You have no idea how long I walked while thinking of writing that to you. Granite, there’s not much else to think about when the only other things basalt-ing your senses are the whistle of the wind and the occasional drifting snowflakes (though only one of those is intrusive, really). On this trail, I sometimes feel crushed between a rock and a hard place; an egregious sediment, truly.
Hum anyways… It is day 4 of our ordeal. It is very cold, but it could be much colder. It is kind of rainy…. But it could be much rainier. Really all I mean to say, my peoples, is, Greetings! Long time no walk.
I am currently sitting in the 501 shelter, which is one of those shelters where (glorious day!!) one can spend entirely too much money getting pizza delivered to you. My stomach is so happy. More pizza is in my pack; but soon I think I will go, though I am not sure. PB and J are on the trail ahead of me; they are tremendously courageous and incredible folks who started at Springer Mountain on January 1st. Since then, they have endured a month of freezing, a month of freezing rain, a month of freezing snows, and then April. Here we are. Rumor has it they’re the only January folks left on trail; I am still waiting for those February peeps I was lucky enough to meet down south, before I got on three (four?) days ago in Duncannon, PA. Overhill is also here, about a day and a half ahead, though I just heard from the caretaker here that he slacked to Port Clinton so probably he is much farther than I thought.
A quick assessment of the facts: Cold? Yes. Colder than December? Not at the moment. Green growing shoots starting to poke up through the forest floor? Yes. Rocks? Many. People on trail? Yes some of those I have already told you. PB and J were telling me how strange it is having other people on the trail now that winter is going away…
I had forgotten how cold being cold is. Good thing we make sleeping bags amirite. It feels like we have barely begun in PA, and yet probably will be to Delaware Water Gap soon, ver soon. Four month breaks will do that to you, I guess… Also have lost my trail legs. Whole body is currently protesting this turn of events, but none more than my right knee. Errybody else: “Hrrrrrghh grumble grumble.” Right knee: “I refuse.” So it is torturing me.
I have also found an icicle. I took a picture of it for you, but it refused to upload, so have this picture of two wells treating stream water. If you measured the pH upstream, it would be far too acidic from old mine tailings to support ole fishies. Luckily, we just swish around water in a couple of special thingummies that are full of crushed limestone, and then let it drain out again, and then it combines with the other streamwater, and makes it liveable again. Science, amirite? So wonderrrful.
Almost I uploaded a picture of all the snow that fell on our faces two nights ago, but I was too busy A) blissfully sleeping, B) remaining defiantly buried, or C) sobbing softly to myself, in my sleeping bag, to take pictures. I forget which. But then I stayed there until it all melted, before getting up and eating breakfast and sitting by the campfire which Nate had started earlier that morning like a motivated and generous hiker (thanks, Nate). That solved all of our problems.
Anyways, it’s been totally lithic writing to you. Keep being amazing; keep being yourselves; you purposeful, phenomenal human beings.
You are so great.
P.S. Also write to me please. I removed my Facebook a week past, so now I no longer silently stalk the interwebs (The hero Gotham deserves mutter mutter gravelly voice shadows and darkness gravel)… Instead, I go onto my email account and read the emails that people have sent me, and think thoughts about replying. Also letters. I think about you, too, really great and awesome letter-writers, all.