An Epic Railtrail Hike (and a monster attack)

My friend and I did a ten mile railtrail hike last Saturday, which is epic not for its distance (although that was part of its epic-ness), but because of everything that went wrong. Also I was attacked by this monster:

Pine Creek Rail Trail
50 pounds of furry

First, it is epic for my friend to be able to walk ten miles just three years after he was hit by a drunk driver who broke every bone in his leg into at least three pieces. He pays for these adventures dearly in pain for the next few days, but he’s very determined.

Next, there were a certain number of epic Rascally moments:
Pine Creek Rail Trail
Pine Creek Rail Trail
Such a noodle
Pine Creek Rail Trail
Pine Creek Rail Trail
Pine Creek Rail Trail
This is the deepest she will go in water, haha
Pine Creek Rail Trail
Pretending to be noble
Pine Creek Rail Trail
Coming in for an attack
Pine Creek Rail Trail
She walked right up to me like this and then knocked me over and ruthlessly licked my face all over.
Pine Creek Rail Trail
Rascal took herself across the river and way into someone else’s property…here she is running back to our calls
Pine Creek Rail Trail
Here she comes!
Pine Creek Rail Trail
Pine Creek Rail Trail
Pine Creek Rail Trail
Haha goofball
Pine Creek Rail Trail
Pine Creek Rail Trail

We ended up starting an hour later than I thought we would, and then we discovered that part of the trail was closed, so we had to reassess our plans. We finally figured out an alternative and got started, but we ended up finishing two hours after I expected to originally. I was supposed to meet my family elsewhere (two hours away!) for dinner.

Once we got started, it was a really nice hike. The rail trail was very beautiful, and it’s an immense thing: 62 miles long!
Pine Creek Rail Trail
Pine Creek Rail Trail
Pine Creek Rail Trail
Pine Creek Rail Trail
Pine Creek Rail Trail
Pine Creek Rail Trail
Pine Creek Rail Trail
Pine Creek Rail Trail
Pine Creek Rail Trail
The birches are flowering in the hills, they stand out with a whitish sheen here, while the red maples are blushing reddish

Another epic thing about this hike was that right at the 5 mile marker there was a huge nesting aggregation of Colletes inaequalis, the Cellophane bee! Needless to say, this likely contributed to my lateness as I plopped down on the ground and declared a lunch break.
IMG_2566
More about these guys later!

Pine Creek Rail Trail
Pine Creek Rail Trail
Pine Creek Rail Trail
Pine Creek Rail Trail
Lens fllaaaaarrreeee
Pine Creek Rail Trail
Pine Creek Rail Trail
Colt’s foot (Tussilago farfara) and my foot

After we finished, I hopped in my car and sped off, trying to get to my family before it was too late in the evening. But soon I got a message from my friend, “I have a big problem and I don’t know what to do about it.” So I turned the car around and drove to the nearest auto parts store to pick up some supplies.

We* spent the next couple of hours trying to repair a leak in the transmission pressure line on the side of the road near a pile of trash and a closed farmer’s market.
IMG_2711
lovely pile of trash
Pine Creek Rail Trail

In the end, I missed my family, but we did eventually end up fixing the transmission line. The truck drove back 2 hours with no leaks! Luckily, my friend grew up on a farm and is pretty handy with roadside repairs.

At least we got to see a pretty sunset?

*By “we” I mean he mostly worked on it and I watched from above, handed him tools, and asked questions about transmission fluid.

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5 thoughts on “An Epic Railtrail Hike (and a monster attack)

  1. Great story….love the “lunch break” moment. Rascal has stolen my heart. She seems like a great pal. Her and Scarlett would have a blast! Looks like a lovely hike.

  2. I think Rascal gained a few pounds while you’ve been away. I suspect that she has missed your many hikes together! Either that or it has been a really cold/snowy/icy winter and she has been staying inside a lot. She looks very, very happy to be hiking with you again. I wager all three of you have missed it!

  3. Pingback: Cellophane bees | standingoutinmyfield

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