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June 11-12 2023, Railroad Station to Pine Grove:
It was a bitch of a climb up the hill first thing in the morning. Voodoo and I quickly ran out of breath so we had some morning sex as a break. Today the trail felt uninteresting; boredom set in as I felt like the same views and trees were encroaching in on me. It seemed nice that I had a man I could play with whenever I so chose, but it still seemed that hiking with someone in my general vicinity took away from the experience of why I came out here in the first place. Initially, we were going to stop at the 501 shelter, but decided to camp near the parking lot at PA 501, instead.
Throughout the day, I contemplated the relationship I shared with Voodoo. I noticed how he had inspired me to be more feminine and vulnerable in my communication. I had been expressing a lot through feeling based communication rather than projecting things onto him such as, “you did this to me, therefore I feel bad”. To take it a step further in my mind, I reminded myself that he was not even there like that and that he never “did” anything because he wasn’t capable of being a “doer”.
I looked back on the relationship I had formed with BD just last year. I remembered how difficult it felt just to communicate my needs/desires with him. I felt as if there was a huge blockage to speak up on what I desired and what my heart needed. It felt so hard to tell him of the ways I wanted to be cherished.
Voodoo, on the other hand, inspired me not to hold back and to give it my all. He had expressed numerous times that he didn’t want to play any games and helped push me out of my comfort zone by speaking what was on my mind, despite if I felt embarrassed, nervous or anxious. Although I recognized our relationship wasn’t really going anywhere, I thought it would be great practice for me to learn how to communicate my needs.
The following morning, I picked up my package from Pine Grove that my mom had sent. She always included stuff I didn’t need, this time being a crochet mushroom headband and three large rods of salami. I thought it was sweet, for I knew she was only trying to make sure I was well off on trail, which meant being well fed and stylish.
My friend, W.I.C., whom I had met last year, offered to host us in her home for when I made it to PA. She lived closer to the city, so we attempted to hitch over to her. First ride we got was by an older woman who jokingly berated us for our lifestyle, saying that we were both crazy for apparently doing what we did. She told Voodoo to keep an eye on me because I shouldn’t hitchhike or hike the trail alone as a woman. I rolled my eyes. She brought us to a local shop that her friends owned. They sold antiques and leather jackets, so I bought a $300 leather jacket that I thought was cute. Then, she dropped us off at an on-ramp beside the highway.
It started pouring rain on us numerous times, so we ran into the bushes and found an old piece of cardboard and used it as an umbrella to stay dry. We passed the time by having sex on a dirty rock. Afterwards, as Voodoo was taking a piss, I decided to continue hitchhiking. A car pulled over immediately, but as soon as Voodoo hopped out of the bushes, the car drove off.
It started pouring rain again, so he used his army mat to provide some cover. W.I.C. told us to stay right where we were and ended up picking us up since we weren’t having any luck.
When we arrived to her house, she let us know that her space was a drama free zone and that she had zero tolerance for drugs or alcohol. I loved the way she communicated her boundaries so firmly and lovingly. She knew what she wanted and wasn’t embarrassed to own it. I could feel that it was something important to her and that she didn’t feel she was asking for much.
“My husband and I are very calm people and we like a calm space. We live a very simple life,” she said.
Just being in her house for an hour or two, I was able to get a visual representation/taste of what kind of relationship would feel good for me. Her husband was helping her with a crossword puzzle as they had classical music quietly playing in the background. I bathed in that sense of peace. A seed was planted within me of the way I desired to set boundaries and what kind of relationships I envisioned of having in the future. I thought about the amount of peace that was in the household, something I didn’t even know could even be a possibility, and I started to trust that I, too, could have something like that someday.