About a third of a mile from the Lamberts Meadow Shelter is a camping area where we meet up with Gorilla Jim. While Glenn and I pitch our tents, Jim filters water in a stream running within yards of the tenting area. There are loads of mosquitoes and other biting insects here, mainly because it is near the brook. I had tied Bounce dryer sheets to my backpack; they are supposed to keep away bugs. They didn’t. (But they did make the mosquitoes fresh smelling and fluffy soft when I squashed them.)

   * * * * * *

At midday I stop high atop a mountain, and sit behind boulders to shield myself from the sun. Buzzards are nature’s undertakers, disposing of the animal kingdom’s dead carcasses. Three famished turkey buzzards—dark wingspans as wide as my arms span—glide above, slowly circle, and look me over. They crane their necks, eyeballing me like a funeral director looking for business. I yell up to them, “I’m not your next meal.”

  * * * * * *

The movie Deliverance was filmed close by. If you’re hiking in deep woods and you hear a banjo, move fast as you can.

  * * * * * *

On the way to the Hertlein Campsite a man approaches me, a shotgun cradled in his arms. His face is covered by camouflage netting. I ask, “What hunting season is this?”


He tells me, “Be careful, there are hunters in this area. Wear an orange hat like the other hunters are wearing.”

I wonder two things: 1) Where am I going to find an orange hat in the midst of deep Pennsylvania woods? and 2) Haven’t the turkeys figured out that people wearing orange hats are out to shoot them?

Much later I see a goofy looking large gray-brown game bird, swan length neck, small brain-box head, and warn it, “Watch out for the guys in the orange hats!” It stupidly looks at me and ambles into the brush.

  * * * * * *

We’re trekking. A recent college grad, muscular as a triathlete, rushes by, leaps over a downed tree and almost knocks me over. He ignores us and bounds up a steep elevation. As he goes out of sound range, I shake my fist at his back. “Bring your father around, and I’ll kick his ass.”

Jim watches the speed-hiker effortlessly dash up a pile of high rocks. “Avalanche, better make it his grandfather.” Mumbling even lower, “Maybe his great-grandfather.”