Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: START (02/25/16)
- TITLE: The Trail
By Jeremy Kirby
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I saw with such wondering eyes the beauty of the trail. It meandered about here and there up and down. It blazed easily between the catacombs of ancient trees and stubbornly through new forest growth. Although cuts, scrapes, blisters and thirst are commonplace its allure still lingered in the air like the aroma of an early morning campfire underneath crisp hot bacon.
“I want that”, I think to myself.
I’m hungry for more of the mystery of what lies around the next bend, so I go towards it blazing onward, despite the cost.
Every week I discover more of the trail and the forest that has lain dormant in my backyard for decades. Its landscape being always a mystery to me save for a few disclosing escapades. I’ve heard of the cryptozoological creature legends and murder mysteries that have been talked about and now, finally I am in that world. I stop, look over my shoulder and listen.
I hear only the faint knock of a woodpecker in the distance and nothing more than the creaking of trees as the wind sways their tops.
The forest offers a quiet serenity, and only some people are allowed to grasp what it has to offer. Many people think it is too boring, too uncomfortable and physically demanding. So they quickly and thoughtlessly dismiss that primal notion that for a moment stirred their thoughts, and they go on living their concrete life.
Since I began my weekly escapes I’ve gathered a small following of like-minded people and those few are more than I ever expected. I pray they will hold out with me because I have also accepted a challenge. The challenge is a 100-mile portion of a 4,600-mile trail. I will hike it south to north, each journey growing more beautiful and dangerous, more challenging.
I look forward to this, so much so that I’ve sought out others who also are called to the sweet melodies of the wild. I found a man who is not yet but soon will be legend among backpackers and through-hikers. He has hiked the entirety of the Appalachian Trail and looped around to the North Country Trail and will complete that as well. He was picked up, fed and interviewed by a newspaper columnist that I had just talked with the day prior. She, I learned, is a tough one crowned with gray hair, one of only a handful that have completed my trail start to finish.
Now, I stand at a precipice with a longing in my sheltered heart. “Will 100 miles be enough for me?” I ask. Among greatness within an outdoor community I begin to answer myself, “no, I don’t think so.”
So I will begin this inward journey of my heart, outward among the trees, wolves, bears and friends.
…To be continued…
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