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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Stony Valley

I went for a bike ride today.  I'm not entirely sure why it's taken so long, but this was my first outdoor ride of the season.  I know my race schedule definitely had a role in the delay, but I think I just need to put some more "cross training" on my schedule.

The ride was on a short western section of the Stony Valley Railroad Grade north of the state capital of Harrisburg.  Being such a hot afternoon (in the mid 90's), I only saw 3 other humans out on the trail: 2 bikers and one backpacker, the backpacker heading up to the AT.  The bugs however, were in full force!  As long as I kept riding, I was bite free.

Along the ride I ended up finding both stages of a two-stage multi cache called "Marco"..."Polo", which didn't disappoint.  Both stages were along stony creek, providing the opportunity to dip in the cool water on this very hot day.  Near the final stage was also a nice display of rhododendrons:

And a "ferny forest":

On a side note, I tried out an app called Strava on the ride and the interface worked well for my application of riding and geocaching, allowing me to pause and resume easily.  The only drawback I've noticed for the app so far is that you need to have an internet connection to get started, and upload when complete.  This is potentially a huge problem for me, given the trail running and mountain biking that I enjoy.  Strava does accept workouts (GPX files) from your Garmin device, so the option of being off the grid is viable, but I think I'll just stick with Runkeeper.

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