My apologies, it's been a while again. I really am awful at this whole consistent blogging thing. Fail fail fail. Which especially funny because I have lots to blog about, and I've been really busy knitting-wise. I really need to get my act together.
Anyway, when last we left off, the sock was about to start the next leg of its journey to Meyersdale. After a hearty and delicious breakfast, we set off from Confluence House and got back on the trail. While the previous day's ride had been lovely and shady, today's trip would be very sunny so we got an early start so that at least part of our ride would be during the cooler morning hours.
The morning's ride was actually rather pleasant, and scenic. There was a little shade, and the temperature was just low enough that the warm sun felt nice. There were more bridges as the path hopped back and forth over the river, and we passed on bridge in particular all decked out for the 4th of July.
The sock couldn't resist posing.
We made good time to Rockwood, where we stopped at a little cafe for lunch. When we got back on the trail that afternoon, the sun was less pleasant and the temperature had climbed. Partway through our ride, we saw a path down to the river, and we couldn't resist going on down and dunking our feet in. We rested there for a little while, and the cool water felt very good. The sock couldn't be convinced to join us in the water, but it did get in a bit of sunbathing time. And you know how the sock seems to like rocks...
From there we continued on, and the scenery changed. Far less trees and shade, and more fields and farmlands. We went over the Salisbury Viaduct, which is very very high, and very very long. (100 feet over the Casselman river valley, and nearly half a mile long!) After three days of a packed stone dust trail, riding on that much long flat concrete felt like a luxury. And the view wasn't half bad either.
From then on, there wasn't much shade, but there were lots of farms. The sock passed fields, and barns, and livestock. We smelled the livestock long before we saw them. Have you ever smelled cows in 90+ degree heat? The sock has. It's not a terribly good smell, but there's something very honest about it, if that makes any sense. It's the same sort of smell as dirt, or rain, or warm grass.
These cows were up on a hill and seemed pretty uninterested in us as we passed by. We saw some other cows a bit closer up, and the trail ran right alongside some of the farm buildings. I particularly liked this one, the red barn and the blue tractor. It looks like something out of a picture book.
We made it to Meyersdale by mid afternoon. Right at the edge of the trail there is a little train museum. There were pictures, and a large stuffed chicken (which the sock wanted its picture taken with but declined to do so under the watchful eye of the staff) and several elaborate model train sets.
After taking a little bit to rest in the shade and figure out where to go from there, we hopped back on the bikes and made our way the short distance to our stop for the night: Levi Deal Mansion. And what a mansion it is! It's a huge old house that the owners spent a lot of time and effort and expense in restoring. It's lovely. After taking a shower (a really nice modern shower -- I nearly swooned when I saw that there was a modern shower instead of a clawfoot tub) I went downstairs where I was offered a beer, and the sock and I sat down in the dining room to unwind a bit.
In the dining room with us were two little girls who were coloring together. I'd only been down there for a few minutes when the older of the two (about 5-ish) came over to me and asked if I was making a sock.
Able to recognize a partially-finished sock on DPNs? This is clearly a child with a knitter in her life.
After I confirmed that I was, indeed, knitting a sock, she grins up at me and asks, "Can that sock be for me?"
"No," I told her. "I'm knitting it in an adult size. It's way too big to fit you."
"Oh," she said, contemplating this. "Well. I could just save it until it fits."
Smothering a laugh, I replied, "But socks come in pairs, and I only have one so far. You can't just wear one sock."
She looked shocked. "I wouldn't actually WEAR it. Just... keep it."
A child who knows the value of a handknit sock? Definitely knows a knitter.
In any case, she went off back to her table, and she and her sister giggled together for a few minutes, then approached me again, and presented me with a page from their coloring book.
After I complimented them on their vibrant color choices, the older one pipes up, "So, you have a picture. Can the sock be for me now?"
Very persistant. Eventually she accepted that no, the sock was not going to be for her, and she instead settled for "helping" me knit. She held the ball of yarn and pulled out more yarn for me when I needed it. There was dancing involved, and she tried for a while to balance the ball on her head, but mostly she was just really cute about it. Unfortunately the fun ended when her sister joined us, and kept trying to grab at the yarn after wiping her nose on her hands. The ball of yarn and the sock were quickly rescued from their potential boogery fate and jammed back into my knitting bag, while I claimed that my hands were getting tired of knitting. Which they actually were, a bit. And it was nearly time for dinner, anyhow.
Tomorrow: the worst and best parts of the ride, arriving in Cumberland, the end of our journey, and a wonderful yarn shop.