After the feast I went for a hike. The railroad right of way that once ran from Cornwall Furnace has been turned into a trail for walkers, riders and bicyclists. Chris, Hanno and Fred and the boys were strolling with the dachshund back from the pond. But I wanted to walk far and fast to clear my head of the turkey-fog, so I struck northward past Mount Gretna. The trail takes its gently graded way through the state gamelands and woodlots rustling with squirrels and woodpeckers.
I've always detested backtracking and so I imagined an ambitious loop in my mind. After about three miles or so, I turned off the railbed and struck a trail up the ridge into the thousand acres of the Governor Dick preserve. The climb to the ride-top is only about 400 feet or so and something less than a mile, but I still was winded and sweating by the time I got there. I hadn't been up there in 20 years probably, but the geography is pretty straight-forward and I figured that even if I got caught out in the dark (which had grown increasingly inevitable) I'd find my way back home. (In the cub scout pack, I'm always tasked with leading the night hikes, because I'm the one with a sense of direction even at night.)
But I met a couple there on the trail, who offered me a lift back home -- saving me from the unsafe descent down Pinch road that I had not been looking forward to.