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Captain’s Mast

This is a bit different from my usual posts, as this has nothing to do with nature, exploring, what have you. It DOES however, have to do with me exploring myself, which I have always done. I am quite introspective I suppose. My mother says that I have always had an ‘old soul’, and that she saw it in my childhood. I suppose I have always dug for answers, cared about people, etc.

Anyway… When I was younger I was in a few bands. I always wrote about topics that concerned me, I suppose introspective (I used that word correctly twice now… yay me!) ones. A dear friend, Jackie Manz, an amazing musician, asked me to write the lyrics and perform the vocals on a solo project she is working on. It is the ‘Forever Ambergris’ project (Look it up on Facebook and LIKE IT! ). I was honored and happy to do it. It was a lot of fun, stressful week, as we had numerous problems with file transfers between our divergent recording setups, but it all seemed to work out in the end. I did say, did I not, that she was amazing.

I was allowed to choose the topic, and as it would happen, it fell in line with her current feelings at the time, which were somber, dark, unsettling. I chose bullying as my topic, as it is something I have been struggling with recently with my young children. What?? Oh, I never mentioned I had children? Oh .. well.. I have children, two small boys, perhaps as vulnerable, and dare I say sweet and caring as I always was. So that is what I wrote about. Included is a link to the final product, again, it is dark, not everyone’s cup of tea, but give it a go .. yea? Here are the lyrics that I wrote for it below. They are also included in the youtube description. I want to stress, that I only wrote the words, and sang, the rest was all just one tiny girl, a young girl….. impressive .. yes?? She also did the production, mixing, and had just a little bit of help with the engineering. She is gifted and driven. Hats off! We need more of those in this world.

Captain’s Mast <– Click to hear the song, go to youtube.

I am the one you find, the weak one’s life, that you feed on.
I am the lies you tell, the lifeless hell, that bleeds on.
I’m the one that you pass by, that prays inside, you’ll move on.

I am the captain’s mast, the single chance to see me.
I am the whispered cry, the lonely sigh, hear me.
Please don’t leave me where you find me.

——————

I am the sick boy’s needs, the lonely dreams, that you feed on.
I am the quiet girl, in your bitter world, that bleeds on.
I’ve taken it all inside, I have tried this life, I’ll move on.
I am the lifeless one, the mother’s son, that you preyed on.

I was the captain’s mast, the single chance, to see me.
I was the whispered cry, that lonely sigh, you ignored me.
Please leave me where you find me.

——————

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Tucquan Glen Hike

Located in the absolutely beautiful area of Pequea and Holtwood are several gorges with swift flowing streams making their way to the Susquehanna river. Tucquan Creek is one of these. Located on a Nature preserve named after the creek itself are several trails leading from River Rd down the gorge to the River. On this particular trip, I chose to take the a yellow blaze, river right, down to the Susquehanna. I then took the blue blaze, river left, back up to where I had started at the parking area.

This is considered a difficult hike, children can handle the beginning portions, but it does get a little dicey after perhaps half a mile to three quarters of a mile. For very young children (mine are 5 and 6 yrs old) I would choose the blue blaze. Both trails skirt the creek, generally along it’s bank as close as possible without falling into the creek itself. I generally prefer hikes that stay close to water, and chose them purposely.

I parked at the large parking lot located at River Rd, and Tuquan Glen Rd. Directly in front of the parking area, is a very large rock that I believe is called Tuquan rock. That spelling is correct, if I have the correct rock. The spelling was found in the now out of print book “Caves of Southeastern Pennsylvania”.

When I parked and looked up at this ‘rock’, realizing it is 3 to 4 stories high, I was compelled to climb it first thing. To my incredible surprise, I found multiple small caves, or shelters, littering this massive boulder on multiple levels as I made my way up it. At the very top is a peculiar arch carved at the top that one can walk through, crouched slightly. I was excited to find this, as I had just come from Mount Joy in search of a cave called ‘Donegal Cave’ and suffered a near miss in locating it, but did gain permission to search the property, and was informed that it does reside on this particular property. When I returned home and consulted the book that I just mentioned, I found a listing that matches what I found, with the clincher being the stone arch found at the very top. This, if I am correct, is know in collection as Erb’s Mill Shelter Caves. You cannot see them from the ground, it is only by climbing and exploring the rock that you begin to find them.

I continued on to the hike after about an hour exploring the large rock and caves. I headed downstream, as mentioned previously, on the yellow blaze, river right. I followed the trail most of the way, but when it began to ascend well above the creek to the top of the gorge I decided to go off trail and skirt the creek for photos. I do NOT recommend doing this. It was mid January, and the water would have been incredibly cold if I had fallen into it. There isn’t a stream bank in this area, just steep, sometimes vertical walls of solid rock, with some break down that you can hop your way down stream on. At times it was strictly rock climbing, shimmying my way down stream clinging to the walls.

There are many falls on your way downstream. It is incredibly serene and beautiful. The hike down to the river was just over two miles, but again, I had gone off trail and explored quite a bit. If you followed the trail strictly, I would have to guess that the trip is approximately 1.5 or slightly more miles. Toward the bottom of the gorge, meaning as I got close to where it dumped it’s contents into the Susquehanna, I was out in the middle of the creek on large boulders, hopping around and taking pictures and video.

I took the blue blaze trail back. Much easier than my trip down stream. I recommend this trail wholeheartedly. I believe the scenery was every bit as good as from the yellow blaze, and much easier going. There is even a wooden bridge that get’s the hiker over the one section that has a sheer wall on that side of the creek. Again, this trail skirts right up against the creek the entire way, even more so than the Pequea creek hike does.

This is a wonderful trail system that I recommend to anyone looking for a good hike. There are so many areas to explore in this region, and they deserve much more exploration as this year wears on. Expect to hear more.