Rock Dancing in PA

It’s like learning a new dance that hasn’t yet been discovered

  1. Stepping gingerly

Since entering the Duncannon area, the rocks have become savagley friendly. At first I thought, if this is going to be it throughout Pennsylvania, it’s going to be easier than I thought. But these things begin growing right up through the trail as if someone is out in front of you planting them. And they’re pointy and love to hide under the leaves.

And next I noticed that they were really fucking with my rythm, creating a sour mind job. That’s because you can’t predict where your next step is going to land most often when you’re foot is merely six inches from the ground, and that too can change at the last second before impact. I imagine this strange pattern of walking would be quite the show for someone watching from afar.

And your trekking pole placement becomes totally awkward because you don’t know where to land them either. And you ask no one:, do I even need these things right now? And no answer comes, as you continue your funky dance with the rock garden that is native to the AT Trail in Pennsylvania.

And finally you notice that your old blisters have given birth to twins. Then you find yourself taking a zero halfway through the state with your feet in a Epsom salt bath wondering what happened to those big mile days drinking too many Yuenglings.

But cheer up because they will soon become gradually larger.

Or so I’m told, because I’m only 118 miles into Pennsylvania. After taking a zero in Pine Grove due to torrential rains and nursing mutant blisters, myself and Soul Flower will catch the shuttle back to Swatara Gap and continue our funky dance NOBO.

If there is a moral to the story:

It’s not how fast you go, it’s how well you go fast.

May sunshine flood your path



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Comments 2

  • Ruth Morley : May 6th

    Hi Discount! It sounds like you’re handling everything the trail has thrown at you so far. I check the weather for where I think the folks I know might be, and wish you all the very best.

    T minus 11 weeks till I get to begin my SOBO flip flop. Till the, I’ll live vicariously through you guys. I sure miss being out there, but my week’s training hike couldn’t have been better.

    Say hi to Soulfliwer, Mix, and all the other Tea horse folks. Hope to see you in August on the trail.


  • Ruth morley : Jul 2nd

    Discount, I’m so very sorry you had to take time off for your injury. It broke my heart to read this in Little Bear’s blog.

    I know you have to be very discouraged, but I also know how determined you were to do this trek and how much you prepared for it. This tells me that you’re going to get back to it once you’re healed. Please be patient and give healing time. The trail will wait for you and it will be all the sweeter when you return.

    Take care.


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