I worked my butt off for a month to hike the Whites with one of my favorite adventure companions, Ryan Hasty. That's the main reason I've been so sparse updating this blog as well as taking very little time off in town away from the trail. Today I am in Gorham NH, trying to get my head around the 300 miles between where I sit now and Mt. Katahdin.
Photos have been posted of the past two states. I have been blessed and fortunate to travel with a beautiful fellowship of companions in Vermont and NH. Time at Anna's Vermont home was delicious, soulful, and restful. My new dear friend Low kept me smiling and laughing through hail storms, rain, mud, and many many miles of Vermont and NH up until the first shelter in the Whites. Bones has also risen to be a source of joy and relief. As it turns out the past two states and the weeks to traverse them have become a whirlwind of fellowship, miles, and wildness, so much so that I only realized a couple days ago, standing on top of the Wildcats North of Pinkham Notch, alone, for the first time in nearly a month, how far I had come. Hiking is a funny business when your mind becomes absolved in the greenery and rocks. I am nearly in Maine. I can't really tell you how that happened.
I've been thinking too much time in the woods is a lot like deep sea diving. They say once you're deep enough under water your world fades into an existence of blue, above, around, below, you no longer know which way is where. I listened to a lot of Eddie Vedder, Into the Wild, soundtrack before leaving VA. There's a song on that album that says "gonna rise up, find my direction magnetically, gonna rise up, turn mistakes into gold" I used to feel magnetized north. I don't know which way is what anymore; in a strange foreign place.
There are glimpses of this landscape that seem a strange mix of Montanan grandeur and Virginian greenery. Sometimes it is comforting; always surprising.
The White Mountains were in a word- epic. Traversing them with someone so near and dear to my heart was definitely a highlight of this trip. We had nearly perfect weather for the whole stretch- a feat unheard of in this area. Even the day we summited Mt Washington and hiked the Presidential range was sunny, warm, clear, with little to no wind. Although Hasty, Bones, and I pushed nearly 15 miles that day and didn't set up camp til 9pm, and although I had to sing myself through the last 3 miles of exposed ridge at sunset and with a headlamp not to cry from fatigue and frustration, it was in fact, one of the most glorious days on the trail yet.
It seems I'm always online with someone breathing over me to get off the computer, so , as always, I'll wrap up before I would like to. But first- a few shout outs.
Homer, Theresa, Taylor, Bennet Witcher: I think of you nearly every day. You have my utmost admiration and respect for having walked this path as a family.
Amtower Clan: Thank you so much for gifts of presence and support. I miss you and love you very much
Botetourt County School Employees (who are prob reading this bc of my Mom): Encourage your students to dream huge, beyond huge. Tell them youthful dream chasing gives you confidence and life to dream more, chase more.
Anyone who can give me a full time job with health benefits starting at the first of this year give me a shout =) Particularly one near Missoula Montana =D
Love and peace to you all.
May you find graceful wonder as you wander.