After leaving town I hit the trail and again. I knew I had a tough climb out but I was sure in for a treat this time. I was tired of trying to hike along the rocky boulders of a trail, I craved something new for terrain. The 1000 foot climb started out like they all do, with trail and steps. Soon they gave way to sheer rocks and boulders, leading straight up the mountainside. Before long I was free climbing hand over hand with all my gear on my back. Choosing footholds, handhold and deciding a route to navigate the steep mountain. I was in heaven, finally something cool, I thought. It wasn’t long that I went off trail just to get a look at the views before climbing back down to the trail.
As with all good things it soon came to an end I reached the top. From here I would have to pass the forbidden zone of the Superfund Site. There would be no water and no resources for quite some time as the trail swept around the outer edge of the contaminated area. The large ripe berries looked delicious yet could be tainted so I tried none of them. The area seemed more Midwest than PA, the dry barren landscape had little growing and was baked from the sun. I could see down to the town below and it was obvious that manufacturing was a large part of their town. These little bits of different trail were just a taste before I was back in the woods and on those jagged rocks again.
Over the next few miles all I thought about was seeing Kim the next day. We were going to hike and I was looking forward to doing that. I just wanted to get the miles done and sleep, the long miles over the rocks were starting to get to me. I was beginning to hate hiking in PA and I just wanted out. It’s not like I was climbing over rocks or something else, it was just impossible to walk with the rocky trail. You can’t get a pace, a rhythm, or any kind of groove when your trying to not snap your leg off above the ankle.
I had cell service and excited to break, right there on the trail. I needed to find a place where Kim could meet me and we could hike back to our car. S lu k would have it the Mechanical Man was just 3 miles ahead of me and he could do that. I became excited and hit the trail hard, pushing to get the day over along gthe rocks. The next three miles were not smooth but even rockier than the previous miles. Why can’t it ever be the opposite I thought. Just then I came to a road which meant I was done for the day. Dropping my pack I enjoyed the sun for a few moments before calling out and getting a ride to his house. Kim would be here in the morning and I needed to write.