Being ripped away from any adventure will make a person feel disorientated and left feeling betrayed in someway. I came across this journal written from a solo hike I did early in 2016. I was still adjusting to life back in society and found journaling(as it always is for me) a good outlet.
I cried in the woods because I needed to, I missed this. The wind, the smell of pine and of dirt. I mourned the person I was and feel heartache for the person I feel I have become. The woods soothe me.
I longed for the life before, during, and even shortly after. Not really knowing which I would prefer anymore. Any life but the one now. I’m lost in this one.
I cried out to the trees for strength and purpose. For the life that I know always waits here but now seems so hard to find.
I cried out for family but they know not who I am any more.
I long to be feral. No longer apart of this world I’ve been thrown back into but also not wanting to be alone.
I fear myself, my own power that I know now that I carry.
I cried for all humans, for the way we were made to be. The way that is now lost and forgotten. I have seen only glimpses but what I have seen has changed me.
My soul longs for the life secluded but dreads the path to get there.
I need my grandmother and grandfather. I miss them. What would they think of me? The true mother makes me feel close to them, connected to something, anything. I am at home in her; Mother Earth. I came from her and one day I will return.
Sounds of the others I try to deny, they invade my thoughts. I stay quite for a time listening for the sounds of my animal brothers around me. Trying to hold on to their world.
I cry because here, I am truly happy. I wish never to leave.
(Picture featured above is not from the same hike as the one in the journal, I just liked the picture.)
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I was sure to write an amazing blog this week. It was to be full of trees, love, mystery, adventure and all that other good stuff you look for in a blog however I was unable to see it through. My mind is distracted and so I will share my thoughts and troubles with you. Our beloved Black Stallion was broken into yesterday while Darwin was on a hike.
For those of you who don’t know, The Black Stallion is the name we gave our van when we first bought him in late 2014. He has been a home and close companion taking us through tons of National Parks and Monuments and has cruised us across the United States and back again four or five times. The Stallion has proven his loyalty over and over again. We never thought a $2,500 Craigslist buy would ever serve us so well. So it is disturbing that someone, a stranger injured him.
When Darwin returned from a hike yesterday afternoon he found The Stallion’s driver’s side window shattered. He immediately started taking pictures of the scene and the inside of the Stallion then called the cops to make a report. This is basically useless in Albuquerque for such a small crime but he did it anyway. He then called me at work to break the news, I immediately started to take mental stock of what the Stallion was holding.
I met Darwin shortly after the cops left at a car wash to start cleaning up the Stallion. Luckily I had just cleaned out the Stallion so once he was in front of me it seemed a little easier to place what was missing. The first thing I thought of was all my original Snuggles Diaries in a binder I stupidly left out in the open. I found them, the are all accounted for.
The turd that broke in ended up taken more sentimental stuff of mine then things of actual value. Like a bag of my dirty clothes (we were going to do laundry last night after my shift). The dirty clothes just weren’t any dirty clothes, they were my Dirty Girl Gaiters from the AT, my favorite hiking a running sports bra, my cycling clothes, and the clothes I run and hike in (also of which were from the AT). Ihope my dirty hiker funk smell burns your nostrils like acid!
The turd took all of our cds however most of these were just copies of stuff we have digital versions of, but still it’s the point. He or she then also grabbed all of National Park an Monument maps/brochures we keep in the van from our travels along with the Stallion’s Instructional Book (you know the one that comes with every vehicle, telling the ins and outs of the car). I hope our maps give you mean papercuts! They did however leave behind our insurance card and registration on the passenger seat. Thank you, how nice of you turd! I guess someone who breaks into cars and steals would be to stupid to notice the National Park Pass hanging on the rear view mirror. You took our maps but still have to pay to get in!
The turd also took an empty box labeled with a picture of a speaker. They were to stupid to realize the speaker was not in it (this is a piece of gear we are testing) they did however take a box that had a few items packed up for testing. We will have to contact everyone effected by this. Most of the stuff in the box was smaller things that the turd who stole it will have no use for unless they hike. Again I am sure that someone who robs cars is not into hiking, just stealing from hikers.
The other thing we have noticed was a handful of change missing. The funny thing about this is it was mostly pennies they grabbed. They were two stupid to grab our laundry wallet full of quarters right next to all the maps they stole in the glove compartment.
All in all we got lucky, no one was hurt expect for the turd that broke into the Stallion. I forgot to mention he or she bled all over our insurance info and registration. I hope your cut gets infected! The Stallion wasn’t stolen (which happens A LOT in the ABQ) and most things of actual value the stupid turd didn’t take (like the GPS we had under the seat). This has also made me think more about things we have in the Stallion. Although we always lock up and roll up the windows, there are still other things we could do to make a robbery less fruitful for a person like the turd that injured the Stallion.
The Stallion himself will ride again, actually in just an hour or two. He will however be all bandaged up until his window can be replaced.
(That Would Be My Tank Top On The Ground The Turd Left Behind For Me)
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Shout Out to Stephanie of SBC Hiking Club! Check out her site and hit her up if your in her neck of the woods! Stephanie and her friend Tammy have created their own hiking club to meet other hikers in the area and to explore the wilderness around them. They also put out trip reports to help too. Awesome idea ladies!
I have been waiting for this book since it’s release in March. I have almost bought the e-book several times but finally the library pulled through. It was totally worth the wait.
The Stranger In The Woods is the story of Christopher Knight a young man who walked into the Maine wilderness in 1986 and was not seen in society again until 2013 when he was caught stealing food from a camp closed down for the winter. This book documents the legend, the impact, and the actual true story of Christopher Knight, also known as the North Pond Hermit. With insight gained directly from Knight himself as told to Michael Finkel the author, you may find yourself conflicted between whose side your on, societies or Knight’s.
Finkel is the one and only journalist Knight would speak with regarding his story. He visited Knight’s camp numerous times along with obtaining interviews with Knight’s distant relatives and a small circle of people who knew him personally. He also provides information obtained during interviews with numerous families who Knight stole from in order to sustain his life in the wilderness.
Finkel presents Knight in a very honest way throughout the entirety of the book. If you are one that has ever wanted to get lost in the woods and never return, you will at times feel very connected to Knight as his true inner thoughts are revealed. He left society as a young man, fulfilling the urge to just wander, but never told anyone where he was going. He came close to death on numerous occasions but felt he would rather die in the woods than in a chaotic and self-indulgent world. Although his methods to living are controversial having stolen everything he had except for his eye-glasses, you will find yourself sympathizing with him and wishing to protect him from the mean, evil world.
Some families that owned cabins in the area which Knight broke into for needed essentials want justice and protection from the man who stole food, books, batteries, propane and other small items while others want to simply buy land for him to live on. As the reader you will find yourself conflicted, stuck between societies standards, your own, and Knight’s.
I found this book very thought provoking as I read more on how Knight survived thousands of days in the wilds of Maine. Would I be able to survive such conditions? Would I even take that first step into the woods with hardly any gear or food? Would I be able to live almost three decades without any human contact? Christopher Knight’s story will leave you with these questions and more. You will be provided enough information to form your own conclusions on why Knight left and how he should have been punished, or should he have been punished at all? Perhaps we should all look to Knight for guidance for he did something we all dream about, he left it all behind for the wilderness.
Check out this book at your local library or find it online with Amazon here!
(Illustration of Knight’s Camp As Featured In “The Stranger In The Woods”)
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Do you have any book suggestions related to hiking, adventuring, etc.?
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