If you think that aging meant an inevitable slide into inactivity, you might want to consider this.
Today, Lenny and I went trail maintaining on the Appalachian Trail. It was raining when we woke up, raining when we left the house and raining when we got to the trailhead. Still we were out for several hours, clipping and picking up garbage around the trail. Twenty years ago, we would have said, “well, it’s raining” and stayed around the house.
We walked up to the end of our new section – only 2.5 miles, instead of 5 we’ll been maintaining for years. [Last month, we donated half the section to another maintainer.]
About two miles is the more normal length of a maintenance section but it felt short. We walked the same five miles, there and back, but didn’t have that long shuttle to pick up the section car.
The trail had more garbage than usual. At one fire ring, I picked up three hot dog buns and a load of hot dogs. And lots of beer cans. The fire ring was close to an ATV trail and I’m sure all that trash was not from hikers.
On the plus side, we walked through a carpet of spring flowers – violets, hepatica, toothworths and Dutchmen’s britches. Trilliums were ready to open up.
I saw my first bloodroot of the season and my first thru-hikers. Fred (aka Grandpa) looked to be doing well. If the thru-hikers are past the Smokies in March, they’re doing well.
The waterfall was running swiftly.
I can’t still find the name of this waterfall, so I decided to name it after us: Lennydanny Falls, about a mile north of Devil’s Fork Gap on the North Carolina and Tennessee border. It’s not a picturesque waterfall because of the two logs across it but it’s “ours”.