stuff ‘round the mill

New Year’s Eve Morning at Smithfield Beach is perhaps our most controversial traditional gathering. Some think it was New Year’s Day, few know for sure, and fewer really care. Compound that with River Road being closed occasionally due to weather conflicts therefore change of days, it makes it hard to determine the number of times it was observed and when it began. Scott, Dan and Bill were the founders. Scott has ascended, last I heard Bill had descended to Jamaica, and Dan is just roaming around ski slopes somewhere. I wouldn’t be so sure it was New Year’s Eve morning myself if it weren’t for the fact that many years I was disappointed because I couldn’t attend because at my factory New Year’s Eve morning was work day so I couldn’t get to the group run.

So anyhow, the morning of New Year’s Eve I got my chocolate treats together and headed for Smithfield Beach for our 8 am community run on the McDade Trail beginning at Smithfield Beach. At our Thanksgiving gathering at Smithfield it was announced we would be doing this as usual and I didn’t hear of any change of plans.

As I headed north on River Road I came to a sign at Hialeah that the road was closed ahead. Sure enough the gate was closed and locked at the Hialeah Picnic Area Exit so I turned back and parked at the Hialeah entrance.

To my surprise when I got out of my truck I found Scott standing there beside me. He looks a bit different than I remembered; he looks younger and he’s been getting lot of sun!

We exchanged greetings and some humor after which I said, “I wonder if anyone is coming?” Scott replied “no Rod, rumor has it the gathering was cancelled!” I mumbled “I wonder why no one told me?” Scott said “nobody likes you Rod, you’re an old, slow, pain in the ass!” You’re way too focused on tradition and the history of our community, stuff NOBODY cares about! I said, “that’s too bad!” LET’S RUN!

We headed into Hialeah on the snow covered dirt road and soon found the road FULL of spent shotgun shells! There must have been a war, our local hunters wouldn’t so thoughtless!

As we came to the point of taking the Hialeah exit back onto River Road or onto the McDade Trail we chose to go River Road to Smithfield with the concern that the trail footing may have been too slippery.

OMG I was really holding Scott back; he appears to be running better than ever! He just glides along almost like he is suspended in the air!

We arrived at Smithfield and headed to road, through the parking lot and right to the water’s edge. I started to take my jacket off and Scott got ALL upset and starts yellin’ at me! I told you NO SWIMMING ALONE! I said “I’m not alone, you’re here with me!” He says “ROD…YOU ARE ALONE!” I don’t get it; I didn’t feel alone! Y’all saw the picture of Scott and me with my arm around him the other day! The river was FULL of ice cubes, a person could have almost leaped from one to the other and maybe got across the river without getting wet!

So anyhow we shared my chocolate treats and that PROVES he was there because there were 2 gone when I got back to my truck, and I never could have eaten two of ‘em all by myself! But I’m getting ahead of myself.

We shared the coffee I had in my thermos and looked over the water, it was beautiful! I could just imagine myself standing on one of those ice cubes like a surfer boy. Since I couldn’t swim I just wish I had brought the fishing rod I keep in my truck along with us! Who know what size river monster could be hooked on a beautiful as it was!

We decided to head back to Hialeah on the trail, the footing looked much better than we expected. My knees were loosening up and my pace was improving. We were chatting as we finished that 3 mile section of trail so I asked Scott who he voted for as President! I couldn’t believe his response! Then he said “you?” I said “identical to you!” He replied “for some reason I figured you to be leaning the other way! We both laughed, we couldn’t believe we voted alike!

Farther down the trail Scott says to me, “Do you always talk to yourself when you’re running Rod?” I said “no, only when you’re not with me!” I thought I’d better stop and take a picture of the trail where we had run. Those are my foot prints on the right, Scotts are on the left and you can see for yourself by his foot prints, he REALLY was there! HONEST!

There are a couple of other pictures attached, I hope, one of a sign that was shot to death by idiots! I’m all for hunting and fishing! I’m all against waste and stupid!

You folks missed a whale of a good time. If you run into Scott and he denies having been there with me don’t believe him!






04/23 – ST LUKE’S HALF –


10/15/2017 – 2017 BARRETT SCARECROW 5K RACE

11/23 – Pumpkin Pie 5k – Nazareth YMCA –


04/15 – NEW HOLLAND BIKE RACE 50MILE – New Holland, PA –

06/04 – INDEPENDENCE TRI – Lake Nockamixon –

06/04 – Philly Int’l Classic – Pro/Am bike race –

06/11 – WallyMan Tri - Lake Wallenpaupack –

07/15 – New Holland Bike Race 50mile –

07/16 – Anthracite Tri – Mauch Chunk Lake Park –

07/22 – NJ State Tri – Mercer County Park, NJ –

08/12 – REV3 POCONOS 2017- SPLIT ROCK RESORT Lake Harmony, PA

08/12 – Nightmare Tour – 177 mile bike race – Lancaster County –

08/13 – Steelman Tri – Lake Nockamixon –

09/04 – Donut Derby – bike/donut race – Trexlertown –

09/30 – Walpack Wilderness Challenge Du Walpack, NJ –

09/30 – Morning Star 5k – Bethlehem –

09/30 – Chilli Challenge – Montour Preserve –

10/07 – Dirty Dozen Hill Climb – bike race 63 miles Adamstown, PA –

10/14 – New Holland Bike Race 50mile – New Holland, PA –

10/15 – Lake to Lake 8k trail run – Lake Wallenpaupack –


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  • Blog Author

    Rod Hasker

    I love to run…and cycle…and swim! I love to meet people and share my experiences as well as learn about your experiences. I believe in fitness being an important route to a happy and healthy life. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you ... Read Full
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