Day 94 (Hamburg, NJ – Fort Lee, NJ)

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Today was my last full day of running on this trip. I ended up doing 45 miles, and felt great on all of my runs. I did my first two runs with not much of a break in between. They went well, although it didn’t really feel like I was getting any closer to New York. After running across the country for over three months, I wasn’t going to believe that I had actually made it until I saw that skyline.

Luckily, that’s exactly what happened on my next run. I went up over a decent sized hill into Haledon, and for a brief moment at the top of the hill, I finally got a glimpse of what I was running towards this entire time. It felt pretty great, and gave me an added burst of energy.

My last run of the day may have been the most eventful run of this entire journey. I was going through the suburbs of Fort Lee, a pretty nice neighborhood, when all of a sudden I see about six turkeys. We’re talking full sized turkeys, just walking down the sidewalk as though it was no big deal. Of course my first instinct was to stop and take a picture, because as far as I knew, this wasn’t a common thing to see. Apparently, turkeys aren’t too fond of people photographing them, as they saw me and immediately began to give chase. At first I didn’t take it too seriously, but they started gaining on me and I quickly realized that these birds were out for blood.

Just when I thought I had finally reached the point where I don’t have to worry about being chased by dogs anymore, I’m now sprinting down the sidewalk, strategizing in my head the best way to defend myself in hand-to-hand combat against a gang of turkey’s.

Luckily I was able to lose them eventually, and about a quarter of a mile down the street I saw a police officer and told him, “There’s some turkey’s on the loose back there!” He looked at me like I had just escaped the looney bin. I just pray that his ignorance of the situation doesn’t lead to his ultimate demise at the hands of those monsters.

After I finished the run, my dad was talking to a very nice man named Cliff Gold, who works at a cigar shop in the city. I told them about what had just happened, and without hesitation Cliff said, “Oh yeah, I had a friend who ended up in the hospital after getting attacked by those things.” So apparently this isn’t as uncommon of a thing around Fort Lee as I thought. Maybe this is a notorious gang that roams the streets looking for suckers like me. Or maybe it’s a family of turkeys who live in the neighborhood and are a part of society, but get very offended when people stop and stare and take pictures. I mean, I would completely understand if that were the case. I just desperately want to know their backstory and where the came from. Oh well, I guess I’ll never know. I’m just glad I didn’t end up like Cliff’s friend.

On another note, I’ve finally made it to the George Washington Bridge! Tomorrow I’ll cross into the city and end my run in Central Park near 67th street and Tavern on The Green at 12:30pm.

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