Tag Archives: Pennsylvania

A Long Haul and Expedition


Waking up is hard for me, because my sleep is so dysfunctional. Its hard enough to get to sleep, and because I’ve become such a light sleeper, staying asleep is it’s own challenge. The act of getting out of bed is one of those things that I have never looked forward to to begin with, and now it’s just a groggy exercise in movement and exasperation. I had wanted to be on the road by 9 AM, but that didn’t happen. I got out of bed around then, and didn’t get on the road until  about 10 AM.

No one I know has ever said anything about the Illinois and Ohio Turnpikes. It’s a frustrating and tiring ordeal. As I drove along, one concept that significantly reached me was the entirety of the desolation along the highway. Seventy miles between rest stops, and possibly two exits in between. All but a handful of the stops I passed were toll roads going off. Even just to get to a gas station. I probably paid about thirty dollars to get across Illinois; its abhorrent. Ohio is worse: there was snowfall, and a time limit. I mean it when I say snow: white powder falling from the sky obscuring vision anywhere from the front of my car to the semitrailers two miles ahead of me. I prefer having Trailers on the road; they keep the idiots mostly behaving (out of fear from an exceptionally larger vehicle) and they keep traffic moving at a steady pace. One new thing I have come to appreciate is that Trailers decimate any sitting snow on the roadways, which means my car doesn’t slip and slide to hell and back. The downside is that they kick up this snow onto the windshields of everything smaller than they are, which reduces visibility even more. The largest part about driving in any conditions is confidence: you cannot afford fear behind the wheel. Caution is another matter entirely. Most drivers are either afraid or have no confidence while driving near a train of Trailers. It gets frustrating while trying to maintain speed and get out of their way to have people who cannot make up their minds if they are in the way or if they really want to get away from the Trailers. I got stuck behind one SUV-type vehicle who slowed down so far that the Trailers got ahead of us, then he stayed in the way so the rest of the drivers behind him had to get into the slow lane on a two lane road to get around. In the snow where it’s coming down with a purpose and we can all barely see 150 feet. It was horrendous. Once I finally made it to Pennsylvania I was nearly run into a road barrier by another SUV-type that couldn’t decide which lane they wanted to be in. I cannot stand people who decide that it’s their right and prerogative to drive with one wheel over the dashed white line; I’m beginning to believe it’s a mechanism to deter other drivers from being too near, but I think it can also be an idiot driving drunk. It causes me to have nightmares about being on the road. Especially since we were high up on a mountain. Driving through  the northern Appalachians to get to my friend’s house was a harrowing experience: road construction, snow/ fog patches, and idiot drivers are a bad combination. The only real plus side to all of this was that I didn’t get pulled over at all. The highway patrol was either not there or they were facing the other direction. This duly worked in my favor, as I was speeding, because I simply wanted to get to my destination.

As I pulled up the winding, mile-long driveway, I was eerily reminded of Ichabod Crane; the scraggly trees, dark and lonesome roads, sparsely populated farmland, and few or no bridges to stop the Headless Horseman. I am barely ten miles east of Pennsylvania Dutch settlements, which is the background that particular story originates. I find warm lights and a good friend at the end of the drive, with a bed ready and good food waiting. I have half of the next day to relax a bit and unwind from the road; I didn’t even leave the house, which is nearly as old as out dear country. I spend the day being lazy and in meditation. My second day, however, was an entirely different story. Up by around midday, I had a small lunch, and went outside, armed with my camera, a mason jar, and my pendulum (chambered copper and a clear quartz on a six inch silver chain). Along the driveway, off to the left, to the Well and the Spring House. As long as this house has been standing, the Spring has never run dry, even in droughts. A small, cement structure was built around the outside of the original stacked-rock Spring Site, and a door was added, making a small shack-like House for the Spring. There were a myriad of brightly-colored birds chirping at me in their song-language, possibly telling me that I am intruding in their territories. There were also two whitetail deer that scampered off into the brush when I walked up; the ground is still half frozen, and even in moccasins I would be too loud for them. As I approached the House I was struck by the significant vibrations in the area, and I personally believe that where there are natural Springs, there is a convergence of magnetic Ley Lines, which is in part how the science and art of Dowsing works to find water. I needed to take off my shoes and socks to get into the House, which was only cold for a minute (it was twenty-six degrees outside, but the water was at about fifty). Barefoot and shivering, I went into the house and balanced on the loose rocks next to the East wall to get to the back room, where the original two Springs bubble up from the ground. I could barely see, and could not touch the water in the back, because the wall was too high. As I stooped to gather some water from the pool in front of the wall I thought about all of the things that are magnetically and gravitationally connected in this world. The magnetic poles are dependent upon the gravitational rotation of the Earth around the Sun. Without the Axis in a semi-fixed location, the magnetic bands that stretch along the Earth’s surface from North to South would not be mathematically plausible, because without the fixed location the magnetism would possibly dissipate shortly after leaving the poles; the connectivity is important to maintain the Lines themselves. Without Ley Lines, there would be no Magnetic Navigation, Dowsing, Migrations, or possibly even Cardinal Directions, because there would be little to no way to detect or chart them. Leaving the Spring House, my bounty in hand, I spot the two whitetail deer off in the bracken to my West. As soon as I make a sound, they’re off like shots into the distance, tails flashing like snow in the underbrush.

