View Full Version : For thru-hikers soon leaving

02-17-2003, 00:50
Well, I wrote this some time ago after my last hike. Then I posted it over at trailjournals.com not long ago and someone asked me to post it over here....so....here it is. It seems to have turned into a well traveled little post! Best of luck to the folks leaving soon. It is a beautiful experience.

Climbing Kahtadin
When it is all said and done, it's what we walk away with and the changes that we make within ourselves. The hopes, the dreams, the realities...all these blend to make our experieces so meaningful. The actual climb of Kahtadin is wonderful. I can still recall the amazing feeling the first time I saw K in the distance on my first thru hike. It truly moved me. Everytime I would see it in the wilderness, I was that much closer. It gave the most amazing time to contemplate. We all make our hike be what we seek out. For some it is a beer party on feet. For others, a quest of true seeking and communion with God. What makes climbing Katahdin so special are the many many miles behind you and the profound memories given to you. While ultimately our happiness only can come from knowledge within and I have seen quite a few hikers climb and still be miserable, I would have to say that the trek to maine is one of the best environs I have found for communion with creation, humanity, and God. You will carry it with you forever. Walking to Maine is what you make of it. It has the potential to help you open up to true change from within. Yet God works through all things so certainly these are all obtainable from home.

When I am at work building houses and not stuck in the office doing the paperwork, I need only to pause and look at the tree tops framed in by the sky and I am suddenly on a mountaintop. I can smile when it rains and I see the birds splashing in the puddles. You KNOW the peace they dwell in. You HEAR their songs of praise. You KNOW the joy of letting the rain fall down your beard, soaking through your clothes. You have SEEN the beauty of the sunrise. You HEAR the call of the morning dove and suddenly you understand. You see the creek and you know the pleasures and beauty it holds. You watch the snake crawl through the woods and you remember him. You listen to the thunder and suddenly the world feels like it is your home. You see a steep climb up ahead and all you can do is smile and feel joy b/c it is a beautiful sight. You see the twilight come in and you know the caress of a warm summer's night. You see the clouds and you know what it is like to walk amongst them. When a meal is set before you, you know the Life of living free and simple. When you see children, you will smile because you know what a TRULY remarkable and WONDERFUL world they have been born into. When you see someone stopped on the road, you will stop to help b/c you KNOW what it is like to be in need and a stranger. When you feel loved, you will forever treasure it because you will see that we are created in Love and by Love and your life on the trail will eventually show you that life is nothing without love. These trees, these hills we see- they are nothing if we walk without kindness in our hearts.

O Boundless Summer

Boundless summer of Grace and Peace- how beautiful Thy forests, how serene Thy alpine peaks. Praise be to God in heaven above, Through creation you show your infinite love. Over rock and root, bog and bridge, I walk endless valley and wooded ridge. So Sweet! So sweet is your Love! Better than gold or silver; leting my heart fly, the wing of the dove! Though I walk 4,000 miles, in north woods I see your Love, your Mercy, sustain me. So with thanksgiving I walk to rocky summit above, knowing all is for loss, it weren't for your endless love.

-Hurd Brook Lean-to , Maine, 8/17/98