Day 6: Rain

The Woods in the Fog & Rain

“The woods are lovely, dark, and deep … thick and lustrous”

My friend Jamie Compos sent me that paraphrase of Robert Frost’s poem yesterday morning. I’d just been thinking about how the woods feel in different seasons, but I’m not quite ready to write about it yet.

Jamie must have “the gift.” Yesterday’s woods were light and airy, full of nature’s golden first green. This morning, they were dark and deep, and ever so lovely.

I love walking in the woods. I love the fog. And I even like rain … in the same way I like salt. A little bit seasons the dish. Too much too often will kill you. Slowly.

Walking in the Fog

Fog forces you to look at what’s close around you. Partly, because you can’t see very far, but mostly because all the little things stand out. Today, in the fog, curled up flowers, the dull green mosses, the little springs and micro-waterfalls, the rows of shelf fungi on rotting logs, the shapes of trees, both living and dead, the furled up ferns, and misted spider webs caught my eye.

The fogs also highlights the wood’s shadowy sounds. The bird calls, my footsteps, dripping springs, and the rain played a soft symphony for an audience of one.

One rainy morning on England’s South West Coast Path, I met an old woman outside a foggy cemetery by an old stone church. She stopped to ask me how I liked the weather. Pleased that I said how much I enjoyed the rain, she said, “Well now, if you don’t love Cornwall in all it’s weathers, then you don’t love Cornwall, do you?”

I do love the AT in all it’s weathers. So far.

My First AT Test

Today’s hike was a test of sorts: 14.3 miles, my longest so far. And in the rain. Well, in the drizzle with significance. The legs felt great and I had no Achilles pain. The toe was only bruised, not broken, and is healing. The doodles stayed with Kate so we wouldn’t have to deal with wet dogs in the van tonight. Tomorrow will be a bigger test. And then, perhaps, a zero day.

Today’s Highlights

Two nice moments on the trail today:

  • Trail magic at Unacoi Gap. Nice barbecue by Jean and Al from Noonan, GA. Great people, nice conversations, and gave some wet hikers a ride into Hiawasee.
  • While taking video of a micro-waterfall in the mist – very beautiful and secretive – my shot was interrupted by Boomhauer running full tilt down the trail in the rain waving both arms and smiling as he sped by. That’s the AT for you, beautiful and weird.

Daily Stats:

  • Start: Hogpen Gap (Mile 38.2)
  • End: Unacoi Gap (Mile 52.5)
  • Weather: Rain and fog
  • Earworm: Sounds of Silence
  • Meditation: Ph 4:6-7
  • Best Thing: Fog and Rain
  • Worst Thing: No doodle company

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Comments 4

  • Smitty : Apr 14th

    Dew point of 73 I don’t know if you’ve experienced that the only weather I fear. Wonder if Frost wrote about it. Stopping by woods to watch my horse die of heat stroke Great start and attitude in wet weather enjoy the gold that you seem to see with ease

    • Jon : Apr 16th

      LOL. Probably one of the modern poets. Yes, we’ll see how I do in the humidity this summer. It’s been 40 years since I’ve had to endure that.

  • Julie : Apr 15th

    I look forward to reading your posts. Your writing is informative, insightful, and entertaining.

    • Jon : Apr 16th

      Thanks, Julie!


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