July 30: Woke up at 6:00am. Sorta scrambled to get everything together. I spent the night before doing laundry from 7:30-9:30 then I Skyped with my parents and relatives that were down in Georgia for my grandpa's birthday. The laundry attendant allowed me to stay past 10:00, even though they were closing at 10. It made for an interesting talking point with my uncle and my dad. I decided on what to have for breakfast. Since I didn't have any cereal left, I mustered up the energy to make some pancakes with the sandwich maker. Not enough food, but I had to deal with the limited breakfast options. Left for HQ to meet John. I also needed to watch a video on "Staying Safe in Bear Country: A Behavioral-Based Approach to Reducing Risk." It was extremely helpful because I was able to see what some of the sounds and actions it makes when trying to show dominance. It was 45 minute video and I think I dozed off for 2-3 minutes towards the end when they said "So let's recap on..." I laminated a couple "Bear Alert" signs for my campsite. John said he would give me lift up to the campsite so I meet him at the parking lot. We passed two women hiking as we drove up and one smiled while the other put a big stink face on. Ugh! They did have two cute puppers with them so it cancelled out the gross face the woman gave us. John wanted to check out all the campsites once we got there. We observed some interesting things. At site #15, the people built an overhang for the front of their tent as an extension. It had poured the night before so it was sorta understandable to see. Though, they tied a tree sapling perpendicular between two trees over their tent. Then they stuck two poles in the ground and rigged a tarp between the sapling and the poles. It was basically a canopy for the tent. A little much and John let me know I should talk to them about it. There was food in a fire ring at site #10. Pathetic. Some People honestly don't even have a little respect for the campsite and the rest of the people using it. Leaving food behind or out while you are not (at any time of the day) will attract wildlife especially bears. I did talk to the two women and asked what they were doing this weekend? The response I get is "Hiking, not much else." Fine, sorry I asked. I cleaned the bathrooms and set up my site for the next 2 hours. A couple stopped by as I was finishing up the bathrooms and we greeted each other. Before anything else, I said "Dylan, right?" He gladly said, "Good memory." It was now 12 and I ate my PBJ and my applesauce to fuel up for my run. I planned on running at about 2:00. I only had managed to get 6 hours of sleep the night before so I was kinda tired. Maybe a power nap of about an hour to catch up on some sleep. Whoops! Feel asleep from 12:30-2:30. Ran at 3 o clock to Franconia Falls and back. Super crowded at the Falls and I got to witness people using the natural rock slides. Sweet. Got back and had to bike down immediately to grab the "Bear Alert" signs. Cruised down and struggled on the way back up. I almost didn't make it up faster than the fastest I have run up. Less than a minute difference. As you can tell, I am not a very talented mountain biker. Took a dip after in the river and changed up to make rounds from 5:50-7:50. Plus, I grabbed a bucket of water for filtering. I did get to talk to the two women (couple) with the two dogs and both of them were very nice. We ended talking for a while about jobs, the whole bear situation, and their planned hiked for the next day. The family from the previous week (the wife with the airhorn) were back for another weekend. Their son brought a friend that was doing the whole camping thing for the first time. Dinner from 8 to 8:20. I switched it up this week with the beans. I purchased Goya kidney beans in sauce. Delicious. It felt like I was eating almost real food because they were individual beans and not refried dog poop mush. The only problem was the fact that after each wrap finished, it was as if just sliced my hands open. Blood (sauce) all over my hands and on the plate I was eating over. I kept it clean, but I don't wanna take my chances with the recent bear incidents. I have separate clothes for eating/cooking that I keep in my bearbox, but still. I also purchased regular Goya pinto beans that I will be trying next weekend. I will keep you guys updated on the experimentation. The rest of the night was spent in my tent relaxing and falling asleep before 9:30pm.
Summary: I was happy with today's run. It was my classic 12 mile horseshoe course to the Falls and back. For feeling kinda groggy after my run, I ended up with a solid time of 81:18 and 17:14 for the last 2.7 miles. It was quicker than I thought I was gonna be. No course record, but a unexpected hard effort for the final stretch. Gonna be a higher mileage week with about 10 on Sunday. No complaints. Calves are much looser and feeling good. Sign replacement mission tomorrow. Should be a positive learning experience since I will be completely on my own for this one.