Day 209: Monastery

Graymoor Monastery [mile 1798.5; SOBO 780.1]

I’m at a monastery! =D

OK, this is way cool. And I know that about a billionty people stay here every year, but this is my first time and I’m awed by the cool of it.

Wait. Let’s start at the beginning.

Last night the moon was bright. It was so bright, in fact, that I thought there must be a spotlight on my tent or I’d inadvertently camped next to a stadium. So I fished out my glasses and manhandled the zipper open, and woah. The moon was bright, and the trees were enormously tall like silhouettes of slender women holding hands, and the moonlight through the yellow leaves turned the world to shadowy gold.


So I went to sleep with that image… and I woke up a bunch of times when somehing big started crashing around my tent. Deer. I figured it out when their hooves clattered against the rock.

I didn’t sleep well.

When I woke up in the morning, in the dark, I was disappointed to see that the blazes I was planning to use to get back to the trail were not, in fact, fluorescent. Wah-wah; no blazes. But by the time I got the tent packed up, it was close enough to dawn that by the headlamp I could more or less pick my way out.

Then came the walking! Same old New York. 🙂 Rocky and roller-coastery. Once again, the weather was charmed. Bright sun, hot; clear.

I was planning to go 14 miles and stop in town tonight to recharge my electronics (my limiting factor), and I had to hit a deli-slash-market to resupply for the next leg. It was too much. I got to the deli at noon. Noon, on a weekday in New York. The people were shouting food orders and phone messages, and there were so many of them! For the first time, I actually felt a little shell-shocked. I couldn’t even process the bustle; I had to step outside for a minute.

Then I ordered a cheeseburger and sat outside and ate it, which gave the lunch crowd enough time to disperse. I went back into the store and managed to piece together some trailmix and nuts and such for three days. Aaannnddd… I began to realize I wasn’t going to be able to do eight more miles.

So I plodded back here to Graymoor. The Franciscan friars let hikers sleep in the picnic pavilion at their ballfield. There’s water, a shower (too cold for me!), and an outlet where my phone is charging.

When I trudged down the final hundred yards, there were two small deer in the grass. How Franciscan is that? 🙂 I pitched my tent there (after, of course, checking for deer poop; I’m a romantic, but also a pragmatist).

Thank you, friars!











Categories: Appalachian Trail | Tags: | 12 Comments

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12 thoughts on “Day 209: Monastery

  1. Amen!

  2. Jill

    When I am reading your journal entries I will say to myself.”Hmmmm, I wonder what that looks like?) Then lo and behold you will have a picture of it in the photo section. Delightful! Kokopelli (2014)

  3. Shari wb

    Im going to hold that golden moon sky image for my meditation tonight. When i think of the calming beauty around you i think you must have a baganza of meditation scenes floating in your head!! Xoxoxo

  4. Marge

    You are a channel and through you we get to view the sights and sounds of the AT! You are bringing hope and joy, etc to so many along the trail!

  5. Glad to see your posts! Get worried about you after a few days! Your pictures have been especially pretty the past couple posts and you’re really making me anxious to get started on my own hike next year. Quick question for you if you don’t mind me asking, not counting gear what do you think the round about number is for how much money you’ll spend on the hike? Keep on keeping on! Looking forward to your next post!

  6. Donna

    Thank you Karma! What a delight to read how you are moving along this journey. We miss you here and can’t wait until we get to pick your brain in person! Enjoy.

  7. Floss

    Karma, I finally remembered to check your journal and send a message while in town – most of the time I’m lucky if I remember to buy the basic necessities that I’ve had on my list for days! I’m so glad you’re still making good progress, writing riveting prose, and posting great pics. I will continue to defer all inquiries from my friends and family to your site. With all your support network, you may not need any ‘heads-up/here’s what’s ahead’ from me, but let me know if you do. (I’m in Pa’s Pine Grove Furnace State Park’s ‘Mansion’ – a 5star stop btw) Your biggest fan, Floss 8172879586 Unfortunately, my silkroad account is no longer active, but reach me via those portals when you need the lowdown another southbounder. HT

  8. Mr. Clean, (Greg)

    I just had to say that this is one of the best journals ever. So descriptive and insightful. Enjoy the hike, for those of us who can`t get out right now.

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