Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Why so sad?

Monday, October 22, 2012:

Ran into this 'Dilbert-style' character today on the trail.  He looked so crestfallen (especially after I made a few minor enhancements [*wink, wink*]).

Why so sad, little white blaze?

Is it because I'll soon be leaving the trail?  Looks like only about 5 or 6 more day-hikes will wrap up my ten month journey - 4368.4 miles in all, and after today I have only 87.4 of them left to hike.

Or is it because the trail seemed to have so little that was noteworthy to show me today.  I hiked 9.1 miles of new trail between Ed Garvey Shelter and the Rocky Run Shelters (old and new), and had only this limited view from White Rocks on Lambs Knoll

and the various old stone foundations and this monument to War Correspondents at Gathland State Park:

But I don't think the trail should be sad for either of those reasons.  I may be gone from the AT soon, but my relationship with it has never been stronger, and will not fade away.  For one thing, I'm going to work on that book I've been talking about, probably some sort of day hiking guide.  And although today's hike didn't offer the spectacular photo-ops of some recent days, I absolutely enjoyed every minute of it.  The weather was nearly ideal, almost too warm in early afternoon, but clear and bright.  The leaves are putting on a magnificent display, so I was bathed in a kaleidoscope of color, not just the greens and browns of summer or the grays and browns of winter.

So ... no, little white blaze.  You should not be sad ... not on my account anyway.  Maybe you're thinking about all the folks pent up in offices today, not able to get out and enjoy your trail.  Maybe you're sad for all the many people who don't even realize you exist, or understand how much you have to offer them along your 2184.2 mile treadway.  Yeah, that must be it.  So maybe that's what my book ought to try to do - open the doors to the trail, open the eyes of the uninitiated.  Invite people to "Come Walk this Famous Trail".


Here's today's hiking route plotted on a map, with a link to more photos:

AT Day 264 - White Rocks at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in Maryland

1 comment:

  1. I have enjoyed your blog about the Appalachian Trail more than any other I have followed. Your journey has been unique. You are a creative writer and have captured the beauty of the trail with your photographs. Thank you !