I just returned from a five-day retreat of sorts, a portion of which was spent thinking about trails. All kinds of trails, and the role they play in our lives. It was something I didn’t realize I’d been thinking about for so long: all the way back, it seems, to the first time I looked into the sky and saw a contrail streaking across the sky, the sign of a journey being taken from unknown Point A to unknown Point B. The initial joy of that journey? Imagining where those two points might be.
Today when I head out on a journey those are often the only givens. I know what’s at Point A, the start, and I’ve a good idea what lies at Point B. It’s the in-between that’s the mystery.
That’s what we love about trails: the discovery along the way, and what it tells us about the natural world, what it tells us about ourselves.
This weekend, get out and make such a discovery. Find a trail — any sort of trail, be it paved, dirt, rocky, rutted, watery — find its Point A and Point B, and discover what lies in between.
That’s your homework for the weekend. It’s that simple.
Part of my trails discovery process of the past several days involved a ferry ride out to Cape Lookout, on a water trail, then a hike around the South Core Banks portion of the Cape Lookout National Seashore, on trail mostly of sand. It was a trip loaded with discovery, as you you’ll see.
Our next opportunity for making a Point A to B connection? The weekend of Sept. 11-13, on our first GetHiking! basecamp hiking weekend of the fall, in the Pisgah National Forest. From our camp in the Curtis Creek Campground we’ll climb a mile-high peak, we’ll explore an old growth forest, we’ll spend some time by the fire discussing what it all means. It’s a small gathering, but we still have spots open. Learn more and sign up to join us here.