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OTHER ITA SITES:
Discovering Gnome Town USA
The Paulinskill Trail run was only 2 weeks away and I knew that I needed to get in at least 40 miles a day to stay in shape. This event drew hundreds of bicyclists from around the state each year. It was the one sport that I could still participate in after my hip was destroyed in an accident.
I completed my day�s workout and while peddling home, a strange sound shrieked from my back wheel. I looked back to assess the situation. In that brief moment of distraction, I unknowingly became entangled in a roadside hazard. A warning cone covered a gapping hole in the rode and stood as a warning to stay clear. However, my attentions were elsewhere and before it could register that I was in any danger, the front wheel caught the edge of the hole and flipped me off my bike. As I lay there on the grass and tried to shake off the abrupt end to my journey that day, I glanced over at the orange cone still standing over the hole. It seemed to be moving. I was convinced that my fall must have caused a slight dizziness or blurred vision.
Suddenly the earth opened up more and the hole became much larger. Several of those orange cones appeared and were moving about. I was no longer dizzy and my vision was fine, but couldn�t make sense of it. Cautiously, I walked over to the opening in the earth and stood at edge observing a mysterious phenomenon. The cones had simply vanished and the hole returned to its original size. I could not see anything out of the ordinary, but couldn�t help but imagine what was happening. Was this some sort of seismic activity? What caused the hole? Was this a prelude to something more disastrous to come? Why wasn�t anyone from the town concerned about what was happening?
The more I thought about it the more my curiosity needed to be satisfied. After much thought and many unsuccessful attempts to get any answers from the local police, I was suddenly struck by an idea that could help me with my dilemma. It was time to put together some sort of device so that I could do some surveillance. I went to an electronics store and purchased the smallest cellular phone. I found that the new phones worn on the ear fit my needs. Then I added a tiny camera with a super sensitive microphone. I set it up so that it would send a video feed to my computer where I could record everything. I added to my electronic contraption a special adhesive so that I could easily attach it to the cone.
I went back to the hole and noticed that one of the orange cones was now standing next to the hole. I attached my electronic contraption to the cone and then hurried back home to my computer so that I could watch the video feed. I was annoyed to see that the camera was not feeding video from the surroundings where I left the camera. Instead it was moving in a dark tunneling cavern. I was bewildered and could not understand how an animal could move the camera the way it was moving. In addition the noise that I was picking up did not indicate that it was a four-legged creature, but rather a two legged creature. For minutes that seemed like eternity I watched a video that was mystifying but offered no immediate answers.
Then suddenly the camera left the tunnel and appeared to enter a wide-open space. The space was still underground and the video was not very clear because the area was dark. I quickly adjusted the video feed so that I could brighten it up and then was treated to a sight that I did not expect.
Underground was a vibrant small town with garden Gnomes. Only these gnomes were alive! I always thought garden gnomes were a myth. But here there was an underground town with hundreds of them. And they all spoke English, although they seem to have a German accent and a few seem to have a Scandinavian accent.
Over the next several hours I was able to observe the garden gnomes and learned so much more about their way of life and habits. I learned that the name of the town was Gnome Town USA. Evidently the name was very popular and just about every US state has a Gnome Town USA. The name was popular with them just like towns with the name Lincoln or Washington.
The garden Gnomes are quiet creatures and prefer to keep to themselves for privacy reasons and for their safety. Garden Gnomes have many natural enemies and they were not looking to add the human race to the list, thus the need for their secrecy. Garden Gnomes are very communal and go out of their way to help each other. Many developed special skills like wood working, farming, shoe making, etc. Some garden gnomes do live topside but in secluded areas.
Garden Gnomes amuse themselves with the simplest things in life. They don�t put too much value on material things and prefer to just live comfortably. Garden Gnomes also live a long life that I believe can be attributed to the wisdom they have gained from previous generations.
I grew tired and fell asleep at the computer. I awoke with a headache. At first, I saw orange objects moving about, but was still somewhat in a dream state that I did not know what was happening. My vision was blurred. Then someone called out to me asking if I was okay. My eyes finally focused and I could see trees and several people around me. I had passed out from my fall. I realized then it was all a dream. I declined help and walked my bike the short distance home. I smiled thinking about the silly dream I had. Later that evening, out of curiosity I looked for the video feed on my computer. It was not there, as I knew it wouldn�t be. I googled Gnome Town USA and was amazed to find it listed on the search engines! Was I dreaming or was it real? Then I remembered their need for secrecy and turned off the computer.
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Travel Part B