Friday, July 11, 2014

Sometimes I Write

Somedays a lot of thoughts come to my head, somedays few.  This week is one of those weeks not a lot is coming to where and when I want to share.  I could run down the who, what, where, and when's of my hike.  I find that pretty boring actually.  After all I hike.  I travel daily through the woods.  Walking through the woods sounds pretty boring, write?

I will say Pennsylvania is one of those states that needs to be respected on the trail.  I cuss a lot on the trail because of the rocks.  The terrain looks flat yet, in reality it's not.  Fill it with jagged rocks and a 15 mile day becomes hard.  Add to that different layers of danger.  This could be over growth of vegatation covering rocks.  The vegitation itself could be thorns or poison ivy, a danger right there.  In sunny spots, toss in the possibility of snakes.  There's always jagged rocks under foot with these vines.  Occasionally, I find the trail follows a PA Game Land road, aka 4 wheeler track.

On July 10th, as I left Dan's Pulpit, I nearly stepped on a rattler sunning its lethargic self on the rocks.  Jade yelled up to me "I want to see it."  Her husband, Steady, joined us a moment later.  Then the debate came, how to step around it through the rocks and brush.  We all took a different route.  Now, when I say nearly stepped on this creature, I mean I saw it well enough in advanced that it gave me a fright but, far enough to be at a safe distance.

This same day we crossed the Knife's Edge, a rocky out crop of a quarter mile length.  The danger here is just falling with a heavy pack.  There is no danger of falling any distance.  Snakes were on my mind, as well as falling.  Erin Saver, aka Wired, had fallen a few days before and wrote about her bad experience on her blog.  As a Triple Crowner, I can see this may also hurt a bit on her pride. For me her warning was simple, be ready to use all surfaces to my advantage and put the poles away.  I did and I did take a few photos.  I'd love to redo this section as a day hike.  It is a fun, play on chunk of trail.

Somedays, a bit of delay can make a huge difference.  It could be a simple long lunch or a detour.  Also on July 10th, we stopped for a second lunch.  While finishing, the owner came in talking about the weather.  We went back out, brought our packs under cover as the sky darkened.  A few minutes later, the sky was no longer dark but, heaving massive amounts of rain down.  Thanks to stopping for a few extra moments we stayed dry.  Another friend of ours had pushed on.  That poor fella already having a bad day, must have buried his attitude even further down.  Hopefully something will shift into his favor.

I did catch up with this fellow hiker the next day.  Trail magic lightened his mood with a favorite snack.

Everything I see or experience on the trail is preparing me for some greater challenge.  Even as I hike over these rocks, I can say, I've done it.  Cyber hikers will tell a tall story on how bad they are.  I'll tell ya, when one take these rocks one day at a time, even one step at a time, they really aren't that bad.  The hazards out here aren't hazards when one is paying attention.  The hazards are pretty cool.  Who can say they've nearly stepped on a snake and yet be far enough away to enjoy watching it for a few minutes and not have disturbed it?  Who can say they've climbed over jagged rocks to see views few locals know of?

One day at a time,  hike on...

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