Saturday, August 22, 2009

Backpacking Day 3

The final day! I can't believe the trip has come to an end so soon. I'll definitely be going for at least a week next time. So last night was fun, getting to know each of the random individual's personalites that stayed at the shelter. Each one was so distanct and so open. Ironically, one of the packers was a journalism teacher! Maybe it was all the good energy that helped me get a little better night's rest last night. Though I still woke up a few times, feeling my neck being strained with out its usual comforting prop of a pillow. Nonetheless, I was already beginning to adapt to this style of sleeping.

Woke up before 7 this morning, just in time to catch a glimpse of the sunrise. We ate breakfast alongside the whistling sound of a distanced train. I've been hearing the traveling of a lot of trains this summer. I'd also get to listen to them toot their whistle during almost every morning meditation at Yogaville. If I didn't already have a romanticized image of trains from listening to others such as Thoreau, I surely do now. They are now linked to the multiple good memories of great experiences I have been able to take part in.

We hiked a 7-mile straight stretch today, right into the town of Harper's Ferry. My body was really starting to complain today, and I have to admit that the idea of a shower never sounded so good before. However, there wasn't too much time for my mind to spend thinking about my aching body and a nice cool shower. We passed through numerous overlooks and views today which were, to say the least, amazingly surreal. I found where the noise of my early morning train was rooted at one of the views. Shortly after we arrived, a several minute long train came chugging through the trees along a track that lied alongside the river. Picture perfect.

Most of today was downhill, which to many sounds like a relief. Although I could run downhill for hours and never want to stop, I find backpacking downhill quite difficult. In fact, I may even say it's as challenging as hiking uphill, though in a different way. Your legs have to use a lot of muscle to keep you and the weight of your pack from tumbling down the mountain. I feel like it tones a part of your legs that doesn't often get reached, or at least get pushed.

After making it down the mountain, we walked for several miles on a bike trail that lined the Potomac river. This led us into the town of Harper's Ferry, our ending destination. After unloading our gear, we stopped in at a restaurant to eat our first real meal off the trail. I'm sure we got a few looks because I'm also sure we didn't look spick-and-span clean. The tourist-type couldn't quite relate to our grunge. Anyways, lunch was great, and I enjoyed the fresh, cooked food.

I'm going to miss these days traveling peacefully through the beautiful green tunnel. Overall I have to say that hiking without a backpack is in many ways more enjoyable, however the experience of living your life straight out of a backpack is irreplaceable. All you need to survive encompassed in one little backpack that you humbly sling over your shoulders; Carrying your life with you as you travel to places you'd never be able to go otherwise. I've had just a few days to take in the innate peacefulness of nature, coming across blackberries, frogs, sassafrass and other little treasures along my way. And now its time for me to go back to living in civilization. Only a couple weeks before I'll be in the hustling and bustling city again. Hey, life's meant for changes, and good can come from anywhere. Peace can be made anywhere.

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