Sunday, September 28
As always seems to be the case when staying in motels, I left Jennerstown later than I should have. The weather today was cold, but sunny, and the hills were much more bearable. Here the forest has released its grip allowing for small farms to be intermixed with the woods and mountains. These traditional farms with small fields and farm animals seem to have more of an “Old McDonald” feel than do the mega-sized corporate farms of the Midwest. I am impressed that these “hill farmers” can scratch out a living on the mountainsides. Some fields are on such a slope that it is hard to believe that they can plough without their tractors overturning.
In the late afternoon I passed the turnoff to the memorial for Flight 93 - the fourth plane involved in the September 11 attack that crashed into a Pennsylvania farm field. This plane seems to be the least remembered of the four but in my mind - should be elevated to number one in national prominence. Why? Because the passengers fought back! Though they were unsuccessful in their efforts at least they died like heroes. They went to their graves as brave men and women rather than submitting to their fate as sheep. We, as fellow Americans, could learn a lesson from them. I am ashamed to say that I did not walk the extra miles required but I have vowed to visit the memorial the next time I am through the area.
Near dark, I found a great place to camp on top of “Bald Mountain” just west of Schellsburg. There are many electricity producing windmills on its crest and on the very top is what seemed to be a cement helicopter landing pad. This seemed like the perfect place to spend a night away from the world below - so I pitched my tent, made some tea, and took in the panoramic view while watching the sun set below the western horizon. It was cold and getting colder as I crawled into my new -15 degree sleeping bag for a test. The temperature dropped to about 20 degrees and I am glad to say I was snug and warm. It became terribly windy during the night which presented my only problem - each time I got up to pee my tent about blew away without me in it to weigh it down!