Getting Back On Track

Like I said, I don’t want to go into details about Trisha leaving. Some catching up as far as the path our/my travels have taken is in order, though.

The excrement impacted the rotational circulation device in Virginia, not far off the Blue Ridge Parkway. I drove her to Columbus, Ohio, where a friend was able to help put her on a bus back to Florida to stay with another friend there. Meanwhile, I took myself to Hidden Hollow Campground in Fernwood State Forest on the eastern edge of Ohio. It put some miles between me and the situation and gave me a place to stay for a few days to figure out what in the heck I was going to do next. Best of all, it’s free to stay up to 14 days. I had no intention of staying that long, but staying over the course of the July 4 weekend seemed like a good idea. It was here that Whiskyeye invited me to her birthday bash in New York, so I started forming a plan to get there over the course of the following week.

I didn’t do a lot there. I did take the bike out a few times and explored some fun paved and dirt roads. I ran a couple of minor errands. I crossed the bridge into West Virginia, just so I can say I’ve ridden in West Virginia. I built an 80-meter NVIS dipole antenna for the New England Forest Rally, only to find I didn’t have enough space to string it out. I used some leftover wire to build a 20-meter dipole instead. I didn’t have much luck making contacts with it, since the antenna was only about 12 feet high, but a late-night contact with a guy in Russia confirmed that my equipment was working. The night of the 4th, a bunch of RVs and campers with noisy generators moved into nearby sites. Why at the end of the weekend, I don’t know, but it was time for me to move on. Since I had Monday the 5th off work, I decided to put down some miles while I had the time.

My southern route across Pennsylvania took me right past the Flight 93 National Memorial, so I stopped in to check it out. I’m a history buff, and although it’s modern, it’s definitely a historical place. Planes don’t fall out of the sky just anywhere, and especially for the reasons Flight 93 came down where it did. The giant boulder marks the actual crash site. The field between it and the walkway is the debris field from the crash. It’s quite a somber place, with feelings of tragedy and heroism all mixed together in a great big complex ball of emotion. Or was that just me? I’m not sure.

Buchanan PA State Park

About an hour down the road, I made a sharp right (almost getting taken out by someone trying to pass me over the double yellow line) down a gravel road into Buchanan State Forest. There were a whole bunch of free campsites down here, each quite isolated, unlike the inaccurately named Hidden Hollow. I checked a few sites out, then took an enormous one that a whole group of camper vans could fit into. (I’ll keep that in mind for someday down the road.) My thinking? There was enough space to string up and test my 80-meter NVIS dipole antenna. A friend (and my rally stage captain) in Massachusetts could barely hear me, but we were way out of range for this type of communication. The fact that he heard me at all was an excellent sign, in fact.

I would’ve enjoyed staying here a few nights. Lister loved having the full length of his tether to go frolicking around, eating grass, chasing bugs, and wrapping his tether around the tires. However, I was on a schedule to get somewhere Friday. With a good cell signal, I put in a morning’s worth of work, then moved on — to Gettysburg.

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