A bunch of us headed for the York River State Park yesterday for five miles of hiking through some hills and along the beach. There are fossils on the beach! Don’t take them home. It was not a demanding hike and the weather was cool and cloudy. So I took some photos and enjoyed talking with the other hikers. We are all part of the Central VA. Trailblazers group. When I returned home there was a message from someone in the group that I should not go on the hike coming up in the middle of January. This one IS demanding. A hiker died there recently, up in the George Washington National Forest (Ramsey’s Draft Wilderness), and his body was never recovered. It’s a loop hike that goes 16 miles and is fairly strenuous. I feel like I’ve worked hard and can do it but don’t want to do it if the group leader doesn’t feel good about it. If I was the group leader I would feel the same way. You are far from help out there and you are responsible, in a sense, for the entire group.
Sometime next year it’s going to happen! But maybe not in the middle of winter. There are some difficult stream crossings and a narrow path along the side of a mountain for more than a few miles. When I told Betsy about it she gave me the look and said she thought I should wait. You know the look, right? Or, maybe you don’t. It’s kind of a “this is obvious why are we wasting time talking about it?” look. Mixed with concern and love. It’s a little different from the look your boss would give you. But not entirely.
There was a time when I would have been right with all these intrepid backpackers. I can remember, in fact, carrying the stuff of someone who was having a bad time up the side of Mt. Washington.
It’s time for the daily five or ten mile walk. And some music about the life each of us holds dear… don’t ever allow yourself to be defeated.
Anyway, here are some photos from yesterday.