Pennsylvania & the Laurel Highlands

Last weekend, we made the trip to the Laurel Highlands region of southwestern Pennsylvania for the Laurel Highlands Ultra. Debbie had a magnificent race and we had an excellent trip. We trucked west through Allentown and Harrisburg. We didn’t do much sightseeing on the way.

Like last year, we stopped in Bedford, PA for lunch. Also like last year, we camped at Ohiopyle State Park, which is in a great spot sitting on a bluff above the Youghiogheny River. The Great Allegheny Passage rail trail goes right by the park, cuts through Ohiopyle, and winds its way towards Maryland.

The park has a couple of rustic playgrounds and a bunch of campsites. I went for a run on the rail trail and then throughout the lovely Ferncliff Peninsula Natural Area. I ran along the river and then returned to our site.

Debbie got up early on Saturday morning to run down to the start of the race in the center of town. It was only 1/2 mile away. I saw her off and then took a little longer to get our kids up, fed, and the campsite packed up. We spent the day crewing for her. We spent Saturday night at the trailhead at the end of the 70 mile Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail in Seward where the race finished. We spent a restless night in the van. Debbie was hopped up on sugar and caffeine after her 13 hour and 34 minute jaunt. I got up before sunrise and headed south on the trail for a little trail run.

I checked out the last three miles of the trail and got a feel for what it must have been like to finish a 70 mile run. I was back at the van in no time and we had breakfast before rolling east. Our long drive back to Connecticut was broken up by a few pit stops. We had a late lunch in Bethlehem at Alando’s Cuisine, a Kenyan restaurant. Then, we went to the famous Vegan Treats bakery for a little dessert for the road. All in all, it was a wonderful family adventure.

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Little D passed her second of three #taekwondo #blackbelt tests. The third, and biggest, is in October. #tkd #sunset #md90 🌞✈️ #echoamphitheater #carsonnationalforest #newmexico Stopping to stretch our legs and use the potty was the best $2 I've spent in a while. I even borrowed a nickel from @trailrunningmom and got rid of the 95 cents in my pocket. Amazing #durango #colorado trails. These are the #HorseGulchTrails near @fortlewiscollege which has an amazing #cycling culture. When I raced collegiates @bcclubcycling & @bucycling in the early 90's, it wasn't anything like what's happening with the powerhouse @flccycling team. What an amazing backyard. Imagine rolling out of your dorm and onto this landscape. I would never go to class! Don't tell my kids I said that! #mountainbiking #cyclocross #teamhorstsports #teamhorstjuniorsquad #horstspikes 🚵‍♀️ @trailrunningmom finished in 41 hours and 1 minute. #hr100 #hardrock100 #shenipsitstriders #teamhorstsports #trailrunning #ultrarunning #womenofultrarunning @trailrunningmom  at the #hr100 #womenofultrarunning @trailrunningmom  at the #hr100 #womenofultrarunning @trailrunningmom left the Chapman Aid Station at 2:10 P.M. I paced her from Ouray (56.6 miles) to Chapman (82.2 miles). @ultramarathondan will take her to the finish of the @hardrock100 #hr100 #hardrock100 Most importantly, she is in good spirits and despite the altitude, is moving OK on the climbs, albeit slowly. As for the descents, her legs are trashed but she is still bombing them. Finish could be in the 40-42 hour range if all goes well. Who knows? Lots of variables! Fingers crossed. I have tons of photos to go through, so I selected one of our crew with Deb as she headed out for the final 18 miles. #trailrunning #ultrarunning #shenipsitstriders #teamhorstsports We finally reconnected with @trailrunningmom She arrived at Grouse Gulch, 42.2 miles at 8:33pm and departed at 8:50pm. She was soaked to the bone after climbing her first ever 14,000 foot peak. Handies had lots of hail and rain. She changed every piece of clothing and shoes and felt much better. The drive to/from was white knuckle insanity with our rental. @ultramarathondan is with her now. It will be a long night. I'll see her in Ouray. Our kids  have been awesome. Mom just wants to finish, but a long way to go. @hardrock100 #hr100 #hardrock100 #trailrunning #ultrarunning 🏃🏻⛰

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