Sunday, December 21, 2014

Appalachian Trail : North and South Trail

I had a whole, unpolluted day off of work, trials and social requirements today so off to the mountains with Perri and I.  I did not bring Ein because of his poor hips, and Molly did not feel like budging from her warm couch this morning so I did not push the issue.  Molly is the dog I least enjoy hiking with in our trio. (not to put Molly down, but I have to keep her leashed since she likes to ambush other hikers and because she blindly blasts around in the woods with no sense of self preservation.  When that is all done she is possibly mildly injured and definitely flat out of energy.  At this point she trudges behind me and mule-stops on the leash.  Hey, she's a good lake and river dog!)

All day today I watched Perri and thought of how much hiking with her is like hiking with Ein.  She conserves energy, she stays a set distance ahead of me and always glances behind to see if I am still there.   She enjoys her time on the trail sniffing at things and looking for rodents, but she is always in tune with me.  She recalls reliably.  She gazes out over vistas Ein-style.  As in Following Atticus, like a "little Buhddha."  I love it and it helps me to enjoy my experience so much more.

I had a pretty rough stomach bug towards the end of the week and Saturday was very nice-but-busy and I needed to clear my head.  I love this section of the Appalachian Trail near Lehigh Gap.  After the agonizing elevation gain the hike flattens out pretty well and I always love the boulder field on the South Trail and the beautiful open North Trail.

The South Trail...

North Trail...

The hike is roughly ten miles round trip and it was cold today, but the sun came out and it was somehow perfection.  Photos can never do this stretch of the AT and surrounding blue blaze trails justice.  The elevation gain chases away many people from exploring it, and the rare hiker that crosses my path are out for the same thing that I am.  Peace at the top of a mountain.  I had so many thoughts up there.  The usual pull and desire to spend a week hiking.  A month.  Months.  It is not possible.  When I hike it is where I belong.  One foot in front of the other, breath in, breath out.  Sweat.  Follow the blazes.  Smell the dizzying wonderful smells of nature.  I love it.  The thoughts of "What am I doing at these dog shows?  This is what I truly love, where I belong.  Life is simpler up here."  Balance.  It is all about finding a balance between all that my dogs and I love.

1 comment:

  1. I adore your hiking posts. My dogs are not joys to walk like Miss Perri.