The Appalachian Trail, Part 1

We had just finished dinner and were exchanging forgettable small talk when there was a knock on the front door.

“Um, do we even know anybody?”

I went to answer and there stood my baby sister.

“Surprise!” she said as she pushed her way past me and bee lined to receive the slobbery dog kisses from the Overly-Welcome Committee, known as Maya and Wes.

She demanded tax prep help from Josh and asked me what plans I had for the next day because they would come second to hitting the Appalachian Trail for some exploration. I went to bed that night with my phone in hand, scouring the web for helpful tips from fellow trailblazers. There are several different trail heads right down the road from us, and I had yet to take the time to delve into them to learn about the sections. So, this was as good of an excuse as ever. Each one has different merits, and I am sure I will want to explore all in due time. For our first trip, I couldn’t resist the obvious lure of the Bull’s Bridge trailhead going south because it hugs the Housatonic River for several miles.

And so that’s what we did.

 

When we lived in upstate NY, the Salmon River was my backyard tributary and I thought moving within a rocks throw of NYC would eliminate places like that in my backyard again for a really long time. Thank God I was wrong. And thank God rivers came before roads and high rises. The Housatonic has proven to be just as, if not more, historied than the Salmon River and just as beautiful in all its seasons.

You can hear her rushing waters breath with exhilaration in a way that tunes out the rest of your busy mind until it is just purely present in time and place.

And that is a helluva way to spend a Sunday.

In Connecticut there is the blue-blazed trail system, which is nearly 800+ miles of hiking trails managed by the Connecticut Forest & Park Association. More famously though, is the white-blazed trail system designating the Appalachian Trail. The AT consists of 51 miles of Connecticut lands, traversing mostly the western ridges above the Housatonic River and eventually ascends into the Taconics, which are an Appalachian Mountain range that hugs the borders of NY, CT, MA and VT.

It’s kind of neat when stone walls just climb out of the earth like so.

We had an ever-changing cloud cover condition for our hike, which made taking pictures interesting and revealed the different moods of the woods all within a short time frame. But given that we are at the end of January, I give it an A++.

If all of the AT is like this small section we explored, perhaps I would be filled with false illusions of being able to take it all the way down to Georgia. Something tells me that’s not the case though.

More photos from the AT coming in Part 2.

K

 

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