Hikes, Peppers, Disobedient Spirits

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The weekend started off with a couple neighbors (and their children) hopping over to our home for drinks and dinner. It was an ideal night with the kids keeping each other busy and the adults enjoyed getting to know their neighbors better. Remarkably, the kids kept themselves busy for a couple hours and no disasters or medical emergencies happened. In case you were wondering, Benny (our dog) chose to hang with the kids and slept very well that night.

On Saturday morning, I woke Benny up in the darkness and made the hour drive up to Slipper Rock, Pennsylvania. My goal was to hike the Slippery Rock Gorge Trail, which is about 6 miles each way and covers major changes in elevation. On the way back, we needed to take breaks for Benny and myself, we were also stung by bees. It was a beautiful hike and I found a shorter version along Slippery Rock Creek which the rest of the family would definitely enjoy. (STORY CONTINUES AFTER PICTURES BELOW)

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On Sunday morning, I rallied the family to the Reyna Foods Hatch Pepper Festival. The Hatch Pepper is somewhat famous (so I am told) and comes from Hatch, New Mexico. We went to this festival last year and thought it was a neat experience, I love the music, sights, and tastes, it also draws a strange crowd. We wandered about for a little, went on a hayride, and one of the vendors asked if I wanted to take the Carolina Reaper challenge. Carolina Reapers are the hottest pepper on earth and I once ate a sliver of one about the width and diameter of a penny. This small sliver induced hiccups, sweating, tears, and abdominal pain. The vendor said if I ate one, I would get a free t-shirt and be entered to win a gift basket. I am not one to back down from a challenge, but the benefit was not worth the risk in this case. I asked her if I could just take one bite and she said I had to eat the whole pepper. I chickened out (or made a rationale decision) and declined the invitation…I look back on that decision with remorse. The festival had no ATM and I generally carry little cash, so we decided to move on in the early afternoon. (STORY CONTINUES AFTER PICTURES)

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I then drove my family about an hour east to Homer City, Pennsylvania to visit Disobedient Spirits. Disobedient Spirits is a new distillery that I was excited to try out. There’s not a whole lot going on in Home City other than the distillery, but my kids found a playground, Jaclyn tried out a cocktail everyone got to enjoy something in Homer City. I bought a bottle of vodka and a bottle of moonshine, my collection of locally crafted spirits is coming along nicely. I plan to offer a tasting to friends sometime in October.

One last note, I have purchased two Charbroil grills, both have had ignition switch failures and had to be replaced. Replacing an ignition switch is a pain in the butt and therefore, I recommend that no one buy a Charbroil grill.

Otherwise, life is good, work is great, and Pittsburgh is treating us very, very well!

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