On most days my logic goes, stay on the trail, don't do anything stupid, and you'll probably not die. This thinking is complicated when the thing most likely to kill you, is the trail.
Leaving a place called Lehigh Gap, between the towns of Slatington and Palmerston, you climb a little over 700 feet up from the river on the valley floor. After the southern portion of the trail 700 feet isn't a big number, however in this case the series of signs entreating you to not leave the trail lest you kill yourself or others, and the fact that the trail is a series of unevenly spaced white blazes painted on a field of boulders and skree, at times steep enough to have an overhang, and occasionally loose underfoot to make you feel like an extra in a platform based video game, ups the ante a little. I'm including some photos, and I've done my best to get the perspective right, but it's hard to get across the vertiginous effect of a slight change in the breeze, or a shift in how the pack sits on your back.
It's probably not that dangerous and, probably, almost no one ever dies, but at the time you'd be hard pressed to convince me of that.
In related news, when, under a period of stress is it ever good that your palms become sweaty and slippery? What evolutionary terror were we saved from by being able to say, "Well that was close but at least my hands were too slick to grip".
Pennsylvania is done. I'm .2 miles from Jersey and I'm betting I can walk that after I finally post this. PA's been mostly OK, beautiful views of pastoral valleys, nice ridge walks, and enough sharpend stones to leave your feet battered and broken. The average piece of trail in PA is full of sharp of rocks, protruding about the length of your finger, but large and immobile below the surface. Walking, even on the relative flat, is exhausting, and I won't regret leaving it behind.
It's interesting to watch the small changes happen as you come north. Somewhere along the way they stop leaving the Bible open at a particular section in the hotel room, and start leaving out an envelope to tip the hotel staff. The first Obama bumper sticker you see is somewhere mid-Jersey, and it's at least 100 miles north of the Mason-Dixon line before it's legal to show anything other than NASCAR in a building with beer for sale.
Then there are the things that don't change. If you say you live on Manhattan, they ask the same question.
Me : I'm an Axe-Murderer in New York.
Everyone : Really? What do you pay in rent?
As of tomorrow I'll be out here 3 months, and while I'm less plugged in to the tech world than I usually would be, here's what's happened, to just my phone, since I went on the road:
The Blogger app added rich text editing.
The following things launched:
-Netflix (Movies on demand).
-Latitude (location) history.
Lots of other things have improved too, these are just the things that make my life better at least once a week.
I'm glad I've moved back just far enough that I can have a little perspective on the change, but stayed close enough for the slipstream to pull me along.