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Barb Howe diary: Back to the 'burgh

Barb enjoying the natural

Barb enjoying the natural (Image credit: Barb Howe)

Soaking wet and still breathing hard from the short track, my father and I packed up the van and headed north to Pittsburgh. I was very excited to hang with my family for a week in the summer when we could do outdoor things in relative comfort. The drive through northwestern North Carolina on small roads was stunning, I had no idea it was so beautiful there. We made decent time on the interstate, stayed at a hotel somewhere in West Virginia and rolled into Pittsburgh just in time for lunch.

We surprised my sister with lunch and I got my first chance to hang out with my nephew in several months. This is all very exciting to me because my sister is the first one in the family to have a child. Colby, my nephew, was just figuring out how to walk and providing endless entertainment. The family had planned a full week for me involving various activities, meals, gatherings, shopping trips, etc. I had a few of my own activities to add to the agenda, including a group mountain bike ride and an Xterra.

Tuesday evening, after the day's activities--mostly involving quality time with my Mother and Colby while my sister was at work--my brother and I headed to Riverview Park on the north side of Pittsburgh for a P.O.R.C. ride. We met up with the ride leader Adam, my brother's friend, Pete, and a guy named Mark. We rode for close to thirteen miles, mostly on single track weaving round and round up and down a rather small city park. Good fun all around, I was the only one whose clothes matched their bike. Afterwards we sat on the porch, drank Yuengling beers and ate square pizza. I'm not a huge fan of the square pizza, it not only brings back memories of grade school cafeteria pizza but the corner slices are substandard. You get stuck with mostly crust and not as much good stuff.

To read the complete diary entry, including Howe's latest recipe, click here.

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