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Weather Stinks (and so does the Rosenose Filter!) by Leah Jean
James to the rescue!

Okay Jeff, I got a call from Cindy just now after you called her. Kind of ironic that I have been trying to put a msg on Rosenose and getting rejects for bad words. Geez, and I've been trying so hard not to say nasty words on Rosenose. ;) Definitely enjoyed your msg about the foxes. Hope Taz doesn't become an inbetween snack for the little furballs though.

This has definitely been the year of unsettling weather up here in Maryland. During the winter we had those record breaking snow falls. Now the month of June we've had record breaking heat. The temps for that month were into the mid to upper 90s for 16 days and it even got into the 100s a few times! For Maryland that is unbelievable! And we have now been breaking records into July of 100 about 3 times. Gag. Glad I have not bothered watering the lawn any this year. It'd be a waste of time.

Hope everyone had a good 4th of July. At least we had a very dry and clear day, albeit hot, for fireworks. Have a few coworkers going bike riding this coming weekend and they planned on doing some pretty long distance riding. So I went out early on the 4th to do a test run last weekend. Haven't done much biking in the last few years so I wanted to see how painful it would be. My coworkers plan on doing a C and O Canal trip so I tried that specific part of the trail just to check it out. The C and O Canal was built back when mules pulled barges along the Potomoc River. The Canal is actually built along side the Potomoc but made level with a path along it for mules to use. Unfortunately the canals were finished just in time for the railroads to come of age so the C and O Canal wasn't in use for very long. But it was eventually turned into a wonderful series of state parks for biking, hiking, and kayaking. Yes, people even kayak in the Canal. I even noticed some guys coming in off the Potomoc to switch over to the Canal with kayaks. Maybe they were trying to miss some of the rougher water on the Potomoc.

Anyway, I did manage to do about 30 miles in total (2 hours). Because the mule trails and the Canal was designed to be a very gradual climb, traveling by bike can be quite easy requiring very little gear changing. And the trails are maintained very nicely with hard packed earth and small gravel. The trails do climb more around the locks though ... obviously because the locks are for significant water level changes. The locks themselves are still in existence in some parts and I guess they still work ... sort of ... since water is maintained in the Canal. Of course, the park departments also put out historical markers telling about the locks, who maintained them, and about some of the houses that still stood next to the locks. In fact one marker mentioned that some houses are available for people who want to spend the night in one. Nope. Staying in an old stone house definitely does not appeal to me. "Running water" was probably the canal.

I was near exhaustion by the time I got back off the trail though. Kind of over did it. My back was tired from loading the bike into the back of my SUV and then riding hunched over on my bike for a few hours. So after loading the bike back into my SUV my back spasmed! Fortunately it wasn't a major spasm so I just sat in my car for about 15 minutes relaxing ... or trying to relax ... and the muscles calmed down eventually. But I was very careful after that!

Being July 4th I had to go see some fireworks though. I have not been up close to a major firework exhibition in ages and there are so many around this area. You just have to be ready for large crowds. And I was certainly tired enough to be willing to sit and wait for a few hours. Plus being by myself meant that I could pick out a small area to lay out my towel between all of the other people who had set out their blankets early in choice places. I actually enjoyed just sitting there watching all of the activity around me. And my neighbors were friendly to talk to ... and entertaining to watch. The fireworks themselves were wonderful! And what was even better was that we were viewing them from across a lake so the water reflected back the explosions. Very beautiful!

Love, Leah

 

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