Rattling River Shelter


Rattling River Shelter

When I hiked to the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains I did it with a group of Roadrunner, Sota’ Sam, Chewy and this other guy, Greg?

Well he showed up last night at Rattling River. I hadn’t seen him since that cold morning in Tennessee. His name was now Outlier. We chatted about our hikes and marveled at how we managed to run into one another on the fringes of our hike.

Springer -> Great Smokies: 280 mi

White Mountains -> Katahdin: 300 miles

Lovely shelter…too cold for a swim.

Trail Log:


I am in love with someone who does not exist. I think every hopeless romantic feels this way. I love so many people, who in their slumber, their mild fear and preoccupation, forget what it means to love.

How do I love the selfish?

And when will they learn that self seeking begins in others? There are only false separations. What people call God seems to be the movement of our bodies through space, reflecting one another. “Happiness is only real when shared”—and no one is sharing.

My friend got back on trail to hike with me, and when it came to the point at which she should have stayed—she walked right by me.

I understood, and I told her to do what she needs to do to finish, to be happy. But I am deeply hurt. We will not share happiness together again. She even made a comment that when she is alone, she feels like it is because she deserves to be alone. What a terrible way to say goodbye.

Many people on this trail want to be “part of the party,” part of something bigger, to be where magic is happening— but when they go searching they never really find it. They find rough copy of it. Magic only exists where you aren’t looking. So if you shift the looking maybe it could be everywhere always.

People like to pair oppositions —happy, sad, good, bad, pretty, ugly, mean, nice, win, lose. Maybe these concepts would have more meaning if they were defined in their own right. Maybe if these ideas were situated they would have more meaning. Words are dead without the reality that surrounds them. It’s the difference between looking and seeing.


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