Other than still being worried about my mom, I had a great day: one of those which started well and just got better.
Pensylvania – known for destroying hikers will to walk with its rockiness – gave us a gentle introduction. The trail went over a few rocky outcrops. Doing 4 of them a day was fun, though I believe later on it will be non-stop, then I probably will be crying, not smiling!
Early on we came across this little tortoise surprise, he didn’t want to show much face but I didn’t expect tortoises out here so loved seeing him.
Trevor and I was chatting (quite loud – we were alone in the forest) about other things we would still want to do in and with our lives, when we saw two people next to the trail in a camping spot taking a break.
Now I want to tell this as non-dramatic as possible as I am scared you will think I made it up. It was Jarryd…..!!! And the woman with him was Moon Pie (she isn’t important so I won’t talk about her more). We took packs off and sat and had a chat with Jarryd. He is well, has been hiking since we saw him leaving in the rain on our zero day in Harpers Ferry. He hasn’t been going fast, but he has been walking every day. His wife is fetching him from the trail on Friday – he would by then have been walking for 2 weeks. One week shorter than what he originally planned but when she called last night and said “time to come home” he agreed. Trevor asked him if the time on the trail gave him what he wanted and he said YES. He said some nights he laid crying in his tent (I don’t know his issues but clearly there are issues, though he is an outgoing fun guy) but he really needed and enjoyed this time out.
Seeing Jarryd and learning that he has been walking made my day. I have a soft spot for him.
The trail went through a camp site (reminding me a lot of our pre-democracy holiday resorts) with picnic tables and lawn and vending machines. Trevor could have 2 cold drinks (and I had a Gaterade) with his lunch, making him the most pleasant person possible.
Last highlight of our day was our afternoon Snickers stop. We always have a Snickers bar when we have about 6km to go, it powers us to our destination for the night. Just as we were due our Snickers break we came to this lovely shelter (where we then stopped for a while) – shelters are normally three walls and a roof with nothing to make it pleasant – this one is beautiful with benches and flower boxes set up around it, wonder who maintains it!
Our tent is pitched under some pine trees on a bed of pine needles. The perfect end to this nice day.