This is part 29 of excerpts from the trail log which was located on a New York portion of the Appalachian trail. For the post which explains this series, click here. You can read all the previous hiking posts by clicking here.
Each new edition includes a quote from a hiker, along with this writer's insight into what the person might have meant. Your interpretation may be different!
Following is my selection of this week's thoughts of a hiker.
12-31-17 Enjoying a 15º morning/afternoon to say goodbye to 2017!!
1-1-18 Cold at midnight!!
Most hikers use a trail name when they write in the trail log. Trail names run the gamut from things like FlipFlop or YoYo to RoadRunner, Sees Bears, etc. The names are sometimes just as interesting as the actual comments. But I don't always read the names. I also don't share those names because the people who wrote in the log might not want me to. I bring this up because while the first comment above included a trail name, the second included real names. And if you read on, you'll see why I find that interesting.
The entries above are written by two groups of people who obviously love hiking. I say that because the first hikers went on a hike in 15 degree weather on the last day of the year. Most people would have no interest in doing so, but in this case, they thought ending the year in the great outdoors was important. The second group of hikers was even more dedicated to hiking, going out at nighttime on New Year's Eve. They hiked with some sort of light, making their way to the same trail log and writing a few words. They ended one year and started the next, not at some hugely noisy and crowded party, but alone in a silent and cold forest.
Months later, two couples who hadn't seen each other in a while were having dinner together, talking about things they had done in the last six or so months. Somehow the conversation turned to New Year's Eve and how they spent that time. And as they talked, they realized they had both spent the last day of the year and the first day of the year hiking. They both wrote in a log. Could they have been on the same trail, and perhaps written in the same log? They weren't sure.
So I jumped up from my dinner table and ran into my office to get the 2018 Trail Log. I quickly flipped to the first page, and read the first entry above. I had written those words myself and I remembered how cold it was. In fact, I remember thinking something like, "wow, why did I agree to do this hike? It's !*&* freezing!" And then I read the second comment above about being cold at midnight. And right after the words I've shared here were the actual names of our friends. The friends who were at our house for dinner that night. The friends who have agreed to be the keeper of the log after we have moved from New York.
Talk about a coincidence. Hours after we had hiked the trail and written in the book, they had done the same. The four of us were the only hikers who visited that log during the first three weeks of the year. And a month or two from now, the four of us will take a hike together. My husband and I will remove our 2019 trail log, which will be only half full. And our friends will put their 2019 trail log into the box. I don't know what they will do with the words they read, but it is good to know our buddies, fellow lovers of the great outdoors, will take over.
As for me, I plan to continue to share hikers thoughts until I can't find any more of interest, so I think this series will continue for quite some time. But it's great to know that future hikers can continue to share their thoughts with others after we are off to our next adventure. And talk about a coincidence....
Until next time, happy trails!
Originally published at thehousekat.com.