Monday, September 10, 2012
The Virtual Appalachian Trail Hike - Disappearing Trails?
I am making good progress in virtually walking the Appalachian Trail. Since August 1 I have reached 200.7 miles which brings me to Mt. Collins, TN. Many of the pictures of the trails are beautiful - like this one, but I couldn't help be wonder - isn't there a chance that nature can reclaim the trail making it easy to lose one's way? Doesn't this trail look like nature is trying to reclaim it. There are white blazes on trees, but they aren't on every tree ... what if the trail "disappears."
Thoughts to ponder.
I am reading the book Walking Home: A Woman's Pilgrimage on the Appalachian Trail by Kelly Winters. It is very good, but almost all the trail books I have read about the Appalachian Trail have been really interesting. I am beginning to think that it is the trial's story that is interesting rather than the individual experience.
Ms. Winters makes a number of interesting observations during the book. Here is one that never occurred to me.
"All of us know everyone who's hiking within 100 miles of us--even if we've never met--either through reading their entries in the shelter logs or from gossip passed on by word of mouth from others who have been seen or heard of them. We have a community, a culture, and a fellowship that grows stronger as we all walk farther and endure more. It's a long, thin community, spread out over 2,000 miles, but like Gypsies, we keep track of our tribe."
It is this theme that permeates her story.