Having my supervisor arranged a “fun” activity for Monday morning (instead of the L’s lab meetings), it was clear there would be no skating on Monday morning, so I had to do so some on Sunday. I was too lazy to get up early because of it. Leaving at 9 AM was not bad at all, coming back exactly at noon was not that great. I started at the usual place as there is a nice bench to sit down and put my roller blades on. It is a sharp start though and I got confident enough to make a recording of it:
The plan was to get as far as the Walnut Creek Trail goes, see if I can find the Nuesse River Trail there and stop at the Walnut Creek Wetland Center on the way back. Some parts of the items on the list were fulfilled, another never happened. I sure was glad to reach the end of the Walnut Creek Trail (which technically was its beginning), thus being able to announce: I have covered the whole trail inline! The most distant part was the best: the asphalt on that section was the smoothest and there were no more tunnels, in other words, much lower chance of an accident and no need to avoid puddles in the (semi)darkness. However, there still were some adventurous portions – the wooden bridges that were no short. Going downhill on such a bridge was a free (but no really) welcomed foot massage. At first, I was wondering what was the point of the bridges. Then I realized that they were mainly in the wetland areas. I bet they built them in order to preserve the environment (an asphalt trail would probably require a decent area of the ground to be dried and maybe it would not work out as expected after all). It still socked when the wooden timber under my feet seemed to have no ending but at least I knew my skating was environmentally friendly.
On my way to the trail’s end, I had to skate through a residential area for a while. There were Sunday newspaper lying all around. Whoever delivered them, they did not care about mailboxes at all and apparently was just throwing them around. Some people probably did not read their papers for a few weeks by now as they had several newspaper rolls on their lawns. And the scenery seemed unchanged when I was going back an hour later.
Once I passed the last house, I found myself in a park (It is unbelievable how many parks there can be in a single city, moreover a state’s capital!) and had to choose whether to go to the left or to the right. To the right, there was a couple of signs that made me to go the other way. Unfortunately, it was only a funny circle around a baseball field. Obviously dissatisfied with this one. I decided to figure what a steep slope means. Of course, it is good to cautious, on the other hand, I have skated through much worse sections and there was no warning at all. Anyway, the turn that I did not originally consider taking brought me to trail’s end (ehm, beginning).
I was standing somewhere on the Nuesse River Trail. I would swear this must be the best roller blading spot in the whole Wake County! The asphalt as smooth as never before, woods on one side and the river on the other (though visible only occasionally). The trail had one major drawback though. By the time I reached it, I felt like I had enough of roller blading and was ready to head back home. So, I made only symbolic two miles on it, reached a location worth a picture and turned back.
Eventually I started feeling little tired but the Wetland Center was really close at that point. Unfortunately it was closed and there was no sign it should change any soon. Neither could I find the board with opening hours I saw week ago.
That was unfortunate but the only alternative was to keep skating. Having missed the visit to the center enabled me to have an experience of very different kind. I saw a life coyote crossing the trail just seconds before I reached the very same spot. Not sure what I should do, I certainly was glad it crossed, showed no interest in a little girl (later was told it cares for little dogs instead) and never returned. The rest of the ride was uneventful, I was only cooking. The mileage: 45 km. And I am proud of it.
Back home I really was ready for a nap. However, I did not think it would be very smart and I also had the presentation to start working on (less than four days left!). After a long shower and short recovery I set to go to the Hunt Library, the fancy one. Equipped with a mug of coffee and a nice snack, I spent nice four hours there. Getting so much exercise in the morning seems as a ‘must’ for long sitting hours. That is good to know, especially in regard to the upcoming intensive studying some time next spring.
The very beginning of my time in the library was rather embarrassing. I could not log to the “normal” (i.e. Windows) computer as it kept yelling on me something about live account. That was the time to try an “unusual” computer, Mac. There, I could log in but soon I needed to perform some right-clicks with the mouse and … Wait! Where is the button?! There was none and only two options for me: ask one of the IT nerds nearby or google my way. I did the later and was mostly fine until 7 PM. I did not even the sweatshirt I brought along (in case the AC would be set as low as in the museum).
I cooked my lunch for tomorrow and Tuesday and cut myself while chopping vegetables,. For the supper, I had a fish. Unfortunately fried but at least, I tried to compensate for the yesterday cheeseburger. It was a great opportunity to sample another US beer. Well, American… It said: Made in the USA (Fort Worth, TX) but also: brewed and packed under supervision of Foster’s Can Oil Ltd, i.e. an Australian beer company. They were great supervisors as I liked the beer so much. The things did happen in this order: first (i.e. sober) I cut my thumb, then I had the beer.
I was glad I got a little feeling how it might be like to be a student in the US and in the fancy library. I appreciated a chance to hopefully burn the entire calorie intake of the week, so I can start the new week with zero leftover calories and be prepared for some more unhealthy stuff.