August 24 – August 29

I have not been very diligent with my blog lately and this unplanned zero is giving me a chance to get caught up. I got bit by a wasp on the ankle several times Sunday morning and by the time I stopped for the day it had swollen up my leg to mid calf and down to my toes. The next morning I walked 5 miles into Hamburg and it got much worse. So here I am; sitting around staying off it as much as possible. I’ll head back to the trail tomorrow morning and I hope it will be ok.

When I started hiking this trail I had no idea that one of the most challenging aspects would be insects. Psychologically speaking it is the most difficult aspect of this hike. I’ve heard from many NOBOs that the rocks of PA are tough, and they were right to an extent. Of course now that I think about whether I’d rather have bugs or rocks, it’s a tough choice!

Yes, this is the trail. Welcome to Rocksylvania.

However, getting through this section of the trail is strangely empowering. I’ve been hiking bigger miles (18-20 miles per day) and it feels good.

And I’ve had time to think about the future, and one decision I have committed to is moving back to CA and working of the family farm. It’s something I’ve been digesting, so to speak, since Maine. I love Astoria but I don’t have anywhere to come home to now that my folks sold their place. Sure, I could get my own place but it would take some time and would be expensive for me even working two jobs. If I ever want to get serious about building the tiny home of my dreams it would be in Ukiah. And I can make more money than I would in Astoria.

I do dislike how money tends to make decisions for me, but I really don’t see it like that. I’ve chosen my lifestyle and with that choice come sacrifices and compromises. I do what I have to do in order to live my life the way I want.

Isn’t that what everyone does? To some extent.

So tomorrow morning I’ll get back on the trail after the continental breakfast here at the motel. And I’ll hike through the rocks. And the bugs. And I’ll hike to Duncannon where a package from my generous and lovely friend Cindy will be waiting. And I’ll hike through the changing seasons. Until I am done.

Icing my foot, eating berries. I finally bought a pair of “town” shorts ($5 at Walmart) to wear when I do laundry. A solid move.
Not all shelters are like this one; I stopped in to check it out before heading onward.
Ken looking a bit forlorn at the Allenstown shelter.
The woods are beginning to smell like fallen leaves. I don’t see NOBOs anymore. Often I camp alone. I hope to catch my tramily sometime soon!
When PA is not rocky, it looks like this. Nice trail through hardwood forests. Lovely.
Carrot cake cupcake. Not nearly as good as the carrot cake at Coffee Girl.

Ken enjoying an ice cold spring before a smallish climb up to Catfish tower in NJ.
Packing out pizza from town is always a good idea.

Fungus among us.

One thought on “August 24 – August 29

  1. Finally, I clicked to read and just as quickly my reply customers stroll over on this very slo, very cool august afternoon. Ukiah, now I will have one more friend in Anderson Valley.


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