Sunday, July 13, 2008

The walkin’, day 1

The weather changed my plans. I was warned off the peaks Wednesday by the excellent Vermont Public Radio, which was calling for view-obscuring haze, followed by strong thunderstorms with lightning and possibly hail. I decided to skip the Bonds and stay low. I wandered out and back on an old favorite, down Zealand Notch on a trail that was once the bed of a logging railway. Flattish and easy walking, it’s a part of the AT that is northbound, but runs almost due south.

My college’s alma mater includes the lines:
They have the still North in their hearts,
The hill-winds in their veins,
And the granite of New Hampshire
In their muscles and their brains
I have a feeling that the last sentiment meant something different in 1894 than it means today, not that many of us don’t, in fact, have rocks in our heads. But walking this trail, it’s easy to see where the obsession with the intrusive, felsic, and igneous comes from.

I walked in as far as Thoreau Falls, soaked my feet,

and strolled back out, stopping to say hello at Zealand Falls Hut

to a member of the croo who was baking bread for the evening meal. I also met a charming Brit couple on a day walk to Zealand Mountain.

Out and back about 10 miles, 1,200 ft. ascent, book time about 6 hr., my time about 4 hr. (Everybody beats book time.)

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