Pennsylvania – a love/hate relationship
A thru-hiker named Jane (her hiking partner is Tarzan) remarked to me that Pennsylvania seems to have a bi-polar disorder. There are beautiful, well maintained gradual trails in Caledonia and Pine Grove Furnace State Park and you love the fact that you’re hiking. Then in the northern section there are rocky sections where your feet are screaming bloody murder and you curse the day you decided to hike 2184.2 miles.
In actuality the certificate at the end of this journey only says those finishing 2000 miles. What about the other 184.2 miles? So, you mean I could have skipped all the rocks? I suppose you could call it character building or maybe learning to appreciate where you don’t have rocks. I did find myself thanking God for the smooth trail and not saying anything nice about the rocky sections. Isn’t that how it is in real life? We only thank God for the good times and forget to praise God in the storm (rocks). So I tried to praise God even in the rocky sections – sometimes through gritted teeth.
I found myself being a bit bi-polar through PA as well. There were times when I was so happy – staying with friends and zeros and the beautiful parts of the trail, but every time I left a house and creature comforts it was hard. I yearned for being a normal person again. Who walks 2000+ miles anyway? Once I got out I was fine though. Gearing up to hike in the heat was also a factor.
PA has been an interesting and varied state. I have mixed feelings about being done with it. There are places I would like to come and visit again and then I might hike a day and relive this adventure.