Rocky Top Tumble

I've been climbing rocks recently. Sometimes they're just strewn all over the trail like gravel. Sometimes they are big enough to hop from one to the next like a game of "the floor is lava". Sometimes they are huge slabs that, when slicked by rain, become danger slides of doom. And last but certainly not least are the towering piles that you have to stow trekking poles in order to pull yourself up.

We also had quite a time with four straight days of rain. Or maybe they were crooked days; I'm not entirely sure. Regardless, it was impossible to dry anything out and by the last day most of us even gave up on trying to avoid the mud and instead just stepped right in the puddles up to our ankles. When we finally did get to a town, our shoes smelled absolutely delightful, I can assure you.

I'm nearly to the end of Pennsylvania now and it has at last redeemed itself by a little pie shop that has ice cream, fresh fruit, chocolates of all kinds, jars of honey and jams, assorted pies both large and small, and pretty much everything else tasty that you can think of. I had two scoops of mint chocolate chip ice cream and then took a small blueberry pie back to my room for breakfast the next morning. Breakfast of champions and thru-hikers.

Oh, and I met George. He didn't have a name before I met him but other hikers had mentioned him in the shelter log book. He's a friendly little chipmunk, fearless in his scurrying. I think he wanted my nutter butter cookies but I had to explain that my hiker hunger prevented me from sharing any food with him. I don't think he knew that we weren't supposed to feed his kind. Rules and all that. You know how it is. Sorry, George.

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