It’s my party and I’ll peddle/paddle if I want to

This has been my birthday weekend.  I am a mere 24 months away from being the same age my father was when he had his double bypass surgery….at 40.  In the past 20 years since his surgery I have watched my Dad go from climbing mountains with a vengeance to barely being able to climb a set of stairs.  I have seen friends struck down in the prime of their lives.  I will not go quietly into the night.  No, no.  I want to enjoy my time here.  I want to DO things.  Ranger Up put it best on their t-shirt; now if they just had a female version….

With that in mind, I have made a point to myself over the past couple of years to do many of the things that I have wanted to do.  That includes this weekend.  Yesterday, Perry and I went for a paddle kayak dog down the Potomac.  We had a lovely time.  The water is starting to get chilly and unlike some of the crazy folks I will not be paddling once the water gets cold.  Therefore, I am soaking up all of the miles I can get right now.  Plus, it is a great core workout without having to do a single crunch.  It was a gorgeous day and I had a grand time.  Even HRH Perry had a good time, although, he is quickly learning that the water temperature isn’t what is used to be.

Just as an aside, did you know that a Smart Car could pull 2 kayaks and a trailer?  IMG_4822

Today was spent out in the mountains of Western Maryland. Our local PBS station (MPT) has a program called “Outdoors Maryland.” An older episode of theirs (running 2-3 years ago) did a short segment on the Western Scenic Railroad, and how you could load your bike onto the train and then ride down the mountain from Frostburg.  I’ve been wanting to go and wanting to go and could never get folks to go.  Enough! I decided to go.  With or without any of my friends. Lucky for me, I had one friend who was more than happy to get out of the city for a while and my birthday just happened to be the perfect excuse.

J and I picked up our rental bikes from Western Maryland RailroadCumberland Trail Connection and rode next door to the Western Scenic Maryland Railroad. We got our bikes, and ourselves, loaded onto the train and started up the mountain to Frostburg.  The leaves on the trees are already starting to turn up there.  It was a beautiful trip up the mountain.  Once we got to Frostburg we were reunited with our 2 wheeled steeds and headed back down the Great Allegheny Pass to Cumberland.

It was an awesome ride and even better its totally downhill. Yes, folks, 15 miles of a gentle 1% grade all the way back to Cumberland.  The path is in excellent condition and covers some gorgeous ground in Western Maryland.  It doesn’t require a great deal of railroad tunnel marylandeffort which leaves you the ability to look around and appreciate the scenery with only the sound of the crunch of your tires on the trail. It was a nice break on my legs from running and all of the miles just flew by.  Even cooler?  You get to go through a tunnel!!

My only complaint about the day was that I was at a loss for options of where I could eat.  Pretty much all of the places in Frostburg and Cumberland were not gluten friendly. We wound up stopping at a bar once we got back to Cumberland and I got a salad (not very fun for the birthday girl).  I have made a note that the next time I do the trip I will make sure I pack a picnic lunch.  I had so much fun, yes, I would love to do it again.

I still have way more things that I want to do, but I am determined to make this year the year.

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