Only 6 weeks out from the race. Really needed to step up the training, I thought, hitting mile 7 on a 14 mile stint. It was getting dark and I wasn't enthusiastic about getting clipped by a car with the way people drive in Fayetteville. I decided to transition to the treadmill at the neighborhood gym.
Soon enough, I found myself limping back home cursing the whole way. Never transition from outdoor running to a treadmill. I earned myself a messed up knee and three weeks of recovery. Of course my pride was stronger than my common sense and after minimal train up and knee brace in hand I was driving to Pennsylvania for the Pocono Mountain Marathon. This could only go one way and it wasn't looking good.
Home Sweet Home...
I would've been pumped if I was just coming home to hang out. I just can't help but put myself in precarious situations though. At least the weather was on my side. A perfect 48 degrees in the morning with plenty of trees to combat the mounting sun on the horizon.
The Silver Lining
Lackawanna Coal Mine and Anthracite Museum
Great Iron Furnaces of Scranton
This is a quick 20 minute stop while making your way around Scranton, PA. The city is one of the oldest in the country and has years of industrial glory behind it. This includes the Lackawanna Iron and Coal Company Furnaces. The city's name originated from one of the companies owners, George Scranton. In 1847, the company listed 800 employees, including many Welsh, Irish, and German immigrants.
In 1903 due to changing markets, the iron plant was moved to Buffalo and the property was sold to the Wyoming Valley Railroad which scrapped all of the operation except the enormous stone furnaces which sit there today. Since that time the area was turned into a small park and historical site.
How the "electric city" got its name- Trains & Trolleys Galore
The phrase was coined by a man named Rev. David Spencer, D.D, a once pastor at the Penn Avenue Baptist Church in the 1920s. Indeed, he had good reason to do it since Scranton was one of the first cities to install electric lighting as early as February 1880, directly after Thomas Edison received his patent for commercial use of his newly improved light bulb in January of that same year.
Scranton was also the first city to ever run a entire transportation system solely on electric power. This was their trolley system of course. Newspapers in 1886 referred to pictures of the Scranton trolley system at night as the "Great White Way". It became a focal point for a booming city which would eventually eclipse its former population growth by 1970 and never recover.
Scranton, in many ways is a fascinating story of what was, as well as a story of the deep personal ties that current generations have with its history today.
Besides the trolley cars are all the trains. Scranton is home to one of the most impressive train museums in the country maintained by the National Park Service. Even if your not a train enthusiast or a history buff walking through the train yard will give you pause. Seeing the sheer size and articulate nature of these machines is impressive. Peering into the conductors compartment and sitting on the metal floor of the rear train car staring out is a cold experience.
It makes you realize that this place was once a bustling center of commerce and activity which moved the country into the 21st century. Now it sits. Lost and disregarded; forgotten in its faded glory until you take the time to experience it. They actually run a number of these old cars in a train tour through the Pocono Mountain area. My father took me when I was three, not that I remember it but I've heard it has some views to behold.
Sitting on the back of the train car was peaceful I must admit. In a city that is a living relic, the past seems to stay alive; oddly complimenting the contemporary structures around it. Its hard to explain. Most people chalk Northeastern Pennsylvania up to be a "shit hole" with "nothing to do". If you look past the old rusty metal and lopsided houses it can be one of the strangest and most exciting places you can find.
In 2012, this engine car (below) was moved to Scranton weighing in at an astonishing 250,000lbs. The Park Ranger told us that the engine car itself was too long to sit on the slightly angled track and had to have its rear wheels propped on planks. Apparently there are only a handful of these specific engine cars left in existence with only 26 originally manufactured.
I was going to write a conclusion paragraph I swear. I figured I had written too much other serious information. I started to think I was writing a book report until I searched Google images. Cheers...