Bushcamp (1413.2) to Bushcamp (1435.2)
The hiking today lacked in scenic highlights. No grand views, no amazing wildlife encounters and with the exception of late in the day I was completely alone on the trail.
Being alone on the trail brings its own rewards. The type of benefits that group hikers miss. The peace and tranquility of nature and the self reliance and peace of mind that can only be gained with alone time. We humans are social creatures but time alone resets body and mind.
One of the great things about hiking a long trail is living a life without any influence from the media. In town I could switch on the television and get my news from whatever source suited my views. I could watch the Fox News propaganda channel for my right wing views or the MSNBC propaganda channel for my left wing views. Time spent hiking long distances removes me and most other hikers from other people’s opinions of the world. Now I only have my own opinions. And I think a lot about my own views on life, living and the world around me. Days alone with not much scenery give me time for reflection. Switch off the news channels for a couple of days. Enough of my rambling.
The Appalachian Trail might be the oldest long distance hiking trail in USA but it’s constantly evolving. New trail replaces old trail over time. There was a section of trail that was closed today, I’m not sure why. As a result I was rerouted onto a section of road. Something that is rare on the Appalachian Trail.
As the afternoon progressed I approached a road with yet another nearby shop promising food for the hiker. A 5 minute walk bought me to a pizza shop and small grocery store. A pizza, two beers and many conversations later I said goodbye to the couple of other hikers I met there. It was possible to camp nearby for free, drink more beer and return for breakfast in the morning. The trail was calling me northward. I have a strong desire to be back in the mountains. The further north I go, the more my desire will be fulfilled. Northward I must go to the mountains.