Sunday, February 03, 2008

The Appalachian Trail

Last summer, I had the wild hair idea that it would be quite a feat to hike part or all of the Appalachian Trail.. I have had that wild hair idea more than once before in my life, but have not acted on it..

I have, more than once, driven parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway, that more or less goes along part of the southern route of the Appalachian Trail, not really but sort of. But driving and hiking is very, very different.

This time, it all started because I read a short item in the newspaper that Robert Redford is going to do a movie based on the book "A Walk In The Woods" by Bill Bryson, about Bryson's experience on the Appalachian Trail... I was looking for a good read, and this was a great read, and I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone..

I think it interesting that the author's experience with hiking in Pennsylvannia is not too different than my experience driving in Pennsylvannia... I have driven through the Delaware River Gap area, and frankly, it is one of the more well marked areas of Pennsylvannia, but the signage is atrocious: cross the borders to New York or New Jersey, and you are in a different, more well marked world....
I have done some hiking: years ago, in the Western Massachusetts area, I day hiked often in the Leverett, Wendell, Farley, Erving, Northfield area, on what is what I then did not know to be the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail, a "by trail" of the Appalachian Trail.. In the fall of 2006, I was in Massachusetts, at my mother's house, and did some hiking again along the trails. My neighbor, who lived in Millers Falls all his life, told me about a part of the trail on the summit of what I think is Bald Mountain, in Northfield. Fairly accessible, he took me to the trail head, and I was able to take this hike quite easily...He told he he had not known about it until a few years earlier: we had spent our life there, and did not know....

In the late 60s and early 70s, it was not unusual for me to be hiking in Wendell, Leverett, Erving, Farley, and Northfield. And, when I was not hiking I was walking, inveterately walking... Sometimes, I biked and hiked, sometimes I canoed and hiked....

When Steff and I went west, to Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, and Rocky Mountain Estes Park we hiked.

I have done Carlsbad Caverns more than once, and Sonora Cavern and Longhorn Cavern once.

I have done some short hikes in Palo Duro Cavern and Caprock Canyon State Park, and Copper Breaks State Parks. I have done the Audobon trail at Buffalo Springs Park in Lubbock, the Audobon Trail on Lake Nasworthy in San Angelo, and the Lubbock Landmark trail... I love to hike, to walk.

I do not recall when, but Claudette and I, Mack and Jumper did the ten mile round trip hike to the Clarity Tunnel from Monk's Crossing on the Caprock Canyon Rail Trail..

On December 31, 2003, five of us did the very strenuous 10 mile hike loop at Caprock Canyons up to Fern Cave.

The next year, Claudette, Andrea, and myself did the 3 mile lower loop, which I have also done by myself...

Now, at a time in my life when the one plus mile around the park finds me struggling to make the steps to the curbs, I want to hike again. I am talking with friends about hiking at Caprock Canyon again ...

I will probably never be able to hike even part of the Appalachian Trail. But hiking is good.



Blogger linda said...

I LOVE A Walk in the Woods!!! I totally want to hike the Appalachian Trail, too, and was very inspired by that book. And it's SO FUNNY. I read it while I was in Korea. What a joy. I love hiking, too, and try to do so whenever possible.

February 05, 2008 5:39 PM  

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