouts, I had lots of opportunities to go camping through out the tri-state area. Once I got into high school and got my driver's license, my adventuring expanded even further, and I was only limited by how far I could go on the gas I could afford, and gas was cheap! I love that time in my life...

Ever get the feeling you are being watched
So when I moved to a suburb or Pittsburgh last fall, it was a bit of an adjustment for me. Instead of looking out the window and seeing fall foliage, everywhere I looked, the only thing I could see was fall decorations on my neighbors homes. Granted, many were pretty decorations, but you just can't beat what God has blessed us with in nature.  This winter was rough on me too, because I felt trapped and cramped in a small one bedroom apartment. In February, I got a little encouraging news from Punxatawney Phil, but we know now, just what a horrible predictor he was and Winter has been stubborn with us and until just recently, hadn't relinquished its icy death grip allowing for spring to arrive to the area.

But alas, spring has arrived and the temperatures are starting to creep (or jump) up the thermometer. Break out the shorts. Break out the sunblock. Break out the sunglasses. I love it. While I never put the bikes away for the winter, on several occasions, I did opt for a shortened ride or even a ride on the trainer instead of doing what I knew I should really be doing for my workout. And as the weather continues to improve, I find myself missing the countryside of Greene County. So as a result, I'm making it a point to head out and explore a little in my new surroundings.

Last night, I went for a walk in Whiskey Point Conservancy in Scott Township  I'd seen it several times this winter covering a school bus run for Chartiers Valley but I had never made time to stop and check it out. Since Mackenzie was with her father, Amber joined me in my foray into the woods... completely outside her comfort zone, but very much appreciated by me. (Its awesome to have someone who is willing to do things you love just because you love to do them.)  Our walk was short, roughly 2 miles, but it was great to get out and explore a little in our own back yard. The only thing I didn't like was the big "No Bikes" sign right at the entrance. I'd been eyeing it up as a place to possibly do a little MTBing close to the apartment, but no such luck. I will keep looking for some singletrack that isn't forbidden.

It was muggy and I was in trouble for just her shoes getting  muddy.  
Wonder what she'll say when she sees this photo. :-)

On a completely different adventure yesterday, I did finally see the bald eagle in Pittsburgh.  The photos are hard to make it out, but I swear its Eddie.

if you want to see for yourself, take the southside rail trail from the Hot Metal Bridge towards Homestead. When the trail ends at the chainlink fence, turn to your right and look up in the trees on the hillside. There is a  huge nest about 1/2 to 2/3's of the way up the hillside. You can't miss it. Eddie on the other hand, (or maybe she is Edie) is  not always as easy to see, especially if he is off looking for a fresh dinner of rabbit.