6 State, 20 mile Challenge: Day 3 – Phrase of the day: What the…?

Day 3

To start, I’m going to start by pleading for donations to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. As of this evening, I’m at $120 of my $500 goal. Any amount will help support LLS and the hundreds of thousands of patients and families they help each year through research and support. If you donate $10, you’ll get 5 entries to my Dick’s Sporting Goods giveaway!

Today was my “easy” day both for driving and for running. I have a long run tomorrow for training, so was excited to only need to do a mile in Maryland as I drove through to Pennsylvania. I slept in a little and iced up my ankles for good measure.


On my way out of Virginia I stopped and got myself a delicious soy cappuccino from Starbucks, and continued my trek. I had tersely just taken my first sip when I noticed a sign over the highway.

*Stream of consciousness from that moment* What the EFF?!?!? West Virginia wasn’t on my route. That makes an extra state. You’ve got to be kidding me! I just want to drink my coffee, but how long could I actually be here? Stupid Garmin, why did you take me this way? Fine, I’ll stop and figure out what’s going on.

So I was never brilliant in geography, but come on, WV just popping up? Next time, I need to read the map a bit more closely because, its absolutely there!

So I stopped at a gas station, and pulled out my iPhone. *Stream of consciousness again* “This is why people hate West Virginia! No Verizon service? Is that even possible? I think this may indicate I’m not even on earth anymore. No Verizon? Ugh”

This whole inner monologue happened in less than 10 minutes, and finally decided to make the best of it. So I headed down a road towards Harper’s Ferry, which is a National Park, figuring it was the perfect opportunity to add a national park to my places visited on this road trip. And off I went.

I decided to run a short trail part of the way, as it was 1.6 miles down to the “Lower Town” and I really did only want to do a mile. As I started down the trail, I realized this was an actual hiking trail. Rock stairs were everywhere, and running was limited for the first 1/3 of a mile, but once I reached a road, I took off.


It was really gorgeous, along the river and the train tracks (this is a theme). And once I finished my mile, I realized it was 1.2 back to my car, or another .6 down to the shuttle to take me back to my car. I was hot, I went shuttle, and got some very funny looks. Imagine being the girl who is literally dripping with sweat on a bus full of tourists who were just looking at blacksmiths and candle makers.


At this point, I’ve lost more then an hour. I’m hot, sweaty, and just want to not be in the car anymore. But onward I went! And less than 10 minutes later, I entered Maryland. I knew I wouldn’t be in Maryland very long, so I planned to go about 15 minutes before I started to look for a place to run there. Note to self: the Civil War Trail is simply a bunch of roads through the country. No actual trails.

But I found a state park, and figured it would do the job.

I parked, and headed off on the maintenance road. I got about 1/3 of a mile in and reached the end, and started to turn around, and out of the corner of my eye, I noticed something was following me, no was running fast. “Ahhhh what the eff?!” Not inner monologue that time. Based on size, speed and color, I thought it was either a dog or a fox. Within a split second I realized it was a very small baby deer.

Image from sleepyfawn.blogspot.com The deer chasing me was about this size.

As soon as I screamed he ran off a little, stopped, and watched me. He looked sad, like he wanted to play and I’d ruined it. But I kept my eye on him, while running away, and looking for any bigger ones that might be looking to trample me now. Free of followers, I continued to finish my mile, albeit a bit slow, because I had been scared to death!


I cooled down, and headed off the rest of my drive, and finally arrived at my hotel outside Philly. I figured out where I’m running tomorrow morning for my long run, got some food, and am now about ready to crash for an early morning 11 miler to end my 7 state, 21 mile RundRaiser!

How many National Parks have you been to?
Have you ever completely misjudged your directions?
Favorite specialty coffee beverage?

13 thoughts on “6 State, 20 mile Challenge: Day 3 – Phrase of the day: What the…?

  1. I have been to many national parks here in Australia, and I run regularly in one (it’s where I get all my hill training done).
    Misjudged my directions.. while running… all the time! Driving, more so at night than during the day.
    Speciality coffee…. don’t really have one.
    You’ll get to your goal I just know you will.

  2. Mark Varner

    WOW! You had a very eventful day. I have never had a deer wanting to run with me, cows yes but they were in the pasture separated by a fence. That would scare me too. I have been fortunate to make it to quite a number of National Parks but still would like to visit some more. Valley Forge-Yes. Harper’s Ferry-No

    I had a similar funny story about unexpected states. On one of my first trips to the Omaha airport I was driving along (thought I was on the correct road) & all of a sudden the sign said “Welcome to Iowa”. I thought, I didn’t cross the Missouri River did I? I was rather confused but kept driving than another sign “Welcome to Nebraska” within 1/2 mile. Found out that there is a lake & town (Carter Lake) on the Nebraska side that actually belongs to Iowa.

  3. My fiancee and I are National Park dorks! We LOVE them! Our favorite is Yellowstone and I’ve been to 10+ National Parks including Hawaii, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Acadia…next on my list is Glacier and Denali.
    Favorite Starbucks coffee…Vanilla Latte (so boring, I know)
    Karen @karenlovestorun

    1. That is impressive! I was trying to figure out how many I’d been to… It’s less than 5. Although if I hit Valley Forge after my run tomorrow I can make it more πŸ™‚

    2. Mark Varner

      I totaled them up & I have been to 13 not including Mount Rushmore. As a family we took our vacations to the National Parks. I am so thankful we did that. I want to see all of the Parks in Utah. My favorite so far is Glacier so beautiful & unexpected sights on every turn.

      1. Very cool and impressive! We definitely did notπŸ˜” before college I’m pretty sure the only one I’d been to was Acadia, and that was in my home state. I want to do Sedona when I’m in Scottsdale in November.

        But I think I did several national parks in Ireland. Does that count?

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