2001-08-15

AT - Day 44


Despite a late breakfast and an hour’s drive back to the trail, I made good progress on the long-ridged Kittatinny Mountain in Highpoint State Park. In Culvers Gap I lunch-ed on pastries at Worthington’s Bakery, served by a courteous, but distant lady. Did she see too many hikers? Kittatinny Mountain continued on a long, dry stretch over old gravel roads past Rattlesnake Mountain. Within earshot of summer communities, the trail split the gap between Crater Lake and Long Pine Pond, then diverted onto rockier paths. Search was sitting and enjoying the ambience of the woods when I caught up to him. We cheerfully hiked together and found a water pump at Blue Mountain Lakes Road. The miles through diverse green woods and pleasant dirt roads glided by easily, so we reached Mohican Outdoor Center by dusk. To my surprise, Mark, Odette and Donny (trail angels from Maine) met us there for a cookout.

Staying at the Pomeroys’ was not the only miracle to happen. My cross-country hiking style came together at the time of staying with them.
Search had the personality of a philosopher-poet. He had written in a shelter register about the “Sobo Void.” I knew what he meant. The solitude of the wilderness maybe desirable for several hours at a time, or overnight, but after a week without company, most hikers enjoy some conversation during a break or mealtime. Communication does more than share useful trail information; it stimulates the mind.
Search loved cycling. He meticulously described for me the ballet-like beauty of a chain of cyclists, how they take turns in the lead, then peel off, dropping to last place in line. Each conserves energy by drafting behind the others.


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