For some reason, my pictures of this state park are really not impressing me this morning. Generic green trees and a wood chip path; generic dock and gray sky reflected on water; generic blue sky with some kayaks in the background. I’ve seen them all before, only labeled with different locations: Pennsylvania, Maine, Florida. So have a Sarasota commencement sunset instead:

Sunset at the New College commencement

My neighbor at this park just pulled a full size ladder out of a mysterious compartment on his trailer. He also has two kayaks stuck in the back of his truck. I’m not quite jealous — I would never want to pull a trailer and he’s using the ladder to clean off the roof of his slide-out so he can close it to pack up, which is not a chore I would want to add to my list. But last week, R and I finally figured out how to use my bike rack and the conclusion, after almost two years, is “ha-ha-ha, what a useless piece of equipment.” I mean I guess I thought that’s what the conclusion was already? I never believed I would be able to lift a bicycle high enough over my head to get it on the rack to begin with.

But it turns out that yes, I’m now strong enough to lift a bicycle onto the rack (whee) and it doesn’t matter because I’m not tall enough to lock it into place without somehow carrying a ladder around with me. I’m sure you’ll be unsurprised when I tell you that my van has no available room to carry around a ladder. And while two years ago I did optimistically think I could become strong enough to lift a bike over my head (I am! A light bike, anyway!), I don’t optimistically think I’m going to grow taller any time soon. Not to mention, even R had to bring out something to step on to finally get the lock on, so yeah. Bike rack, not much use. I’d rather have a kayak than a bike, anyway.

But back to the state park. It’s a nice enough place, which feels a lot like damning with faint praise, but I don’t intend it that way, not really. If I’d stayed here on my very first trip up to PA two years ago, I think I would remember it fondly. As it is, though, my view is of my neighbor’s trailer — admittedly, there’s a lovely lake behind the trailer, but I’ve stayed in so many places with really spectacular views by now that I’m jaded about having to look through people stuff to get to the nature stuff. Still, nice level sites, plenty of room between them, good walking, friendly people, lots of small dogs and children to admire, birds chirping… it’s a great place for a quick stop on my way to PA.

And not such a quick stop, really. I got here Tuesday around 4 and I’m not leaving until tomorrow (Friday) morning, so two full days here. My idea was that breaking up a long drive with a couple days of rest would give me time to do lots of writing. Eh. About 400 words yesterday was the best I could do. The fact is, long drives are tiring and the routines of moving are time-consuming. I spent more time yesterday searching for a place to stay Friday night, so I could avoid going through DC (at rush hour on Friday on a holiday weekend, aka nightmarish), than I did actually adding words to Grace.

Of course, that said, I should probably admit that I spent a lot more time playing with graphics and photographs than I did writing Grace, too. It’s not like I’m going to become a designer anytime soon but it’s fun to play sometimes. I designed a lovely post-apocalyptic horror thriller cover — well, not lovely, more grim and dark in an attractive sort of way. (Tagline: a post-apocalyptic thriller for the desperately bored.) I also turned a perfectly nice tree picture into a muddled mess of a graphic, having discovered a magnifying glass and a scatter tool.

But today’s another day, another chance to get some real words written, so I’m going to get back to it. I suspect part of my resistance is that I’m so close to the ending — I really could finish it with another 10K words, so within two weeks, quite easily. But that would mean I’d have to start letting other people read it and I’m not sure I want to. Wouldn’t that be ironic? Three plus years spent writing a book and at the end of the day, an unwillingness to let anyone else read it? But for my own sake, I need to finish it so I can move on, so back to it I go. Wish me luck!