Snapshots

NOTE: Apologies in perpetuity  for my lack of the grasp of proper comma use.  I either use too many or too few.   Any errors are the result of self-editing to the point where I’m just lost. Apologies, too, to my English teachers who tried to learn me to write much gooder.

Every summer I seem to capture a mental image of a spot that I carry with me until the following summer when I find a new one. It’s funny to me that it’s never one of a particularly scenic place – not a waterfall, a tumbling stream, or a canyon vista.  I’m not even aware of what it’ll be until I find myself going back to that snapshot again and again – days and weeks and months later. One year it was a stretch coming down Hemlock Mountain on the Black Forest Trail.  Last year’s was beside a fence protecting baby trees from voracious deer on a “Red X” section of the Loyalsock Trail. (The picture above was taken when C and I hiked it this summer.) This year, it was along the Ironstone Loop* near Monroe Furnace.  C and I had stopped for a water break and were talking about how green and lush Pennsylvania  is in the summer. After a winter when the mountains are mostly brown and purple (lovely in their own way, but still…), I crave green; I drink green, I inhale green.  And we both were taking in as much of it as we could.

Now that it’s winter again, I’m going to be conjuring up that image of a hot day, a challenging hike, and the fact that we never take the beauty of Pennsylvania hiking for granted.

* We actually hiked this version of the Ironstone Loop, but the page I linked to above has some really nice pictures.

Happy New Year!

Edward Abbey said, “My most memorable hikes can be classified as ‘shortcuts that backfired’.” My hiking buddy, C, who I hope will be joining me in posting here, and I dedicated ourselves to testing this theory last summer. While I wouldn’t necessarily call our backfirings (is that a word?) “shortcuts”, they were memorable!

Now we’re sulking because we haven’t gotten out to explore since hunting season started in earnest here in Pennsylvania. We hope to get out this winter, but have resigned ourselves to waiting until spring. To stay sane until then, I decided to start this blog, dedicated to hiking – future adventures, Ms.Adventures, and all things hiking in general.

Since it’s a new year, I’m sharing this quote from Jack Kerouac:
“Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddam mountain.”

Happy New Year, fellow wanderers! May this year bring you all the happiest of trails and the best of backfires.

This from C:
I am looking forward to climbing that goddam mountain. The views are spectacular, the fresh air fills your lungs, and the power you feel from making that climb is inspiration to keep on keeping on. Our plan for 2017 is to hike over 150 miles of PA forest trails. Let’s get started!

Spontaneous Saturdays

The Golden Eagle Trail attempt  for the last time.  If I don’t get at least two other people to go, I’ll cancel:

On Saturday,  I am planning on hiking the Golden Eagle Trail – 9.2 miles. I’m going to be a hiking heretic and confess that this isn’t my favorite hike up there. My heart belongs to the Black Forest Trail, but I’m probably the only one who feels that way. Nonetheless, it’s well worth doing and…HIKING!!! Is there a better way to spend the day?

It’s described as strenuous and I don’t think I’d disagree. Add your thoughts in comments, if I’m wrong; I did it last November so it’s not all that fresh in my mind. The climb to Raven’s Horn, near the beginning of the hike, is a good workout and the first half of the trail is a steady climb. There’s a fairly steep downhill at one point, but it’s not terribly long. Most of the hike is along creek beds – Wolf and Bonnell Runs and there are nettles. There are usually snakes at Raven’s Horn, but I didn’t see any in November.

The weather forecast, as of today, looks excellent.  E-mail me at litz.jennifer@gmail.com if you’re interested in going and we can work out the details.

Spontaneous Saturdays – 7/16

Saturday’s forecast for Slate Run is excellent – high of 80, 30% chance of showers – I’ll take it.  Unless something changes drastically, I am planning on hiking the Golden Eagle Trail  – 9.2 miles.  I’m going to be a hiking heretic and confess that this isn’t my favorite hike up there.  My heart belongs to the Black Forest Trail, but I’m probably the only one who feels that way.  Nonetheless, it’s well worth doing and…HIKING!!!  Is there a better way to spend the day?

It’s described as strenuous and I don’t think I’d disagree.  Add your thoughts in comments, if I’m wrong; I did it last November so it’s not all that fresh in my mind.  The climb to Raven’s Horn, near the beginning of the hike, is a good workout and the first half of the trail is a steady climb.  There’s a fairly steep downhill at one point, but it’s not terribly long.   Most of the hike is along creek beds – Wolf and Bonnell Runs and there are nettles.  There are usually snakes at Raven’s Horn, but I didn’t see any in November.

I need to be back in State College around 4:00 p.m. or so, and I’ll be leaving at an insanely early hour – 6:30 a.m.  I should be on the trail by around 8:00 a.m. and it should take about 4 1/2 to 5 hours to hike.  I have short legs and may go at a slower pace than a lot of people and I average about 2 miles an hour.  I’m also very much of a traditionalist and one of my favorite post-hike rituals is to head up the road about 4 miles to Wolf’s Store in Slate Run for a well-deserved cold soda, so build that into your day if you ride with me.

I would love to have company, so if this appeals to you, e-mail me at litz.jennifer@gmail.com and we can work out a meeting time and place.

Spontaneous Saturdays 7/14

Saturday’s weather, as predicted now, calls for a 40% chance of scattered thunderstorms.   I’m not crazy about those odds but I can be convinced.  IF the forecast improves, I’m contemplating The Golden Eagle Trail for Saturday.  I was scheduled to lead a hike there in June, but was called out of town at the last minute for a funeral.  If you want to persuade me or might be interested in a hike there, e-mail me at litz.jennifer@gmail.com