Well… It appears I am on vacation, my delightful scallions. One of the horrible things about traipsing through the woods with no income is that, eventually, you must come to a stop to get money in order to feed your face.
Here we are.
Older sister lives with her life’s love and their small child in a small rented house in the suburbs near the Connecticut seashore, where she has offered me a warm room with a mattress on the floor. Sometimes, I watch the small child. Sometimes, we go for short walks on the beach and take pictures like the above.
Other times, we languish, and listen to the cold wind tug at the eaves, and wonder why we are not outside freezing our faces off in the mountains right now. (Why not, Best beloved?) Instead, here I am. Respectable. Respectably researching science for the respectable university, doing respectable job in respectable building, all respectable all over respectable, eating food respectable being warm respectable roof house respectable. Wow.
It snowed a bit while I was hiking through Pennsylvania in December. It was too cold to type to you, though… Sorry I’m not sorry. I did kind of have some problems with the rocks in Pennsylvania. …. I mean… like…. I couldn’t find them?
There were a couple areas where the path was vaguely lumpy. Maybe. (What was that, AWOL trail guide? “Trail very rocky from here north to Inn Rd.” Huh. I didn’t see any rocks. TAKE THAT, WARM WEATHER HIKERS.) Mostly it was just really flat, and the snow shoosh-ed around, and occasionally your hiking pole would plunge into heretofore unknown depths and you would realize, aha oh there were depths below this snow. It was like walking in a magical land, except if your hands were quietly freezing and your face was freezing and everything was freezing but at least you knew you would be warm at night in your -5F sleeping bag and your glorious purple down liner, donchaknow, with that Nalgene hot water bottle warming up your feet and your face hidden in the fluffy generous darkness of your puffy jacket- mmmm. Toasty.
Also, you are no doubt wondering how my tarping went, especially since all you’ve been staring at for a month is a letter to my mother about trash bags. Tarps, dear reader, are much more high maintenance than trash bags.
I drew you up a comparison table, but it takes too much work to type it in, and I’m on vacation, remember, working and pretending to be a contributing member of society. Tarps. Heavier than trash bags. More expensive. More spacious. Have floors if you pitch them to have floors. More visually appealing. Better shelter in more kinds of weather. Less condensation than a trash bag. Require being able to tie a knot. Especially hard if your fingers are frozen.
I pitched once. (It was pleasant?) Mostly, though, cowboy camping or shelter sleeping was nice, verrry nice. Sleep now, or spend an extra few minutes in the cold when your face has been freezing all day? Hmmm. Hard choice. …Truly, the tarp was not used only because I have a very warm sleeping bag; and then when you stick your eye to a gap in your warm beddings, there are star pinpricks in the darkness above you, or fast-moving clouds across the gleaming moonlit sky, and nothing between you and them but swift thin layers of air.
tl;dr Got off trails at Duncannon, PA, on December 15th. Saw family for Christmas; yay. Came back to Connecticut to work for a couple months; will get back on trails in a bit.
Here we are. Working. Waiting.
I am very bad at waiting.