From Ridge Running the Appalachian Trail, 2015 (revised)
When I’m not Ridge Running the Appalachian Trail, I live at the Kellogg Conservation Center in South Egremont, Massachusetts; home to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and Appalachian Mountain Club. There’s a farmhouse and overgrown gone apple orchard, been there since 1744. It’s one of those quintessential New England scenes, it looks a helluva lot like England, but more striking because of the surrounding mountain range called the Berkshires, pronounced Berk-Sures, which are covered in a well fed temperate deciduous forest home to bears, snakes, porcupine, salamanders, and chicken of the woods.
Ridge Runners don’t sleep in the nice colonial home, we are given a basic canvas tent and cot.The tents come with bug netting but they manage to make their way in anyway and some stay, some leave, some are kicked out, and some die.
There are little green worms, little black worms, drunk flies, blood bellied mosquitos, and a quiet command of daddy long legs and spiders with hypnotic and louring patterns, intricate and beautiful for something the size of a freckle.
Before bed I hunt mosquitos and place them in a small spider’s web next to my cot. I like this one spider in particular because she is quick to wrap up and eat each mosquito I place in her web. One time she wrapped up two mosquitos and ate them. She is a mosquito slayer. I think I will like her as my roommate.