Total Miles: 906.6
“As a man tramps the woods to the lake he knows he will find pines and lilies, blue heron and golden shiners, shadows on the rocks and the glint of light on the wavelets, just as they were in the summer of 1354, as they will be in 2054 and beyond. He can stand on a rock by the shore and be in a past he could not have known, in a future he will never see.”
–William Chapman White
Whenever I’m cramming in the usual town chores that invariably consume a surprisingly large amount of a day off, it’s a brief opportunity that grants just enough physical and mental distance from the trail itself to reflect on this journey as it unfolds. Beneath the beauty that lives on the surface of nearly every footstep, my mind sometimes stumbles upon even more fulfilling ways of seeing into the prism of the trail experience.
Setting aside the reality of climate change and its impact on our landscapes, there is indeed a timelessness to these places that I’ve had the good fortune to spend a great deal of my life enveloped by. As close to time travel as I’ll ever get, the experience of the mountains is, at once, a visceral experience of the world as it is while also connecting me both to the past and to the future. I like to imagine what history these mountains and rivers have born witness to; from the geologic events that first shaped them, the summer storms and winter blizzards that weathered them, to the people that first experienced them and all those to come who will carry the torch of their preservation.