Monday, July 21, 2008
I walked to New England
I have lived with a map of the AT in my bedroom for the past eight years. The lines are embedded in my mind, state boundaries, jagged trail, Atlantic Ocean, south, north. The miles I have walked and where I have been strangely enough are not constantly on my mind anymore. I dream and hope of things to come, above tree line gusts of wind in NH, fall leaves in Maine, cruising back south, the crisp October evenings below the mason dixon, wild ponies and no bugs. I was urged to check out a map this week. Along the NY/ CT border there are a lot of message boards with the standard AT strip map. I put a finger on Daleville and stretched my wing span to put a finger on Kent, CT. I couldn't reach. Marmot, a guy I was walking with reached up for me... wow I thought... The scope and reality for hiking the AT, what one goes through physically, geographically, mentally and spiritually are indescribable. I just started hiking fast this week. I used to average about 2 miles per hour. The past few days I've gotten up to about 3mph. It changes the pace and scenery, the way I experience a day. Right now the trail is a blur of dirt, rocks, woods, sweat, bugs, and charming men. Ever since getting off to go to the city each day is a very unique and distinct adventure. The full moon has all of us nature livers pretty squirrelly and one never knows from one moment to the next what might happen. Iccarus, Beershake, Mike and I spent one of my best nights on the trail watching the sun set from black mountain. The NYC skyline twinkled in the summer haze of heat and pollution as the moon rose over the Hudson River. We all shared water, blueberries and our dinners and fell asleep with a blanket of stars. A couple days later I found myself climbing up and down NY hills with Marmot to share a tasty pizza and calling it a day after 10 miles. Right now I'm hanging out with Walka Walka, Dingo, and Rocky at Young and Dumb's house in NY. Young and Dumb is a CT ridgerunner and 2007 thru hiker. He has graciously opened his car and home to us. Thanks Luke =) The Mikes told me "CT is a land of milk and honey" so far it's still reasonably difficult hiking but the swimming holes are phenomenal. So here's to New England, being alive, and being here now!