Many of us sometimes find time to escape the city and go to where the air is a little fresher, the birds are a lot more numerous, and we are surrounded by the swish of the wind in the treetops as we walk for miles through terrain that might have looked the same, hundreds or even thousands of years ago. We reconnect. We remember who we are, at heart, as human beings. As Thoreau put it, we go “for a walk in the woods, and [come] out taller than the trees.”
One man, Jeff Ryan, followed the principle to its extreme and, with a friend, hiked a section of the Appalachian Trail for the 28 years between 1985 and 2013. He has just published a book about the experience, Appalachian Odyssey: a 28-year hike on the Appalachian Trail, and he presents it using stunning photography, first-person narrative and frequent humor, at Frontier (14 Maine St, Brunswick) on Thursday the 23rd at 7 p.m. Tickets are $6.17 with the service fee at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2737528 and are non-refundable, although Frontier promises to give ample notifications of any postponement or cancellation. Bonus: Proceeds go to benefit Teens to Trails, a nonprofit that promotes local high-school outing clubs.
Of course, when a hiker feels the itch to get out and away, and there’s a few feet of snow on the ground, skis, snowshoes and fat bike tires are necessitated. Portland Trails has that all covered, at Bike, Shoe, Ski the Conant Property, at 105 Conant Street in Westbrook at 11 a.m. on Sunday the 26th. The cost is $7.00. This is Portland Trails’ newest property, and one which you already may have enjoyed during the summer months, but they promise that it’s even more glorious right now. Athletic locals and families are invited to explore the acres of rolling meadows and glistening trails that the Conant Property offers. It’s bring-your-own skis, bikes, snow-shoes, snow-castle building supplies, sleds, and other snow play gear. Portland Trails will have a few pairs of adult and toddler snow shoes for people to borrow as well. Board member Nate Dyer will lead a guided walk and tour through the property at 11:30 a.m., and Ernie’s Cycle Shop will provide s’mores and hot cocoa. To RSVP, visit https://goo.gl/forms/8kYKu1crrq3gu1ku2 . Call Portland Trails at 207-775-2411.
As always, it is a great idea when on the trail to leave nothing behind, except your stress. Let’s keep Maine the best-looking state in the Union. In the meantime, breathe that crisp, clean air and hold onto the invigoration. They’ll see it on your face.