Friday, August 8, 2008

Back to Earth

The next two weeks I will be leading college freshmen on five night backpacking trips for the Orion program, here at Penn State. I'm envious of these kids because they are so quickly learning the surrounding area even before they start classes. I remember it took me some time to force myself to go explore. They get not only the opportunity to see the surrounding area but also to interact with a wide range of other freshman. Friendships made backpacking tend to be strong for some reason. The opportunity I have is to instill a sense of responsibility and respect for the local and extended environment. Even if they never return to the areas we travel through in this program, the Leave No Trace principles we teach will hopefully be applied everywhere they go.

Needless to say, these next two weeks will be hard and bittersweet. I will be missing my ripening tomatoes, opportunities to read ahead for the fall semester, chances to properly digest this summer's developments, and of course, time on my bikes. My backyard crop was so successful this summer that I was even forced to put excess veggies out for friends to pick up while I'm gone(Enjoy!). There are harder ways to make money, so I can't complain too much.

Looking forward...
-Classes begin August 25th
-Aug. 31st I get older.
-Sep. 7th there is a marathon in my hometown. I might give it a go. I've done more stupid things.
-Sep. 13th I'll head back to Bethlehem for Lehigh University's mtn bike race.
-Oct. 4th PSU Mtn bike race.
-Oct. 11th Tom and I kick ass in the Tussey Mountainback, a 50 mile running relay race.
-Oct. 19th I continue to run, this time on trails in a half-marathon called the Dam Half.

'07 Mountainback. My running-mate Jon finishing in a pink bunny suit.

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