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...