Handy Trail Tips

DISCLAIMER: This post was written in Ruth’s perspective by Ruth’s son, based solely on pictures she provided him. He is a race car driver who never hikes and did quite poorly in biology class. Enjoy.


THE APPALASHUN TRAIL, CANADA – As I pulled my weighted blanket off my chest after another warm and comfortable night of sleep, I had to ask myself why I didn’t bring two of them. At a mere 17 pounds, I can barely feel it in my pack and it’s just so dang comfortable. Oh well. Live and learn. I’ve got walking to do!

 Hmmmm. Edible? Only one way to find out!

Well, that had a strange taste to it, but at least it came with its own toothpicks. I’m going to throw a dozen of them in my pack just in case I get hungry later. Off we go!

 OK. Not edible. Got it. And you know now that I think about it, I’m not so sure this was actually an outhouse.


I’m finally on the move and I’m enthralled by the beauty that surrounds me. However, as I pick my way through the forest, I start to notice small telltale signs that I may not be alone. To the untrained eye, nothing would seem amiss, but I’ve been doing this long enough to know what I’m looking at.

 If you look closely, you can just make out a broken stem and a crushed leaf or two on the Canadian mistletoe plant on the right. Someone or SOMETHING has been here before me!


With one hand on my pepper shaker, I continue. I sure am glad I bought it in the last town. “Trust us, buy the spray,” they had said. Obviously, they weren’t trail walkers. Out here you have to be resourceful. Why would I buy a one-dimensional spray when a shaker can flavor my fresh eggs AND fend off an alligator attack! No-brainer.

 OK. I definitely don’t remember building that. I’m certain I’m not alone now.

The hints are starting to become hard to ignore, but with trail reading, it’s often easy to misinterpret the minute and subtle signs.

 Welp. Nothing subtle about that. I’m outta here!


I think I’ll take a little break from the trail and go watch my tall, handsome, kind and funny son race cars in NY. I head for the exit, only to be met with this sign.

 No mention of an exit. What to do?

After sitting under the sign, crying, for three days, I was finally rescued by two kind walkers. They took me to a shelter they had built and nursed me back to health.

 Their trail names were Betty and Veronica.

Once I had regained my strength, they led me to a road and showed me a trick they had learned. It turns out if you congratulate people on driving between the lines on a road, some of them will stop long enough for you to jump into their car!

The girls told me that once you’re in the car, all you have to do is make an “L” with your fingers inside your jacket pocket, point it at the driver, and tell them where you’d like to go!

 You’re doing great!

The driver I got was a sweet young girl. She spent the entire drive crying and talking about how much she loves her family. It’s great to see a young person who appreciates her family so much. She also showed a real interest in my story and wanted to tag along! “Please let me go,” she kept saying over and over.

 Watkins Glen, NY. I don’t even remember crossing the border.

Once we got to the track I said goodbye to my driver, who surprisingly left in a bit of a hurry after all that “let me go” talk. It was no concern to me though, as I was there to find my son.

 They apparently decided to let spaceships enter into this particular car race.

I walked around the paddock, still getting used to smooth asphalt under my feet and an almost total lack of tripping hazards when I finally spotted him!

 My son.

His car.

 Me, my son, and his car.

After I gave him the tip about how to catch a ride if his car breaks down, I headed to the grandstands with my husband, daughter, and granddaughters to watch the four-hour endurance race. It was a great race with a lot of action; you can read all about it HERE

Teammates battling hard out on track.

The race ended with a dramatic final corner pass by my son that landed him and his co-driver on the podium!

We had a great couple days hanging out, but it’s time for me to get back to the trail. I’m off to the closest highway to show my support to any good drivers I see!

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Comments 7

  • Ruth Morley : Jul 3rd

    Thank you, son. Surprisingly, you got every detail exactly right. I heartily recommend porcupine meat, but I think it’ll be tastier cooked next time.

    And congratulations again on such great driving and an exciting race! When I returned to the trail, it felt so oddly slow paced and quiet.

    • Jodee McCabe : Jul 15th

      Your son drive race cars? I had no idea! Plus…being in NY, you are not that far from me. Wonder how close you come. I’m in the town of Lake Pleasant. If not too, too far, I could pick you up for a rest. Just a thought…

      • Ruth Morley : Jul 15th

        Jodee, that would have been a great idea several weeks ago, but I’ll be entering NH within the next 48 hours, a bit far from you. In fact, I was hiking in MA when I rented a car and drove nearly 5 hours to get to his race at Watkins Glen, NY. But it was so worth the effort. In fact, my next blog will involve him again. I’ll be posting it within the week. Thanx for continuing to follow along.

  • Barbara Scott : Jul 4th

    Great commentary! I especially appreciated the labels on the first picture.

    • Ruth Morley : Jul 5th

      I especially liked the captions with the photos too. Jon has always been able to make me laugh.

  • Nick : Jul 5th

    Very cool and funny article. Good Job!

    • Ruth Morley : Jul 15th

      Thanks, Nick. I wondered how he’d tie together my world and his.


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