Inspired by Ice Cream
I expected the AT to be a “back to nature” experience, and of course in many ways it has been. Ironically, however, my diet has been less natural and wholesome than it was during my days in front of a computer screen.
Of course, I enjoy this opportunity to consume so many calories, but each meal is a jarring reminder that even out here, I am a cog in the artificial, mass-production wheel.
With this in mind, it was particularly refreshing to walk two miles off the trail to South Mountain Creamery, a large cattle farm with a small ice cream shop. From an array of gourmet flavors, I chose Black Raspberry.
Better yet, I slurped it up in the presence of cows grazing on my right and getting milked on my left.
It was the first time I have ever eaten such a processed food straight from the source. It is one thing to eat a tomato right off the vine, but this was like eating ketchup while sitting next to the vine from which it came. That bowl of ice cream was perfect, not just it was deliciously cold and I had been sweating and hiking all day; it was perfect because I felt closer to my food, and thereby closer to the land, than I had out in the woods eating Honey Buns.
My thru-hike is a way for me to experience a side of my homeland that I do not often see. Moments like this, although off the trail, are exactly what I had hoped for.
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