Unfortunately the loft I rented for a couple nights was booked for the weekend, so I had to leave Pittsburgh for a few days. I found a state park forty minutes west of town and reserved a site through Monday.
Here in the woods of Pennsylvania, I'm again confronted by a profound sense of having returned home. The flora here reminds me of my childhood in Upstate New York and the disposition of the people here is familiar as well. So far I've spent the day writing, working out, cooking, and catching up with my parents on the phone.
The weather forecast calls for rain tomorrow, so I'm a bit apprehensive about being couped up inside Vincent's belly all day with nowhere to go. Hopefully the forecast is inaccurate and we'll have some dry hours, but I probably ought to pack up my camp gear so it's not a soaked mess.
It's been wonderful to have a bit of respite from the city before I return on Monday. Pittsburgh's suburban landscape doesn't seem nearly as horrid as St Petersburg's—I was able to get from the middle of the city to a rural community in a half hour's drive. I'll always miss Oregon's urban growth boundary keeping a lid on suburban sprawl; it felt magical to be in the center of a cosmopolitan city and thirty minutes later feel like you're in the middle of nowhere.
Tomorrow I'm planning on finding a challenging hike, since I'm starved for inclines after having been in Florida so long. There are a number of trails that connect to the campground here, so hopefully I can find my way to them on foot.
The leaves here are just barely starting to show their colors; the tips of some of them are yellow, but it'll be a few weeks before they really start to turn. I'm eager to see the fall colors this year, since I haven't seen them in the northeast in over a decade.
Here's to hoping I befriend a camper or two tomorrow, since I'm about at my limit for solitude after a full day alone. We shall see.