February 21, 2006

Take a Hike

I've always liked hiking. When I lived in Carlisle our house was literally right on the Appalachain Trail. It was only 20 yards away from our property line, and on cool summer evenings I would walk through the woods and do a short loop on the Trail, and the two roads it ran in between.

On warm and sunny Saturdays I would fill up several quart containers with water, pack some sandwiches, crackers and bananas, and go for a long walk. The nearby town of Boiling Springs housed the Mid-Atlantic Appalachain trail conference. It was a place where weary through hikers (thouse who walk the whole trail from Maine to Georgia or vice versa) could stop, pick up mail, get some water, food, shelter, and meet other hikers.

Boiling Springs was about 6 miles away, and in the 2 hour walk there I would marvel at the quiet and beautiful atmosphere of the trail. The dark cool grove of Hemlock, the cool water of a babbling brook, and the long spans where you would forget that anyone else existed on the planet.

Occasionally you would come across other day hikers like myself, but most of the time you would pass the through hikers. They were easily identifable by the heavy bags on their back, and their appearance of having not shaved or bathed in days. Plus they were quieter, even if they were in groups. The usual day hiker was a mother with her children, and you would hear them miles away.

I would arrive at the Trail-Conference and sit for a while and listen to the through hikers' stories of quiet nights on the trail, sipping my water and resting my feet for the 6 miles home.

I always missed those days, and wanted to go for a hike. I think when the weather breaks, I'll dig out my walking stick and boots. I'll pack a sandwich and visit places I've never been that are only a few miles from my house.

Posted by psugrad98 at February 21, 2006 01:53 PM | TrackBack

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