Ohio and Pittsburgh: Siphoning Gas and Presidential Pancakes

Since the last update we've been to many new places: Akron, Ohio; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and now Somerset, Pennsylvania. The Akron Marathon was last weekend and we had a pretty busy expo day on Friday and race day on Saturday. The race had 15,000 entrants, so 3 times the amount of our previous biggest race. The expo day on Friday was insanely busy and fun!

Cuyahoga Valley National Park was... interesting. It's a fairly new national park (established in 2000) that and fairly small (50 square miles). It definitely did not top the list of places I would need to visit again. Because it was a state park before they declared it a national park, it had the typical state park feeling to it. I guess at least it's now checked off the list so I can focus on my remaining 48 other national parks!

We've been very lucky in all the places we've visited to hit up some amazing running trails. A lot of them are rails-to-trails but instead of paving over them they leave them as gravel or dirt. THANK YOU for not paving these trails! Nothing ruins a good long running route like some hard pavement. The east coast has a lot more of these rails-to-trails projects, with many of them running 50+ and even up to 150 miles. I can only name a handful of them back in Washington and they're all paved (therefore not a "trail" so why do they insist on duping us by calling them trails??)

Anyways, we had an interesting day before the expo last weekend. When we were supposed to be setting up we realized that the Deep-Shoe Diver had too much gas to drive into the expo center (the law is that if you intend to bring a vehicle inside, it must have less than 1/4 of a tank of gas) so we spent two hours that night siphoning 15 gallons of gasoline from our 55 gallon tank. The options were for Zach to drive around for 2.5 hours or siphon the gas. Zach chose the latter, knowing the horrible taste that was soon to be in his mouth. After we siphoned all that gasoline (a lucky person got a completely free full tank of gas) we were okay to set up, but it turned a 30 minute job into a 2.5 hour job. We won't be making that mistake again!

 We could only fit the tiniest of hoses into the gas tank... It took a while.

We could only fit the tiniest of hoses into the gas tank... It took a while.

After Akron we had two days off in Pittsburgh, which is such an awesome city!! I wish we could've explored it more but we'll have to come back another time. My good friend and fellow White Pass counselor Dusty sent me a list of the "Best Pancakes in Each State" and we managed to check one off in the city - Pamela's Diner. Obama visited there in 2008 and, during a speech in the city, announced that he thought they were the best pancakes he'd ever had and hired the chef to come to the White House to cook Easter brunch that year. Even with that legacy they did not let me down!

We adventured northeast on the night of the lunar eclipse, chasing a gap in the cloud formations. Zach had his weather app open and was tracking the cloud coverage as we raced northeast, through Punxsutawney and Amish land.

Here are two last pictures of what I do during events to give you all sense of my work days. Gait analysis and shoe recommendations based on their gaits.