i ran into a lot of awesome trail magic in pa, specifically jillian and her dad taking me to get new shoes and to the stock car races, and renee and john feeding, clothing, annd shelterig us for a four-day, three-night mini-vacay. let me clarify that less than a week ago, i didn't know these people existed and the only reason i know now is because renee has a weakness for dogs. :) last week was a record-breaking week for pa: when the high hit 106 with a heat index of 114, that was the hottest it'd beenn here. ever. so when i walked into the pet store in a town that wasn't too far off the trail so that swayze could make use of the air conndition, renee approached us and asked iif we were hiking the trail and where we'd come from. my friend francois was with me, and when we told her we'd both come from georgia, she invited us back to her house where she and her husband, john, pampered the heck out of us for the next few days. she did our laundry and cooked so much food for us and made coffee every morning and they took us to jim thorpe, pa and we toured the entire historical town and they let us slackpack lehigh gap, one of the most challenging rock scrambles south of the whites in new hampshire... the list of their favors seriously goes onn and on. we exchanged phone numbers and addresses before we left, and she packed us a sack lunch and cried when they dropped us off at the trailhead. i love how God puts people like that in my path. :)
so basically we're doing a-okay. my pack broke annd osprey won't ship me a new one without charging a credit card a $250 deposit until they get my old one back (boooooo), so i'm gonna have to go into a town sixteen miles off the trail to get a retailer to exchange it. we'll see how that goes, since that'll have to be in new york and it's illegal to hitchhike in nnew york. also, my friend taylor that i met who's hiking as a fundraiser for young life invited me to one of the yl camps there in new york for a day or two to see what it's like, just in case that's something i'd be interested in post-hike.
i'm loving life and missing my friends annd family but loving the new people i meet each day as well. out of 2,181 miles, i have less than 900 left to hike. i was smilin' from ear to ear today when i hiked into new jersey. that grin'll only get bigger the closer i get to maine.
oh! and to add to the awesomeness of pa, i saw my first two rattlesnakes. the first onne i saw on a "cold" (70*) day when it was raining and he never even moved, even though i was 3.5' from him and the other one actually rattled at me and tried to get away. i think it's cool that i finally got to see a rattler, but i'll be completely okay with never seeing one again. :)
also, big, big thanks to jennifer, wendy (evenn though the PO sucks), amannda, kelly, and gray for the awesome mail drops. :) each one of them made me oh-so-happy and made swayze wag her butt.