Good morning! I hope you are well. I am sitting in the Apple Pie Bakery in Delaware Water Gap. Someone asked me yesterday, “Now you’re out of Pennsylvania…. What did you think of the PA rocks?” Really I will say to you, my peoples, that I… actually… kinda… liked… Pennsylvania. It was all, rock hopping blargh, and long level stretches of gloriousness, and benign snowfall all on my face all the time, just enough to make up for all those deprived January birthdays in Texas, so I often felt like I was in a snow globe and it was magical and there was a hush all around except for the sound of the falling snow hitting the leaves, and the snowflakes brushing across your cheeks and getting stuck in your eyelashes… and when it was cold and snowy it was not horrible snow, and when it was cool and precipitatey it was just cool enough to snow copious amounts instead of rain copious amounts, so we could all stay dry which is important. And then it was only warm the one or two days, but one of those was Earth Day, which was yesterday, and that was pretty nice too. A couple marble-ous views, a few meadow-ish stretches. Lavenous stuff.
I am thinking about my breakfast sandwich and my coffee and my strawberry muffin and my cinnamon donut sample, so this will be a collection of random thoughts.
Oo. Remember that time I was all, knees are important; and then you were all, “Yeah, Sail, you are totally right, knees are legit,” and then we moved on with our lives? So I got really excited and did 17 miles of rock hopping a couple days after I got on, like a fool, and then was all, “Oh schist there goes the right knee.” But micareful hiking since then has made it somewhat better; we may have briefly been hitting a rocky stretch, but I think our relationship is out of the woods. Right now. Until I decide to hike up that next ridge. Knees are important. Take care of your knees, Best Beloved.
Every time I quote Rudyard Kipling I get really sad, because I love addressing you all as best beloved when I write… But he was such a jerk. I will not write his racist sayings here… But geez, man, whywouldyoudothat.
I am too distracted by my food to upload pictures for you, but I was staying in this beautiful shelter
[Lies. Ok. My phone is in maximum battery saving mode and doesn’t have access to my gallery of photos… so here’s a picture of my current food and my writing things, which I write you as I go- neither of which are a shelter] and thought of a book title for my life: “She made it across mountains, through the perils of land and sea, only to be almost laid low by a small wooden bunk bed.”*
*The problem with writing is that I have no editor to look at my stuff and say, “That title is too long, you fool, stop writing now.” This is something we could all benefit greatly from.
The hardest part of my morning is getting out of my really warm sleeping bags. I had that problem this morning, and I was headed here for breakfast. So I slept in till… like… 8, then got up and washed my socks. My internal monologue every morning goes something like, snnrrrk… Oh. Day. I like day. great. do I hike toda- sleep sleep sleep- aha. day. I like day. Is there sunshine? Yay.
Then I have to talk myself into getting up. It is very hard. Hiking is very hard also, but I realized something while I was climbing miserably up a ridge in the sunshine yesterday… Hiking in sunshine is terrifying. There are so many more people around, and then I am hot and tired, and there’s light everywhere…. Which I thought I liked. I really did. But there’s something to be said for clouds and darkness. At least it’s cool. And the only people around in the cold simply assume you’re somewhat strange, or maybe marginally insane (it’s a linear relationship- assumed level of insanity correlates with how cold it is outside) which skips some steps, and then you both talk about the weather, or celebrate your mutual lunacy, or both. Really a great recipe for a conversation.
Oo. Speaking of friends, a section hiker I was with over the past week or so has informed me that, of all the people you can meet on this trail, the two folks I’m leapfrogging with on the trail are a father and daughter pair… whom I’m pretty darn sure I spent a great night with last year on their shakedown hike just south of Harper’s Ferry. What’re the odds. (Most thru-hikers are further south, right now.)
Also, these past two weeks are the fastest I’ve ever ripped up a new pair of shoes in my life. Thanks, rocks.
I’mma finish eating my muffin, and plan for New Jersey and New York. Just spent a day with an old friend on his family farm in NJ. He plowed the field while I lounged like a hollow-gourd-carving bum, and ate homemade Georgian (the country, not the state) pastries. Someday I will tell you more about the people I met in Pennsylvania, and on this farm. Also, I still have to write you about ants.
Koffee. Expect more later.