Three weeks ago I posted about the looming onset of snow season, and how I looked forward to reading hiking books and journals to keep me motivated until spring. Well, a round of snowfall on the trail out of Monson at the end of last week unofficially signaled for me the end of my first hiking season. It wasn’t a blizzard by any means, and I haven’t been out that way to check to see if much of the snow remains in the woods beyond the trailhead. But when photos showed up the morning after the storm sporting a snow-covered Katahdin, I figured it was time to relegate the rest of my hiking for the year to less remote locales. I’m too new to the sport (and too old to harsh winters) to get excited by the prospect of hiking parts of the Hundred Mile Wilderness with snowshoes, if that’s even possible or smart. I will do some weighted practice hiking on the mildest winter days (mild being a relative term here) to prepare myself for what I hope is a much more active hiking season beginning in May ’17.
Last year at this time I began chewing through books and blogs to motivate me through the cold, short days and fifteen hour nights. This year will be no different. As thru hikers rush their journals-thinly-disguised-as-books to self-published press, I’m sure I’ll have many new adventures from which to choose. And I look forward to them. Even though the AT itself doesn’t change much, the perspectives of hikers who power along it sure do. So bring them on. I’ll read several, looking for the gems nestled among the herd. And use their lessons learned as fuel to keep me motivated until spring.
Pass the hot chocolate, please.