To my dearest, deadliest wonkins,
Greetings and salutations. It has been too long since I last wrote you; nearly a month, as a matter of fact. Horrors! How will you stay updated on my life if I refuse to update you? You cannot. This is truth. But wipe your eyes, my dearest peoples; I am back. The truth is only this- I have been running into more people and having real-life friends like a human being, and so have not been blogging to you like I ought. My sweet, sweet imaginary friends.
Alright I am joking, that was a joke, you are human too, and do too much good to my soul not to be real. Calm down*.
**Did you like that? That wasn’t a footnote. You didn’t even have to scroll down. I call them my “middle-of-the-flipping-page-notes, why-do-they-even-exist.” They make hopping across trains of thought far easier. Less wear and tear on your tender web-scrolling phalanges. Nice, right?
Speaking of train jumping, I have recently met two folks who used to (and one who still occasionally does) ride the rails. This is an endeavor that involves, in the vaguest possible terms, using freight trains for unauthorized transportation. (Free, often quite sketch transportation, across the beautiful vastness of this country) Before you ask, it is true that I may or may not have gone through a phase of considering doing this, which would have been far more dangerous (and illegal) than walking through the woods waiting for a tree to fall on my head. Ask me not about my phases. Luckily for the black hairs on my mother’s head, I did no such thing, and now instead am walking, which is marginally slower and involves more mountains.
I am in the center-ish part of Virginia right now. Up to this point, the trail was pleasant; there were a few random ups and downs, some rocks, some hill-mountains, some jaggedy edges and picturesque views. It is pleasing to me to think about the people building these trails, with such incredible feats of carrying-all-things-into-the-backcountry and seeing mountains and saying things like, “Aha. It makes sense… here is a good and sensible way for a trail to go. Here- look- an older path, we have but to shore it up a bit,” or, “Look at this old woods road! How lovely. Let us follow it for a while.”
…BUT NOW. NOW. I swear to you, my people, that ye olde grande trail makers did something like this.
Grande Trail Maker 1: “Man, this is hard work. Here, have a smoke.”
Grande Trail Maker 2: “Thanks ole buddy ole pal.”
[Both peer off reflectively into the distance]
GTM 1: “Hey…. Hey… Do you see that really tall thing of granite sticking up into the sky, over to the the side a bit? I like that granite. That’s some sweet granite. Let’s make the trail go right over there.”
GTM 2: “Yeah ok. But what about that other one? That one is pretty tall and craggy.”
GTM1: “I like that one too. Let’s add that one.”
GTM2: “Aww man this is so great can we add that other one as well? It’s not really exactly in the direction we’re going, but it’s so nice… Only… how do we get up there?”
GTM1: “YES. Direction doesn’t matter. WHAT A BEAUTIFUL ROCK THE TRAIL MUST GO OVER THE TOP OF IT ER MER GERSH I don’t know how we will get up there, but it’ll be great. HUZZAH ALL THE CRAGS!!!!!!!”
Excessive exclamation points are a sure sign of a fevered brain, dear reader. I am sure that they used many exclamation points when they were deciding how to build this trail. You can count on it. Literally, with every pointy granite knob. I count them. It’s not even that bad yet, I am sure. Winter is coming (yay!***) and with it there will be much very cold rain and snow. Also ice. Argh.
***Ask me again how happy I am, in three months. Possibly the answer will be different. Possibly not. Who knows? Not I.
Speaking of winter, I have heard there is a northbound hiker behind me. She exists. I wonder if she also has been asked an inordinate number of times if she is aware that it will be cold. This question only comes in second to the other, which usually is delivered in tones of abject horror.
“Are you….. alone??”
Luckily, with the coming of the southbounders, I do not have to deal with this nearly as much. It was suggested by another lone hiker that I simply bark like a dog and run away….
Have not done that yet. Will take pictures of their faces over my running shoulder when I do. Live in anticipation, my peoples. Live in anticipation.
Anyways, it’s way past my bedtime. I am also way behind on those letters I promised… But I love you all anyways. Take care, and keep being great (as you all are, already).
Yer Erstwhile Forest Hiker, Me