Sunday, June 27, 2010

Stay Puff & Other Trail Names

Names are important... even when hiking. On the Appalachian Trail (AT) it’s customary to choose a trail name. Perhaps this is true on other trails as well, but it seems to be especially true on the AT.

Signing into the logbook our first trip, my hiking partner Tara, pen in hand, asked what my trail name was.

"Trail Name?" I asked right back. I had no idea. “I don’t have one. I don’t think I need one,” I said.

Tara gave me a look and convinced me that I did indeed need a trail name. Everyone does you know. In situations like these it is best to cave in to peer pressure. I looked myself up and down. I was dressed head to toe in white (anti-tick regalia) and the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man popped into my head.

"That's awful," Tara said, catching the implied out-of-shape clumsiness and does-not-belong-on-the-trail vibe.

I searched my soul, fished around for other ideas and after very little further deliberation decided to go with it.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Mosquito Ghost

I’ve been waiting for this all year and finally it is here – mosquito season! [Insert maniacal laughter here.] I’m not kidding. All winter there has been virtually nothing to struggle against, no adversaries worthy of a good fight. A little cold and snow? Bah! The mosquito, however, lends just the sort of challenge to keep a girl on her toes, to make her feel alive…

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Porcupine Prickly and Red Eft Angry - AT 3:3

I left early, out of spite. Grumpy thoughts clinging hard even in the midst of the beauty and bounty of nature. Six thirty in the morning and I trudged along, stepping over one Red Eft after another, listing my justifications.

Three days running, I’d brought up the rear. In all likelihood I’d be last again today. Getting a head start made sense. They’d all pass me and my lame leg before long anyway; it was only a matter of time.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Vacation, Excuses and Inspiration

Confession: I went on vacation and did not hike. It’s my mother-in-law’s fault. She’s quite a temptress. She dangled free beach front lodgings in front of us. We salivated, nodded and said something nearly as articulate as, “yeah, uh huh, that sounds good.”

So last weekend I found myself on the Cape (that’s Cape Cod for you non-New Englanders). The weather was fantastic and I spent most of my time under a beach umbrella smelling the roses. Their sublime scent was strong enough to carry across the patio on the ocean breeze.

But my vacation was not all sun and roses.