Hot and Muggy

I have been camping in the Allegheny National Forest for the last few days. I found a road that goes to an oil well where I have occasional cell service and a clear view of the southern sky to point my satellite dish. There are a few trees that block the sun for part of the day and the sky has been filled with puffy clouds all week, so leaves and weather have been quite a challenge for my solar panel.

I’m really not sure if I’m allowed to park on this road. I’m pretty sure it belongs to the oil company that pays a lease to the government for the mineral rights. But they may not care. I have been gone every day and expect to see a note on my van if they want me to move. There are a lot of nice sites I found along a forest road near here but they are deep in the trees where I would lose cell, solar, and tv.
One time when I was parked in a state forest a few weeks ago, a man pulled up in front of my campsite and shouted, “Is that a Direct TV dish? That’s not camping!!!” It is futile to try to explain to someone that I live in a van part of the year, so I just smiled.

Most of you will remember a few years ago when Karen and I hiked the North Country Trail through the Allegheny National Forest. I rode my motorcycle back to the campground where we spent our last night on the trail and thought about the great times we had together. There was still a short 3 mile section from the parking area where we ended our hike to the border of the National Forest, so just to make our hike of crossing the whole thing official, I set out this morning to finish the last piece.

I rode my motorcycle to the parking area and found the trail near a shelter in the woods. The weather was typical for this time of year – hot and humid! The rocks on the path were wet with humidity, almost like it had just rained, and the mosquitos and biting flies were out in force. The trail followed the Salmon River for about a half mile and then turned up a steep hill with switchbacks. Once on top of the hill the trail was fairly leval, broken only by a couple of streams and two forest roads. Towards the end of the trail it became very marshy and I hopped about the mossy humps trying to keep my feet dry. The weeds had overtaken much of the path through the swamp, also.

Soon I came to the boundary marker and turned around. The sky grew dark and threatened rain but held off until I made it back out. It was so muggy that I wished it would rain. I was completely soaked anyway.

7 Responses to “Hot and Muggy”

  1. Richard says:

    Sounds like the mountain forests of the Western US would be more to your liking. Hope you can get back out here soon.

  2. Gmalafferty says:

    Thanks so much for blogging! I have been asking everyone if they had heard from you. It does sound as though the West has better hiking sites, and talk about hot! It was officially 113ยบ here yesterday, with the same or higher predicted for today. Still no rain at Power and Main; that could be made into a poem or song! Other parts of the Valley have had some storms, but it quits before it gets here. Stay well.

  3. Dale says:

    I would like to be hiking in the northwest now but it seems like everything is on fire!

  4. Donna says:

    Aw, you don’t know what hot and muggy is! We are in full-on monsoon here in the Valley of the Sun.

  5. Daryl says:

    We spent a couple of days above the Mogollon Rim earlier this week with Richard and Dianna. That’s the place to be; or at least it will be when they finish with their controlled burns. It was a little smoky, but in truth it didn’t bother us much as long as we were sure the burns were really “controlled”.

    Highs in the 80s, lows around 60, no mosquitoes or other bugs, not humid — very pleasant!

  6. Gmalafferty says:

    Were you in the Allegheny forest or the Allegany Forest? There is probably more oil in the Allegheny, and where in the East is there a Salmon River? They do like to confuse us.

  7. Dale says:

    It is the Allegheny Forest. New York spells the State Park Allegany. It is really the Salmon Creek, I misspoke. I am near the town of Marienville, PA. I just moved to another location about 5 miles east of Marienville.

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