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.