Monday, July 14, 2008

Trail Mix

I often hear the clichéd phrase ‘Oh, I need a vacation after last weekend to get back to normal’ on dragging myself into work on Mondays (especially during summer). I do the appropriate roll of my eyes as befits the occasion and carry on. This weekend was our turn to employ this cliché. We trekked portions of the Appalachian Trail (the longest continuous footpath in the world). The trail covers a total length of 2175 miles from Georgia to Maine and we did a tiny section (must have done about 0.002% of the trail) of the trail that runs through New Jersey. It was worth the effort. The absence of wireless signals and the internets added to a comfortable sense of isolation. Of course, I am not sure how long one could go without these leech like staples of our existence, but the disruption in the ‘I am always available’ mode was a welcome respite from the diurnal din.
We did catch a bit of ‘trail lingo’ along the way - NOBOs stands for north-bounders, trekking their way to yonder Maine, SOBOs for south-bounders who make the journey from Maine to Georgia (very few actually finish the trail end to end every year). I remember my wife punning that we felt like HOBOs (homebounders – not a trail lingo) at the end of the trek. We also managed to squeeze in a little boating near our rented log cabin. Also worth mentioning were black bear sightings (they seem to have so many in NJ that there is an official hunting season designed for Hummer like masculine egos to gun the poor things down) and white tailed deer’s. The vistas of the Delaware Water Gap at the summit of one of the little mountains we climbed did have a ‘sharp intake of breath’ effect on all of us. Upcoming projects include convincing the family to attempt larger sections of the trail in the future.

The following is an excerpt from On the Beaten Path: An Appalachian Pilgrimage by Robert Rubin - a book that I dicovered in the main office of the little commuity that we called home for two days.

We've walked this crooked trail to mend the crazing of our lives; we reek of sweat and smoke, wear Gore-Tex shells to turn the storm away, take on new names, our talk all aches, and boots, and food; and yet we yearn to strip the armor from our hearts, to wash ourselves in mountain rain and air until, like the wild columbine and black cohosh, we can be merely what we are, until out of the stone-strewn ground we bloom again, until the weathered sign on Baxter Peak points along the path to where we've been.

As is the custom, the pictures follow.


Tree said...

Great photos! Years ago, I had some friends who hiked the entire length of the Trail. Amazing, I say!
I live near the Appalachians, too but how different they are from state to state.

JafaBrit's Art said...

fabulous photos, and yes a great trail, been there a while ago.

Sunil said...

Thanks, Kimberley and Corrine.

Glad you enjoyed them