Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Remarkably Nondescript

I've been searching for the quintessential White Blaze. It can't be too perfect. A simple 2x6 inch white rectangle on a post just doesn't cut it. The ideal AT white blaze has to have a dual character. It has to meld the essence of nature's uncompromising wildness with man's gently purposed imprint - both personalities must be in balance.

I found a good candidate today because I had the time to study the white blazes as I passed them. The trail presented little else to entertain me. I hiked a short day, just 13 miles, and all of it was on the ridge of Brushy Mountain with only a few hundred feet of elevation variation, virtually no rocks or steep sections, no viewpoints except glances through the trees, and amazingly dull weather - cold and cloudy with enough snow falling to cast a haze on the adjacent mountain ranges, but not enough to present any challenge.

I turned around at Helvey's Mill Shelter - an altogether ordinary shelter - and signed the log, which contained no entry from Peter - haven't 'heard' from him since north of Pearisburg, and am beginning to worry that he may have gone off the trail. But otherwise today's hike was remarkably nondescript. I hope I don't have many more days when I can say this.

To accentuate the positive: There was a brief moment at sunrise when a golden shaft of light painted a small patch of the upper Kimberling Creek valley:

There were plenty of grizzled old trees; but I covered that subject yesterday and will surely revisit it again in the future. And, of course, the trail is always good for the archetypical 'wending one's way through the woods' shot:

So today I was left to create my own story - to prepare some remarks, as writers are prone to do, regarding what might be considered unremarkable. I was called upon to describe what one might characterize as nondescript. And I found that I indeed had something to say. And it is this:

In the long run, a well-conceived journey takes you some place remarkable - but occasionally, along the way, you may have to take it to a place worthy of remark.


Here is the detailed GPS track with a few more photos embedded:

AT Day 18 - Brushy Mountain above upper Kimberling Creek at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in Virginia

1 comment:

  1. I'm really enjoying your post! Found you thru Whiteblaze