October 19, 2011

View from the East Coast

I received the wedding invitation a few months ago and was very pleased that my good friend, Rick, and his now wife, Melissa, were getting married in October.  Such a beautiful month to be back east. The only real question was if the weather would hold up, boy did it ever.  Four straight days of clear blue skies and pleasant temperatures, absolutely perfect.  We were only going to be in Allentown for a few days, with Sat. reserved for the wedding, so we wanted to get out and enjoy the changing seasons that we rarely get to do in the desert.

On Friday we opted to do some short hiking/bird watching at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary.  This also happens to be the raptor migration season and the birds were everywhere. We made the short trek up to the South Overlook, stopping at a few others along the way.

Nice chart showing total sightings

Quite a variety that can be spotted

Panorama overlooking the River of Rocks

Making our way up the trail

Hawks in flight

South Overlook & the PA countryside

Colors were beginning to pop in localized areas
On Saturday my good friend, Rick, was tying the knot with his beautiful fiance, Melissa. We are so happy for them and hopefully they'll make a trip out west for a visit soon. Congrats to you both!

The happy couple

Even met up with another buddy from years past, good times.
Sunday rolled around and it was time to hit some singletrack! A HS friend of mine let me borrow his Gary Fisher carbon fiber 29er!! This would be my first true ride on a 29er and I've been wanting to give it a go for some time now.  I talked another one of my longtime friends into joining me on the ride. Our destination for the morning was to ride the trails at the Walking Purchase Park, i.e. Salisbury, somewhere in the 10 mile range.  The trails were cut in very nice with a good climbing grade for the flow of ups & downs.  No real big climbs by any means, but the trails had a sweet flow to them.  There were a few log pile obstacles thrown in, a few rock tech gardens, banked turns and even a bridge crossing.  I had to laugh a bit when we hit the rocky sections, they were techy for sure, just not the loose super chunk I'm used to in the desert. Again, just a different feel to the riding.  Of course my favorite part was actually riding on DIRT, in the TREES, with LEAVES on the ground. What a concept!

My ride for the day

Brant hittin' some terrain features

The aroma of autumn was everywhere

Nice work on the berms

Post ride dorkin'
After a great morning ride it was tme to head back, pick up my wife and make a run for Yocco's Hot Dogs for lunch. So good. A loaded dog is still only $1.24!

Still the Hot Dog King!
After lunch we made our way up to the town of Jim Thorpe to see if the leaves were changing a bit more. It's a very nice drive to the other side of Blue Mountain.

Northbound on the PA Turnpike

Blue Mountain

Lehigh River in Jim Thorpe

Scenic train rides are available

Race St.

Live music & vendors were in the center square for  the autumn festival
One last trip to the grocery store for some local goods: Tastykakes, A-Treat soda, Drakes Cakes & Yuengling Beer!

The goods! Mmmmm
Although it was a short visit, it was great to be back home for some spectacular October weather.

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