Sunday, June 24, 2012:
Sarah Ban Breathnach made this term famous. Her 1990's book was a mega-hit, targeted specifically toward women. Well, I'm man enough to draw relevance from her philosophy regardless. Her web site is subtitled 'A return to Comfort and Joy'. That's what today was for me.
I was off the trail for four days - zero's I would rather not have been obligated to take. I made the best of them, buying a spare pair of trail runners that I like a lot (used them all day today), and I had a chance to visit the ATC office in Harper's Ferry. That was the locus of both the highest high and the lowest low of my four days away from *where I belong*. It's where I learned of the untimely drowning of my trail friend Paul ('Parkside') Bernhardt at Pierce Pond, Maine, barely ten to twelve days away from finishing his thru-hike. I posted about Paul in detail yesterday.
And it's where I had the amazing good luck to run into my fast friends (by correspondence only to this point), 'The Troverts'. 'N Trovert' is a freshly retired National Park Service Ranger. His wife 'X Trovert' happens to have gone to the same high school as I did, and is the sister of Bob, one of my brother's best high school buddies. Last time I saw her she was probably seven years old or so, rattling about the house paying us boys no attention at all while my brother and I visited with Bob. X and N started in Springer on April 11th and are pursuing their thru-hike apace, looking strong and fit. By some mystical stroke of fortune, they made it to Harper's Ferry on Friday, just minutes before I dropped in for a quick visit, just to 'check in', buy a hat, and look over the crop of 2012 hiker photos. We had a nice, though all-too-brief, visit and then were off on our separate agendas again - they were surrounded by local National Park Service big-wigs who were treating them like royalty, I was headed back to Vermont.
Ahhhh ... back to Vermont and the Green Mountains and the wide open spaces. The Vermonters care about their trails, and they love to hike. This Sunday the weather was perfect and the locals were out en masse
. I was hiking a very popular two mile stretch of easy trail between Danby-Landgrove Road and Little Rock Pond. When I got back to the ample parking lot it was full to overflowing. I was able to turn my parking space over to one lucky noon arrival, but many others had no such luck.
And no wonder the lot was packed - Little Rock Pond is a pretty spot, and the walk to it follows babbling streams nearly all the way.
In the afternoon I found much less crowded parking conditions on VT 140 and hiked up to White Rocks Lookout - nice view on this clear afternoon, but for me there was more interest in the white rock 'cairn city' that people have constructed at the junction of the side trail with the AT:
And since I'm partial to waterfalls, I probably got more pleasure out of this ever-moving, noisy venue than the static, silent 'post card' shot from the summit - this is just below where the trail crosses Bully Brook:
And that little pool at the bottom was oh-so-inviting on this warm sunny day. Yes, I was back among nature's Simple Abundance ... A most welcome return to my Comfort and Joy.
Here's a map of today's hike, with an irrelevant straight line thrown in, and a link to more photos:
AT Day 158 - Little Rock Pond at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find hiking trails in California
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