Week 2: Hot Hot Hot

“We’re having a heat wave/A tropical heat wave/The temperature is rising/It isn’t surprising..” Irving Berlin; sung by Marilyn Monroe :  Dessert Queen was humming this on the trail.

“I fell into a burning ring of fire/I went down, down, down/And the flames went higher/And it burns, burns, burns/The ring of fire/The ring of fire” by Johnny Cash. Mr. Rook was humming this song on the trail.

Sorry readers for not being more up to date.  I have decided to find a local library to help me out along the trail.  


  • Spring flowers:  I can’t remember the last time I spent watching spring unfold in all her glory.  Observing spring from different elevations and different directions has been really fascinating.  For example:  At lower elevations the May Apples blossoms are about to burst open whereas at higher elevations the plants are pushing themselves out of the ground.  I really get a kick out of how their leaves unfold like a propeller.  
  • Spring Azure Butterfly:  I cannot get a picture of this one.  As I walk along the path I can see its shadow above mine.  It lands and I walk forward and it quickly moves down the path ahead of me.  When I see the Spring Azure, I think of friends who are keeping us in their safe travel prayers.  I have noticed that this butterfly seems to appear when I am grouchy or my shoulders hurt or my feet wish for a cold stream to soak.  
  • Cool Mountain Creeks:  Everyone needs a cool mountain creek to soak their feet.  It automatically cools down your body temperature.  Also, they are very soothing to sleep near (e.g. Birch Run Campground)
  • My umbrella:  Who would have thought I’d be using my umbrella to keep the sun from baking me.  I celebrate the wife of Lu Ban for inventing this wonderful device.  My attitude changed when I started to use it.  
  • Trail Magic:  We were given two oranges on the trail.  Wow… they tasted great.


  • Hot Hot Hot – note the songs we hummed. 
  • Pennsylvania forested areas are in a drought.  Eighty degrees and no humidity may sound wonderful, it isn’t.  There isn’t a tree canopy for shade.  I felt like I was transported to Arizona desert conditions.  If you recall in our Q&A we chose to do a flip flop for the weather.  Weather meaning high 50s to high 60s.  
  • Concerned about the forest:  We should all be concerned.  Pennsylvania hasn’t had water.  The creeks and springs are not where they should be.  To me, the hiking trail smells like late July and early August…dry.  It makes it very evident why there is a fire ban.  
  • Leave no trace behind:  This is to all the hikers who are smokers we have been following (AT thru hikers and day hikers).  The white blazes are all I need to get me to Mount Katahdin.  Please stop leaving your butts on the trail.  One cigarette butt could bring down the whole forest.  Plus they aren’t biodegradable (Sorry for sounding like a Mom).

Hopes for the future:

  • I would love to see some AT thru hiker women moving at my speed on the trail.  
  • I would love to have cooler weather on the trail.

Thoughts on the trail this week:

  • The difference between a thru hiker and a homeless person.  We kind of look the same.  Last year in Columbus I saw a woman with an Osprey on the corner asking for help.  Her backpack was similarly loaded with a sleeping bag and tent.  Do I look like a homeless person when I walk into town?  Or do people think otherwise?  I know that I have resources that a homeless person doesn’t.  


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Comments 2

  • Mary Olien : Jun 15th

    Hi! I’m missing your posts. Have you ended your hike?

    • Beth Malchus Stafa : Nov 8th

      I am now blogging about our trip. Read my latest post.


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