March just isn't March without mud, sunshine, snow, ice and maple syrup.
(Skip to the end of the post for good maple syrup reads)
My mom and the kids and I had a couple opportunities this weekend to celebrate the season. A hike yesterday on a local path, tapped maple trees adorning the trail.
Then an outing this morning to participate in Maine Maple Sunday festivities at A Wrinkle In Thyme, a very homey maple syrup and fiber farm. What could be better than yarn and maple syrup?
evaporator steam in sugar shackfirst run off: it takes 40 gallons to make 1 gallon of syrupfarm woolwood burning stove: there is nothing sweeter smelling than woodsmoke and maple syrupsugar shack
My journey now is not on the Appalachian Trail, but beside it. Driving our car and meeting my family at road crossings, supporting them and others with the perspective of a former thru-hiker, someone with intimate knowledge of what a thru-hiker needs and wants.
This family adventure is the most physically challenging thing our kids have done. It's the most challenging thing I've done. And a lot of discipline is required in our hiking days to pull it off. This is not a vacation.
A philosophy for living and hiking. This is not a book about moderation. This is not about middle-of-the-road mediocrity. It is about making hard choices, being disciplined, and living a life fueled with passion.
We enjoyed the story telling, the journal additions from Scrambler, and the photography. As a family we could truly appreciate the family-hiking dynamic and challenges and the kids identified with a hiker their age. Good family read aloud.
About the author's PCT long distance hike and also her pre-hike life as a reckless and heartbroken young women. Through her backpacking experience she was able to take her life in a more positive direction. A bit too raw for my sensibilities.
This was a good adventure story on many levels but the most fascinating part for me was the fact that Erin and Hig were not following a trail but truly blazing their own path to make an epic, year-long, human-powered trek from Seattle to the Aleutians.
"But once you break down that wall, run your first ultra, run your second ultra, and then realize you're hooked-all those lies you believed about yourself are exposed. And it's easier to see yourself as you really are - stong, courageous, and able.
The book talks about all the ages and stages of hiking with kids, from newborns to young adults. It covers many topics including keeping kids motivated on the trail, getting through difficult spots and situations, and even special needs. Recommend.
Finally a woman backpacker I can identify with a little more readily. Like all good trail stories this book is about so much more than the challenges and highlights of hiking every day for months on end. It's about living well and loving well.
A grown up adventurer has a strong others-focused mentality that accompanies the joys and challenges of trekking. This book is the "grown up version" of adventurer tales. Grown up in responsibility to family, community and the earth itself.