Appalachian Trail Mile 1381.0

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 (Day 98)

Oh, the feeling! The sweet seductive feeling of reclination. Oh, how long it has been, dear Earth, since I have lain myself flat upon you!

I had thought to go further, to journey in to the night. The moon had only just begun to wane away towards its phase of darkness, of newness. These last 5 miles, however, made me question such notions. The weaving of trail, between and up and over and down large boulder piles and fallen trees was both challenging (navigationally and physically), and thoroughly enjoyable. There was something so fun, so exciting, so worthy and satisfactory about it all.

I reconsidered my late start of the previous evening; how I only made it 16 miles by sunrise. I viewed it in a less critical light, now. No wonder it took me so long…it is difficult enough to navigate in sunlight! I recalled getting lost amongst rock piles and turning back for blazes. It all seems so long ago, now.

I travelled in to Greenwood Lake Village this morning. I took the steep .09 Village Vista Trail to get there. As I completed the descent in to the village, I was overcome by a strange yet pleasurable scent. Then I observed what appeared to be very large piles of cedar chips engaged in what seemed to be a light burning process(?). Fragrant smoke stretched and loomed out from select corner piles of charred black edges. Curious. How very curious.

I moved passed the middle school and playground courts and down a main street to a Rite Aid where I procured batteries and overpriced oatmeal.

A kind local took an interest in me and my journey. He spoke of how he had housed hikers for a night in his home, and had received Christmas cards from them every year for seven years thereafter. He asked if I needed anything. If only I had travelled further to get there! I would have loved to stay with him and shower and do laundry and get to know him and get a feel for this little village. He was a sweet older man with a hint of knowing in his eye and a certain quirk that I have come to identify as the East Coast Variety.

I climbed back up the trail.

I crossed NY 17A and crossed the rocky Eastern Pinnacles.

The area was very dry. The sources that were running, were often unappealing or swampy. I was very thankful to come across a water cache just before crossing East Mombasha Road.

I filled up with water, crossed the road, and travelled a short distance before coming to a nice flat spot. There, I removed my pack, unfurled my ground tarp, then my mat, then my body; all against the cool, solid, beckoning silence and stillness of the ever moving Earth.

Oh, yes.

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