Peaks and Valleys: Always Trust the Animal

Things that excite me these days: The sound of highways, eating Pringles in a trailer, eating Snickers, eating ice-cream, hot-chocolate, summits, showers, and shaving my legs… oh! oh! and general stores!  I never expected to take such pleasure in these things.  Sometimes the best part of hiking the trail is “Going into Town”!  It’s strange to see these reversals in myself.  I left the city to get away from the sound of cars, constant noise and ringing bells; and yet, now I find these things bring a certain comfort.  It’s not more than a couple days, however, when I realize that I’m going crazy and I need to get back to the woods.

This is the nature of our lives, isn’t it?  We go up and down, up and down.  I’ve decided to take a photo of when I finally get to the top.  It makes all the dark valleys worth it.

Saddleback Moutain: My favorite so far. You can see Katahdin and Mt. Washington from the top!

Beamis Mountain

Beamis Mountain was a difficult 3 miles

The camera really doesn't do it justice

Approaching the summit of Saddleback

Rolling hills from whence I've come

I was talking with my new Women Friends! about this today.  It seems that many people yearn for a return to a more primitive lifestyle, yet most of us don’t want to be extreme isolationists.  Alexander Supertramp, the boy Krakauer wrote about in “Into the Wild”  comes to mind.  We’ve all felt that something today is unnatural.   We’ve all wondered what it would be like to totally escape civilization.  Because the way we are living is missing something.  We’re walled in.  The ingredients in our foods aren’t found in nature.  (And yet, why is it that I just looooove Kraft “Mac ‘n Cheese?)  We’ve moved too far away.  But when I truly reject it all, I crave society and everything that comes with it.  I crave the mere company of other people.  The sound of cars signals  food, warmth and safety.   I can only conclude that the things we are used to are a part of us no matter how much we would like to reject them.  We can reform the way we are living, but going to the extreme is ignorant of the reason civilization exists in the first place.  It’s what makes us human, whether we like it or not.  The truth is: It’s f***ing scary out there is the dark, dark woods.  I don’t know why, but Adam ate the apple and we are forever separated from total harmony with nature.  Maybe we can acknowledge the parts of our minds that are human and the parts that are not us–like a total rejection of nature– so that we can be without them.

There is a lot to see out there, like lots and lots of mushrooms! And I saw my second moose yesterday.  I didn’t get a picture of it though, cause we were bonding and I didn’t want to scare it. 🙂  But mushrooms are braver than moose.

almost as big as my head





Did I mention?

I think these are called Animites. They look like candy. Makes me wanna just pop 'em in me mouth.

While we’re on the subject, there are also lots of these amazing tree fungi.  I thought is was “street art” or “trail art” at first.

And if you feel like a challenge there are also crazy fun ways to try and not slide down mountains! 🙂

Thank goodness for this ladder

And this rebar is really helpful too.

It's only 700 feet down.

And, believe it or not, there are some really great people.

The boys: Castor, Scruggs and Corney!

Had a delightful chat with these here Northbound boys by the stream.  It was good times.

They picked us up on the side of the road. Evergreen Construction is where it's at if you're in Maine and you need any work done:)

Would you pick up someone who looked like this?

Pick me up! Pleasepleaseplease!!!

Rejected!  Or just suffering from a stomach ache after eating a giant pickle and a blue sky soda.  Bad choice.

side-of-road stomach-ache

When we got to the hostel tonight there was a Native American man playing the flutes on the porch.  I snapped this pic secretly so as not to kill the mood.

"David": From Guatemala and the Yukon

He had lots of turquoise jewelry on and long black and grey hair.  This calmed my heart and we all sat and listened for a long time.  He told us about how he moved from Montreal to the Yukon, where he acted as head chef for the hunters.  He chopped up everything.  I’m sure this was only one of his many roles in life.  When he was going to bed he turned to me and said, “Remember, always trust the animal”.  I’m not sure what to make of it yet.  I think I’ll take it into the woods and think about it for the next three days, as I go up and down and up and down.

Saddleback mountain

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  1. #1 by Emily on August 17, 2010 - 9:01 am


    Thanks for the great talk and the wakeup at Carter. Hopefully you have made good progress through the Whites. We were thinking of you as we were hiking out. You had two beautiful days in a row in the whites – almost unheard of! Guess you would have been coming down through the Southerns yesterday when the weather finally turned. Hope you survived with not too many scrapes. Now onto the Franconia Ridge!

    • #2 by andromedakitts on August 23, 2010 - 1:15 pm

      Hi Emily,

      Thanks for being in touch. It was great to meet you; and the Whites were awesome!! I will certainly have to come back. 🙂


      • #3 by Kenelm on April 13, 2011 - 11:30 am

        X1FDOW I’m out of league here. Too much brain power on dslipay!

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