I get myself back into my friend’s house long enough to thaw out my poor frozen toes, and then I take off to the house’s West side, and into the frozen Swamp that lies there. Its quiet and still, with the only sounds coming from birds and the small creek that runs from North to South by winding its way along the property line (there is partially buried barbed wire amongst the trees and rock wall, so I must tread a bit carefully). I spot the two deer again, for the last time. They did not come back to investigate me again in my meditations. I wander along the creek’s edge, because it is dry, and the Swamp is only barely covered by the thinnest layer of ice, and I don’t feel like taking a frozen decomposing forest bath. I circumvent the Swamp, thinking about the Spirit of Expedition, and how it has driven Humanity to learn and discover new things in the adversity of danger and death. I face neither of these things here, only scratches from wild thorn vines and dead tree wood. About a mile and a half on the creek turns suddenly Westward, and there is no more trail. I have to push my way through the underbrush, because going back would be tedious, and I can see the bottom of the Hill that makes up the front yard of the house (the house itself faces south, and there is large open fields to it’s front and East sides). I clamber over fallen trees and through more varieties of thorn vines, over skunk cabbage  and around the thawing mud. It takes a full thirty minutes to reach the Hill’s base. I head West toward the small pond, which is the final destination of the ample water from the Spring uphill from the house. The ice around the banks is about an inch and a half thick, which is not enough to support any weight, but difficult enough to break with the walking stick I had picked up (a nice large piece of birch, an inch in thickness and about four feet high). Across the fence on the far side of the field is a Dairy Farm, and I was serenaded by the mooing of many cows, which was actually quite relaxing. The sounds from the impact of my stick upon the ice was strange and beautiful; it had an echo, and was deep and resounding, but short.  I broke part of my stick off in the water, and decided that my expeditions were over for the day; once one becomes destructive, one can no longer make forward momentum in their project, and need to rest a while. Back up to the house for lunch and planning this weekend out, and a short nap, just to be flat for a while.

My dear friend who I am staying with was home perfectly on time for dinner, which was Belgian Waffles and maple syrup, followed by chicken and rice soup with Mexican Hot Chocolate (a hearty drink, made from salted almond and spiced chocolate, grated, melted into below-boiling but still hot milk, stirred with a special stick used to make it frothy and light). It is nearly bedtime now, and I am so tired and stiff still from winding my way around part of this rather beautiful property. I am saddened to be leaving here: the isolation of this small farming community allows for the expansion of the mind and senses; I have not had any real stress or worry being here, beyond that which insists it’s importance over this small box where I spend so much time planning and re-planning, connecting to and observing the larger world. The temptation to stay and ignore this little box is great, but I have given my word that I would be elsewhere, in places full of noise obligation. I will keep my word, but I will not lose the peace and quiet that I have rediscovered here.

Brightest Blessing and Beautiful Days.