Monday — never an easy time for the outdoors enthusiast. After a weekend of adventure, returning to the humdrum work-a-day world can make one melancholy. To help ease the transition, every Monday we feature a 90 Second Escape — essentially, a 90-second video of a place you’d probably rather be: a trail, a park, a greenway, a lake … anywhere as long as it’s not under a fluorescent bulb.
Elite Colorado ultra runner Diane Van Deren enters day 22 of her MST Endurance Run, an attempt to set a new record for trekking the Mountains-to-Sea Trail in less than 24 days. I’m on the Outer Banks covering her remaining 63 miles, and will be filing periodic reports throughout the day on the MST Endurance Run blog, which you can find here.
There are roughly 200,000 miles of trail in the United States, according to the American Hiking Society. Of those that came about over the past couple of decades, the vast majority were created largely by volunteers. And of those that existed beforehand, it’s a good bet they’ve been maintained by volunteers. Without volunteers we wouldn’t have the growing system of trails we now have.
I first became aware of Us and Them as a sophomore in high school. Our baseball team was playing a team from outside the league whose pitcher was a top pro prospect (he later was drafted by the New York Yankees). There was silence in the dugout as we watched the guy warm up. “Can you even see the ball?” someone finally asked. As the game wore on and no one could touch him, Coach Thomas began substituting. Those of us on the bench tried to be as invisible as possible. Finally, in the top of the 9th, coach turned, scrutinized the bench and yelled, “Stamm! Grab a bat.”
Sunday, Day 4 of the MST Endurance Run, began on schedule for Diane Van Deren with a 3:45 a.m. wake up call. After getting off the trail the previous evening at 9:36 with Annette Bednosky, her trail guide for the weekend, she’d gotten her first good night’s sleep — 4 hours. She arrived where the Mountains-to-Sea Trail passes the Folk Arts Center in Asheville ready to rock a 43.8-mile day.