Friday, July 17, 2009

Day One Hundred Thirty-three, 090711 - Cornwells Hts, PA

Day One Hundred Thirty-three, Date Saturday, July 11, 2009
Time in Saddle: 7:45
Distance for the Day: 65.75 miles From Fair Hill, MD To Cornwells Heights, PA
Accumulated Trip Distance: 6365.6 miles
Altitudes: Starting/Ending 487’/271’, Highest: 509’ Accumulated: 2159’
Speeds: Avg: 8.4 mph, Max: 38.0 mph
Weather: 54° thin high overcast
Expenditures: $17

This morning, I started out well before sunrise (5:03am) to avoid detection from the house next to the power transformer lawn, not that I expected any trouble, I just didn’t want to give them any cause for worry. The sky above had a thin, high overcast, but it was still clear enough to see the waning gibbous moon, Venus and Jupiter, and by 5:45am I was ready to roll. This site had lots of large daddy long leg spiders; pulled a bunch of them off my trike, and continued heading up Hwy 1 toward Newark, MD, and after that, Philadelphia PA. At 6:40am I had breakfast and got some supplies at a mini mart ($7). When I passed through Newark at about 8am, I just passed a Hooters restaurant (gotta make it into one of those, one of these days), and just as I passed, I saw a bat fly by in broad daylight! I could see the sunlight through its wings, and the details of its structure very clearly, which was cool. Somewhere along the way, at about 2:30pm, I passed from Maryland into Pennsylvania, but I didn’t see any sign announcing the fact, which was too bad; I like to try to get my picture at those points. I began wending my way through stop and go one-way streets, which was very slow going. I looked for a Subway sandwich shop, and found one using my mapping program, but it was getting remodeled, or something, and not open, so I went further into town to find the other one. I found the other one, which was closer to the touristy part of town (even more congested). They didn’t have electricity or wi-fi, so I got a meal deal ($10) and wished I had a book. After lunch, I continued wending away until I finally made it out of the busy section of town following Hwy 13 to 513, crossing the Delaware River on into the state of New Jersey, and the town of Trenton. The route became a bit more complex, so I had to consult the map often. I stopped off at a Dairy Queen for a small choco malted, to charge up the notebook battery, and to call my sister, Julie, to let her know I would try to make it to her house by around noon (hah!) By now, the day was getting late, and after leaving DQ, I went a bit further along the road looking for a likely spot, and found a large ecumenical college campus near Cornwells Heights that looked mostly empty (N40 3.621’ W74 59.101’). There were a few cars next to the buildings by the large back parking lot, so I went to talk to somebody, but the doors were locked, and there was no bell. I hung out until it started to get fairly dark, then went to the furthest corner of the lot where there was a bit of lawn and trees to hide behind. I put up my tent and cloaked the trike, while watching the fireflies, which made me happy. The sky was looking like rain, so I put the tent’s rain fly on, and hopped inside at around 9:30pm for a good night’s sleep. Hah! About 11pm, the storm hit, with nearly continuous lightning flashes (some whose attendant thunder was only 5 seconds away), heavy rain, and wind gusts to buffet my tent. A *little* water leaked inside, mostly because I didn’t stake down the rain fly, but since my sleeping bag was on top of my air mattress, I stayed completely dry through the whole thing. So much better than trying to sleep on one-half of a partially flooded bivvy sack, as I recall doing back somewhere in southern California. It lasted a fair while, but sometime in the wee hours, things slacked off, and with the aid of earplugs, I was able to get to sleep.

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