Sometimes when you kick a rock down the side of a mountain it trundles for a bit and before stopping and settling down in its new home. On other occasions, the rock may collide with another rock and this new rock may also start rolling, then you have two rocks rolling and they collide with two more rocks, and then, well, the whole hillside wants in on this collision party. And THAT is how get yourself a landslide. Come day three what we had on our hands was the latter rather than the former, we had a landslide, we were done with the long ride, we were done with exploring the Pennsylvania countryside. We were ready to get back to State College. And it is without a doubt the fault of this hope and drive that it wound up taking us the better part of a day to get back.
Things started out easy enough. Our platoon enjoyed a very VERY casual morning—we’re talking the kind of morning where you have three (four?) very enjoyable cups of coffee. Nicely spaced cups of coffee, this is the kind of morning where you can decide on that third cup of coffee late in the game and nobody stresses you about it. So that was on us, getting on our bikes at around 11:00am was on us.
“But in all fairness, we had less than 40 miles of casual riding in front of us. How long could it take?”
Three hours later we were once again embroiled in a minor trespassing incident. The road was public, still public, stiiillllll public, only to turn on us, what we did to the road I will never know. We weren’t skidding, stamping, spitting or in any other way debasing it. But it turned on us anyway. Was it me? Was it Poppi? If I am going to be honest with myself and with you, it was probably Mary. Yep, no doubt about it. It was Mary.
So the GPS said that there was a connector bit just ½ mile ahead and, based on the width of that connector bit on the GPS, there was no way it wasn’t a public road. So we took the chance.11Again, Yonder Journal in no supports or encourages reckless trespassing or privacy infringement of any sort, all rights reserved. As it turned out that chance had us bikepushing, bikedragging, and bikewhacking our way around what definitely could have been the set Deliverance for more than an hour. I have to say that I am very proud of our troop, because despite very vocal resignations by more than a few members of our crew regarding our collective decision to enter this property, once committed we stayed together. This is paramount. As everyone knows, once your group splits up the axe murderer can start picking you off one by one. It was a struggle, we got thistled, we investigated hunting blinds, and eventually we stumbled out of the woods only to face some surprised, gawking dudes admiring a rideon lawn mower. We didn’t stick around to chat.
So we’re back on the road, and we’re thinking, “Okay the day’s trial is over, should be easy breezy into State College from here.” Right? Wrong. Because if you have Sarah and Buck Wild running the show they are going to do their best to guide you back into town on the most scenic, low traffic, bike-friendly route possible. None of us were expecting to ride up a road shaped like a wall, but we did. I think maybe Benedict walked? At any rate this little challenge forced the rest of us to ask the question, “What exactly are we trying to do here?” To which Poppi rejoined, “Listen, when I quit, I quit 100%.” Talk about living every moment to its fullest potential.
Yes, we eventually made it back, and in the end everything was fine. But maybe there’s a lesson here. Like… don’t count your chickens before they hatch or don’t look a gift horse in the mouth or when you’re going to quit make sure you can quit one-hundred-percent.