Today is Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Endurance Test

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What is the best way to try to kill yourself on a hot September day? It may be to bike to Norene and back from Cedars of Lebanon State Park.

The morning was fairly cool, so Linda and I thought a nice bike ride through the shaded countryside would be just the ticket for a day off. We planned to start early to capture the lower sun and temperature, but with a few things like watering plants standing in the way, managed to start off around 10 a.m.

The road toward Norene is ideal for biking because of the sparsity of traffic and the relatively flat route. The high point for the experience is a long, fast coast near the middle of the six-mile course.

Linda took her binoculars, but the birds had already given up in the heat and weren't flying around and weren't singing either. As we pedaled along, we did see a couple of noisy blue jays and the occasional woodpecker.

At four miles out, with our parched tongues hanging, I spurred us on with the promise of an ice cream cone at the Norene country store, just two more miles ahead. What I didn't tell Linda was that there were three more hills ahead of us.

Sitting in the air-conditioned store with a popsicle in hand is about as good as it gets on a 93-degree day. After a brief rest, Linda asked if there was a flatter route back to the park. I told her to just turn left at the bottom of the hill onto Blue Well Road. In theory, there could not be fewer hills, but the ones on Simmons Bluff Road were more gradual, making it easier on the legs. Once again the traffic was almost nonexistent, making it impossible to pull off the old trick of hitchhiking back to the car.

We turned off onto Whippoorwill Road, and when we got to Dude Trail, I figured we would make it back, even with the hot noontime sun bearing down on us. By this time, we had drained the quart of tea I was carrying. I was very thankful to see our car, the rescue vehicle, that offered relief to the tired legs.

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