Ridge Running is a job for society’s misanthropes. Our office is the forest. We work alone. We get paid minimum wage. We smell like dead wet leaves and body odor. Our hair is sloppy. We bury t.p. and brown messes, and our legs are covered with mosquito bites.
I arrived in New England shortly after finishing the Grand Enchatment Trail; desert to woodland forest in just a few days. By plane then car. I drove from Ohio to Massachusetts. One moment you’re moving at 2 mph and drinking water out of cow troughs, the next, 65 mph and Dasani.
I don’t drive much so I drive under or exactly the speed limit with both hands on the wheel. I drive my old truck that I gave back to my Mom when I started long distance hiking in ’09. She scratched out the bumper sticker that used to say “The only Bush I trust is my own.”
Over the weekend I have to take a Wilderness First Aid course, so I show up the night before and “car camp” at Jug End Road. Here I see my first white blaze, the mark of the Appalachian Trail. I feel the pull.