06 June 2008


Well, I made it. Not quit sure how I made it but I did.

If there's a hero in the entire story, however, it was definitely my guide and leader, Erik. His infinite patience and constant answer to the question, "Are we there yet?" was extremely helpful.

I never knew that there was an entire camping/hiking culture out there. The Appalachian Trail (AT, for short) runs from Georgia to Maine and lead hikers over 2,000 miles. In three days, we need about 25 miles of Maryland's 40 miles. Quite frankly, I'm exhausted and so are my legs, but there are folks who hike the entire thing in four or five months! There are few places to shower on the AT and every opportunity to get fresh water from a spring (i.e. some trickling water) is a golden place.

Some highlights from the trip ...

- Me realizing that I was going to potentially be out in the woods for four days without a shower. Then realizing there was a shower but I had been assured by my guide that I shouldn't bring a change of clothes because I wouldn't need to shower. Then walking about a half mile in Noah and the flood type conditions which gave me the shower I had desired.

- A large cockroach like insect being attracted to my head lamp, bouncing off my forehead, which resulted in me spouting numerous oaths. I then used Volume 2 of the Liturgy of the Hours to decisively send this bug back to its Maker.

- Walking four miles over about 25 blow-down trees measuring roughly 30 inches in circumference. Temporarily losing the trail while doing this. Your guide saying: "Well, if you don't get poison ivy from this, then you know you're immune

- Seeing a five-foot long black snack.

- Watching a hiked on the trail climb 15 feet up the tree to hang a bear bag. What's a bear bag? It's the place you put your food in the air at night so the bears go after your dried mashed potatoes and not tasty hikers.

- The four hour drive from MD to NJ with me scratching myself furiously, not because of the innumerable mosquito bites, but rather my body telling me that there were still moths landing on me everywhere!

Well, despite a shower, I still feel as if I have trail stink on me.  Time for another one.  

This weekend I'm with the Capuchins.  First time as an accepted "future postulant."  In Baltimore on Sunday and then the road trip begins.  

Talk to you on Sunday ...

peace and prayers,


Julie said...

I laughed out loud reading about the cockroach. We don't have them out here, because they like humidity, which we lack. A lot of people out here believe that humidity is a mythical beast.

Much love,

Stasia said...

Aww, poor Matt (she said admist the laughs). It is great to hear from you... you certainly know how to keep your friends coming back to learn more about what is new in your life :)

God bless,