My Birthday Trip to D.C.

In case you were wondering, my birthday is in March. I went to D.C. in March. This blog post is very late. Also, Nancy wrote about it on her blog and sadly, I lost all the photos from the trip (which she alludes to in her very sweet post) when my phone died. But, in an effort to catch up on all my adventuring, here is a blog post nonetheless! 

CherryBlossums

I went to D.C. for the cherry blossoms,
for my birthday,
and most importantly, to visit my best friend.

I arrived Friday evening.

Nancy and I ate tasty food,
shared stories,
and planned our adventures for the next day.

Saturday was full of adventuring!

First, we rode bikes to see the aforementioned cherry blossoms (very pretty),
to visit a museum with a large cobalt blue chicken statue (very large, very blue),
and to eat tasty ice cream at a cute corner shop.

We rode our bikes home the long way round, taking a route that Nancy had never been before. It was fun to go exploring together again like we did so many times at Berry.

That evening, in Alexandria, I admired all the old houses,
an exposed ice well,
and the pretty waterfront.

Nancy and I ate at the best creperie for dinner. Mmm, so delicous!

Back at home, we ate s’mores with Nancy’s neighbors,
watched Parks and Recreation snuggled up under a blanket,
and said our goodnights.

Sunday dawned grey and dreary.

We spend most of the day inside eating cornmeal waffles for breakfast,
drinking cup after cup of tea,
and chatting with old and new friends.

Later in the afternoon we ventured out into the world.

Nancy and I visited the new and extremely large REI,
Nancy’s church where I met many of her friends,
and a bookstore in an old house, crammed full of books.

Prior to driving me to the airport, we stopped at a pizza place for dinner.

All too soon it was time to say goodbye and so we did, hugging each other fiercely,
proclaiming our mutual admiration,
and promising to stay in touch.

 

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2017 Tsali Trip by the Numbers

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Days: 3
Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Miles Ridden: 46.6 (my dad rode 63!)
Mouse and Thompson: once
Right and Left Loop: twice

Zombie Camels: 14
New Zombie Camels: 2

On trail mechanical issues: 4
1 flat tire, 1 broken chain, 1 lost and found dropper post piece, 1 cracked bike frame

Wildlife spotted: 10
1 duck, 1 bunny, 5 salamanders, 1 toad, 2 deer

Wildlife heard: at least one whip-poor-will that “serenaded” us to sleep

Shenanigans and Jokes: too many to count

Put it all together and you get one very happy Morgan.

Want to read more about our Tsali Trips? Check out this post from our 2016 trip or this post for previous years

Florida Trip 2016: Leon Sinks

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Big Dismal Sink. This was one of my favorites. It is super deep and we could hear the trickling of water. Too bad we couldn’t get any closer. At least the viewing platform was open.

Leon Sinks was our last stop on our Florida mini-road trip. Tyler and I woke with the sun, but neither of us wanted to leave our cozy, warm sleeping bags. Eventually, my hunger overcame my desire to stay warm, so I left the Fit to make some breakfast. In addition to making our own dehydrated dinners, we brought along some Mountain House meals. I made a package of their freeze-dried eggs and bacon. The eggs themselves  were okay, but the bacon imparted a very artificial smokey flavor to the whole meal. I was not a fan.

Continue reading “Florida Trip 2016: Leon Sinks”

Florida Trip 2016: O’Leno State Park

Short and sweet trip report of our time at O’Leno State Park. Want to learn more about our Florida road trip? Click here for the Fit Conversion, Dehydrated Meals, and Manatee Springs State Park.

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Tyler and I left Manatee Springs just in time; it rained on us as we started our drive to O’Leno State Park, where we would sleep that night.

We pulled into the park, found our campsite, and bought some firewood. The forecast was calling for early evening thunderstorms, so Tyler and I opted to walk a short trail to to the river sink. In this region of Florida, there are many, many underground systems, which result in sink holes, springs, and rivers disappearing underground.

Continue reading “Florida Trip 2016: O’Leno State Park”

Florida Trip 2016: Manatee Springs State Park

Months ago Tyler and I went on a mini-road trip to Florida. I wrote about our Honda Fit camping conversion here and making dehydrated meals for our trip here. I am finally getting around to writing about the rest of our trip. I have quite a backlog of adventures to write, so without further ado, please enjoy this blog post haiku.

20161229_130321 Continue reading “Florida Trip 2016: Manatee Springs State Park”

Eight Mile Training Run at Sweetwater Creek State Park

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Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, was a girl named Morgan, who did a very silly thing. She signed up for a half marathon. Why would she do that? No body knows. Perhaps the wonderful ladies of the Tough Girl Tribe might have an idea, as they are awfully inspiring. In any case, Morgan needed to train. Recently, she’s spent all her time exercising her brain.

Morgan started her morning by lazing in bed. Her stomach was having none of it and demanded to be fed. She reluctantly crawled out of her covers. She made herself an apple and almond butter tortilla wrap, a tasty pre-run breakfast. Morgan pulled on some shorts, thankful that it was not nearly as cold as when she ran the Hot Chocolate 5k, the first chapter of this saga. But it was not time for Morgan to run, no not yet. For today, she was going to run on a trail, even if her pace matched that of a snail!

Continue reading “Eight Mile Training Run at Sweetwater Creek State Park”

Florida Trip 2016: Dehydrating Dinners

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As I alluded in the post about converting our Honda Fit to a campervan, I dehydrated a couple of dinners for our trip to Florida. When we went on our road trip this past summer, Tyler and I mostly cooked our dinners. Which means that we brought all of the cooking equipment along with us. There was one night while we were at Grayson Highlands, where we opted for dehydrated Mountain House meals. We were hungry after a long day of hiking, and we needed to drive into town that evening so I could send a mandatory work email.

Continue reading “Florida Trip 2016: Dehydrating Dinners”

Fit Conversion and the Beginning of Our Florida Trip

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As a graduate student, I don’t get much time off. I distinctly remember the horrified faces of undergraduates when I tell them “no, I don’t get fall/winter/spring/summer break off. I still have to do research.”

Grad school, at least getting a Ph.D. in a natural science, is this odd combination of work and school. Technically, I’m a student. I am working towards a degree. But I don’t get school holidays, I’m not actually taking any classes, and I’m getting paid. Much more like a job, if I’m honest.

Continue reading “Fit Conversion and the Beginning of Our Florida Trip”

Zombie Camels ride at Chicopee

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Photo credit: Ef

Oh hey there, Chicopee,
Don’t cha remember me?

Dad and I rode on your trails,
Read this post for the details.

With the Zombie Camels, we’ve returned.
Back to the woods, for which my heart yearned.

We started our ride from the Left Nut brewery,
With much laughter, antics, and tom-foolery.

Vroom, vroom, we sped
Down to the trailhead.

There we picked up the rest of our group,
Making ourselves a rather large troupe.

We rolled out riding Tortoise first.
At the intersection, we dispersed.

The fast group left by going right.
Soon after, they were out of sight.

The slower riders split in two,
Dad led the group with just a few.

Only John, Jeff, Dad, and me
Bombed down Village trail with glee

Up Red Tail, Dad rode strong,
Far behind, I chugged along.

Next, we rode to Confusion Corner via White Tail.
Best be careful here, lest your sense of direction fail.

We continued on White Tail, only half-way round,
til we hopped on Flying Squirrel, a biker’s playground.

On Flying Squirrel I broke
a metal tire spoke.

Down White Tail to the creek crossing
Up Granny Climb, gears were dropping.

Finally we rode Tortoise out,
Seventeen miles, give a shout!