Part of life consists of going through some crap just so you better appreciate the good. The other days was a watershed. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m rather cynical, which also means I get really excited when awesome things happen. I never really expect them, so it’s a great surprise. (BTW, if you haven’t noticed that I’m cynical..this is exactly what’s wrong with America today…no reading comprehension…I digress).
The day started with an early crossing into New York. Another state behind me on a very long trek. Every time I cross a state line, it’s a little morale booster. Furthermore, apparently, NY does a better job spraying for mosquitoes than other states I won’t mention here. Almost instantly as I crossed the state line, it was as if the bugs knew they were out of their jurisdiction. Way less biting. I was estatic. New state, less biting insects, things were looking up.
I spent the day climbing across beautiful ridge lines overlooking lakes and forests. The trail was well marked and fairly easy. I spent time just sitting and enjoying nature. Wasting away my day in the outdoors had some consequences though. I had to night hike to make my shelter for the night. I came to a road crossing which supposedly had an ice cream shop within .2 miles. It was dark. I couldn’t see anything. I decided to walk a little down the road towards some light. The guidebook said the place was open until 9pm, yet I had been burned several times in the past, and I expected nothing less.
Best decision ever. As I rounded a corner, I saw the sign for Bellvale Creamery. But, it gets better. Not only is this place open, they’re popular. 8pm on a Saturday night on the top of some mountain along a country road is a ice cream shop with a line out the door. Now, I grew up in an Ice Cream family. My grandfather owned a store, and every other store was inferior in some way. He wouldn’t have room to complain at this place. No ice flakes, correct temperature, proper butterfat content, everything was spot on. So I ordered some of their homemade Great White Way and washed it down with a large milkshake.
The whole experience made the last 2 miles of nigh-hike to the shelter worth it. About half way, as I sat atop a rock outcropping overlooking the valley, I reminisced on the day. The night was cool , the sky was clear. It was beautiful. And there I sat, an unemployed engineer who just stole a handful of toilet paper from a ice cream shop and all I could think was this:
“Damn, I love my life!”
-Rich Mayfield, Adventurer Extraordinaire