I was home this past weekend for what has become a bit of an annual event for me. Usually, the 2nd weekend in August is Titusville's Oil Festival. For those that weren't paying attention in HS History class, Titusville, Pennsylvania is the birthplace of the oil industry. Back in 1859, the first oil well was drilled here. It also usually aligns with my Father's birthday - August 14th. For me, it has always been a great time to go home and get back to my roots. It is also a great place to bike.
Titusville is a small country town in northwest PA. It is surrounded by beautiful farm land with miles of long, windy roads. It also lies in a valley which means HILLS. LOTS AND LOTS OF HILLS!!! These hills are just what my training needed, since many of the climbs were 3 to 4 miles in length. While the weather wasn't the best due to rain, I still got in about 80 miles of riding.
The highlight of the weekend was that one of those rides was with my nephew, Adam. Living hundreds of miles apart, we rarely get the chance to spend one on one time. He is one of the easiest going people I know, with a great heart and an incredible sense of humor. I really appreciate the time I spend with him. He just got a new bike, so I am hopeful that this was the first of many rides with him.
We also took a drive to Corry, PA which is about 20 miles north of Titusville. Route 6 goes right through the town. Just outside the city limits is a campground that I plan to stay at on my trip, so this gave me the chance to check it out. Seeing the campground and the Route 6 road sign made me realize that this trip was going to happen.
Being back in my hometown is always special. You see familiar faces, and pick-up old conversations reliving the past. Several people mentioned to me they have visited my blog, and gave me lots of encouragement. These types of conversations reinforce my decision to end my journey in Titusville. For me, Titusville will always be a place about family, friends, and community.