27 Aug 2012, 7:45am
Of Food and Love:
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  • Of Food And Love: Appalachian Trail Hike

    Sometimes, you don’t realize you want to do something until the idea is presented to you — like, hiking on the Appalachian trail.  It’s not like I have never hiked before, I have, nothing worth mention, but I’ve done it.  It wasn’t until I dove head first into the book, Wild by Cheryl Strayed, that I decided I wanted to hike *for real*.

    This woman’s adventure was so raw and soul searching that it drew me in.  Her 1,100 mile hike to redemption was something I wanted to do.  No, not actually hike 1,100 miles to find myself, but to find myself, in general, by doing something so organic.  Secretly, I’ve always wanted to go on a hike in the middle of nowhere and pray and fast for a couple of days.  Nothing but me, God, nature and my bible.  I’m sure God could sing me a symphony and I would actually be able to hear it.

    A good friend of mine, Candi, read the book too and suggested that we go on a hike!  Uhm, yes!  Count me in.  She found the trail, organized the date and time and over the weekend four of us ladies started on our 3.4 mile hike up into the Appalachian Trail.

    An assuming little sign on the side of the freeway, literally, leads you to a path that can take you on a thousand miles worth of hiking. (the whole trail from Georgia to Maine is over 2,000 miles long, we decided to take it easy.  hah)

    The way up was relatively uneventful, I was trying to *feel* my way into hiking mode.  Sometimes, it takes time to calm my insides from the hustle and bustle of life so I can see nature and how infinitely amazing it is.

    Because it is quite amazing.

    My favorite part of the hike up, a corridor of large leafy trees. We all agreed it was very rain forest-esque

    As we hiked, I tried to imagine how Cheryl felt going the Pacific Crest Trail alone.  I had three wonderful ladies with me to keep me giggling and share some pretty insightful knowledge amongst ourselves.  Did you know this is a Sassafras leaf?  Thanks, Candi, for sharing that!

    And, yes, you can camp along the trail, but I think this guy had set up shop…hah.  This didn’t seem like an overnight arrangement.

    We scaled the mountain side, our laughter and silence accompanying us.  There was about a five minute period where none of us spoke at all.  I didn’t realize it at first, because it seemed so natural and then I was very aware of the silence and our feet stepping carefully up the trail, over loose rock and stone steps.

    Finally, we reached the top.  So high, even the hawk’s flight took them close to our view.   I just stared.  Candi and Angie tried to figure out where we were in relation to the freeway, and Jenn, I can’t remember what she was doing.  Then, we all got quiet again.  Nature has a way of doing that…hushing the mind and soul.

    But, hunger is also a great force.  We unpacked our sacks for a mountain high lunch.

    Tuna sandwich, Pringles, apples and watered down Gatorade.  My lunch was fabulous.

    On our way back down, we met up with some hikers who happened to be lost.  Candi heard them crashing through the woods a long while before we actually crossed paths with them.  It was a dad with his two sons, I’m assuming they were his sons.  Either way, they were so very confused, not that we were any less confusing in our attempt to set them straight, but as Candi so eloquently stated, “I may be directionally challenged, but I can follow a marked trail.”  No kidding!  We were all very worried about those guys.  They didn’t even understand the signage for the trail, and were planning a weekend stay.

    By the time we climbed down, out of those mountains, we had a name christened upon us by Candi, “The Switchbacks”.  There is definitely another hike in my future with these women, we’re hoping to go farther and possibly over night.  I can’t wait.

    Candi, Jenn and Angie

    Me, Jenn and Angie

     

    I felt honored to have traversed a path that many a soul had passed over.  I wonder what their stories were.  I wonder if they were running from something, or to something.  Or maybe, they were just on a short jaunt like we.  Either way, I’m sure if that trail could speak, it would be like the sound of a million babbling brooks.

    I can’t wait to walk your paths again.

    Beautifully written, Misha. Thank you for sharing the day with us. And I, too, noticed and really enjoyed the silences interspersed in our giggling travels. It made me think about Cheryl and those long loooong silences she had to contend with.

    My husband and I love to hike. It has become our favorite hobby! Recently we did our first backpacking trip- I talked about it on my blog. But it was the most amazing and refreshing experience. No cell phones, no technology, no city lights.. Just me and hubby, our backpacks, nature and Jesus. We only stayed one night but now that we did it, we are going to do another trip to stay longer and longer. I was so sad when we had to come back to reality. Something about being in Gods country. Untainted by man.. pure bliss!

    Oh and I want to read that book! My husband told me about it because he read a book review .. its on my list :)

     
     
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