Campground morning chatter. Chad and Kara compare dreams, I sip coffee. I don’t dream; if I did it probably would be about coffee, anyway. I don’t think of much else in between awakening and that, usually. Out of nowhere Kara and Chad are now talking about their footwear. “My flip flops are crocs”. Then on to fruits. And bananas ripening. And then somehow banana hammocks, specifically some cyclist we passed heading in the other direction who was nearly naked. He’s a bit early for the Buffalo Naked Bike Ride — that’s Saturday July 10. He’s also going in the wrong direction.
Conversations and coffee and oatmeal. I fantasize about filling my thermos with a bold brew 15 miles up in the land of Cumber. I talk a lot about the Southern Tier Ride I just completed. I also bring up my time last year on this trail a lot. This morning or that compared to this ride to this or that time or whatever the fuck I babble about.
Comparison are futile, which is also why you’re getting less words today. Simply because, no fucking comparisons allowed. Nothing compares to you, Sinead. The closest we might get is some Campari (in a Negroni). Compare and contrast. Nah. No sir. Things be. That’s it. I won’t say it is what is it is — I hate that phrase — let’s it be what it be. This is all why you must bear witness to my bare everything I use the word but.
I could write about how we gain 2,000 feet in elevation today. Or that the wind picks up. Or how those two things combined are making this a harder day than most. Comparisons are of no value, however.
I could write about finishing the C&O canal trail and moving onto the Great Allegheny Passage Trail; how the GAP is a better and much more well maintained surface. Iodine-treated well water or municipal water supplies along the trail. Comparisons. Or about the Eastern Continental Divide, entering the Gulf of Mexico watershed, and all the downhill. Futile efforts puny human; me.
We pass through three tunnels. Big Savage brings the biggest and most savage. That’s just your opinion man. All comparisons. Not allowed. Disqualified, yo.
We cross the Mason Dixon line. Lots is history here. Fighting between wealthy entitled white guys named Penn and Calvert. Life and death and freedom for others. The line was originally drawn when the province of Pennsylvania was mapped up. It’s based on the work of a surveyor and an astronomer. So instead of another comparison, I’ll end today this abbreviated entry with a pleasant quote before I pass the fuck out in my tent:
“From the solitary tops of these mountains, the eye gazes round with pleasure; filling the mind with adoration to that pervading spirit that made them.” -Charles Mason’s journal, June 1767.