June 10 2015 High Rocks Maryland
This is one of my favorite logs from trail!
I hiked on alone this morning and decided to take a detour to an overlook called High Rocks. When I came out to the clearing I was glad I took a moment for a side trail. The cliff was spray painted with graffiti and looked out over a valley full of bustling towns. This part of the trail, until Vermont really, was extremely populated. Most views were dissected by highways and little toy cars going somewhere. Lots of people going somewhere.
Gooroo, Noone, Flask and Chezwick all randomly came to the same overlook and chilled with me for quite awhile. This was one of my favorite moments on trail. I miss them terribly.
We had trail magic at lunch (some of those people were going somewhere and bringing food to here) A community group fed us sandwiches and gave us a ride to town so we could resupply. Shortly after our pleasant journey in the trunk of the mini van we all crossed over the Mason-Dixon line. Being from the deep south, this was an extremely exciting moment. I was happy to be in the North walking with a great group of New Englanders. I was always told that people from New England were awful, but these are some of the nicest people I have ever met. I miss them, especially when I remember this awesome day.
Later I think Matt, Flask and I clocked a speed of 5 mph. It didn’t last long. After hustling along we grudgingly decided to hike on to Caledonia with the hopes of swimming in the pool. Of course the pool was closed when we arrived. No one was disappointed again. We ate dinner in the park and decided again to hike onward to the next shelter.
The sun was setting so we all got out our headlamps for some night hiking. As soon as we turned on our lamps we saw a sign marking the ascent to the shelter:
Caution: Most difficult
We all groaned at the thought of what that might mean, and to us it evidently meant a lot more than it does to the average hiker. Chezwick led the way into the dark woods to find a stealth campsite. Tonight actually had to be stealthy because we were a large group camping in the woods of a public picnic area (hiker trash) . This happened a lot when I hiked with Chezwick. We stumbled around until we found a flat area big enough to accommodate everyone. Lots of silly banter ensued and the rustling of food bags lulled me to sleep.
It occurs to me that I don’t have to go back. I am not obligated to this way of life. It took 1,000 miles for me to realize that there are many ways to live. In a deeper sense- the meaning of living has changed for me. I don’t need to save for tomorrow- that belongs to a school of thought to which I no longer belong. It is no longer a matter of how do I go back, but of what comes next, what will each day bring? There are no wrong choices, only decisions made and when I choose to do something it is the best possible decision because it is enacted. It is not the only option, but the right one. Whatever comes from my choices will be my life and I plan to enjoy it, no matter what.
There is so much possibility out here, I have to carry it with me lightly.
Fuck this sprawling civilization. I don’t have to want the toy house, the toy car, the shit food, the stress, the constant beep of 9-5, the daily grind turns life into a fine powder. I don’t need the food they grow, the water they drink, the four walls, insurance plans for the unexpected. I don’t need any of it anymore.
Human fog is clouding up the view. I can’t see too far, but I don’t need to anymore.
“Life is good again, we’re at the beach.” Said Gooroo as he laid back and closed his eyes to bask in the warm summer light.
The question is not “How do I go back?” or that I don’t want to- I don’t need to go back, so I won’t.