I guess I left everyone dangling after I stopped hiking.
First things first: I have not once wished I were still out there. I did comment to Steve that I miss sleeping outdoors right in the midst of the night sounds, but other than that, I have not for a second regretted my decision to stop being alone and spend the summer with him.
Ed back home (church pastor) said from the pulpit that he had a strong feeling that someone was going to come to know the Lord as a result of my hike. And maybe they already did. And if not, then maybe someone I meet biking or running or camping or in the grocery store or a parking lot or, who knows.
We moved from the campground in PA up to one in the Berkshire Mts. of Massachusetts. We drove around there a lot, and up into Vermont, just to see, and went down to Tanglewood in Lenox, MA, where, back in 1940, my mother, then 19, was a cellist in the summer orchestra under student conductor Leonard Bernstein. She has a "snapshot" of him which she took herself, just a summer photo of a classmate, young guy sitting with his back against a large tree trunk, studying a score of orchestra music spread out on the grass before him, maybe 25 or so years old. Priceless. Leonard Bernstein as a music student!!! Found a picture on the wall of all the musicians there in 1940, huge wide group picture, and found a girl who was probably my mother, as well as a young man who was no doubt Bernstein.
One day I was out running, and took a dirt road I hadn't before, just because it was shady and marked "Dead End" and I wanted to see where it went (pretty much nowhere.) Couple miles later, here comes a car, pretty much with the same agenda. Lady driver, about the age of one or another of my children. She mentioned God. We talked. Something I'm concerned about came up. She prayed. Right there, out loud. And since then, I've been praying more. She said she'd never taken that road either and had no reason to again. Chance meeting? Call it that if you want.
So in the Berkshires I ran some and biked a lot. Up and down Mt. Greylock, the highest mountain in MA. Our campground was almost at the foot of the south route up. I went up that (1.5 hours for 9 mile ride), and down the north road (20 minutes, about 7.5 miles) then across MA Rte. 2 and down Rte. 7 and home, about 38 miles. Ran over something and had a blowout on the way down at 35mph. Yikes!!! Steered over to the side, braked and stopped without wiping out. The guy at the bike shop where I bought a new tire said I did well to have handled that at that speed. I was pleased.
Another day I went up the south side again, down the south side, then turned around and went back up the north side and back down the south side home. Had a buddy that day, a guy from the Berkshire Cycling Association FB page. Our abilities were well-matched and we had a great time. Rode through a thunderstorm on the way back down..... freezing cold!!! Took a long hot shower followed by warm clothes and wool socks to restore the ci