This is the second time we've hiked the Appalachian trail. The combination of weather, friends, pb sandwiches, and the clarity of that trail combined for one of those days that leaves you feeling tired, hungry, and purified. Like that kind of hiking.
We took a chance taking kids: two babies and a toddler. There was a moment early on when I was sure it wasn't going to work. During lunch, in between bites of dorritos and sandwiches, Edie hit a low point and cried and fussed and wouldn't be talked down. She needed a nap, and reflected in her frenzied eyes was visions of her crib with her Lucky Duck. But, we prevailed, and she snuggled into James and fell asleep for a respectable nap. While she was slept, the rest of us saw a white-tailed deer that we watched leap around in the tall summer grass.
We walked until we found a road, and a tree that, I feel pretty sure, was magicked there from the pages of fiction. The kind of tree I don't believe actually exists outside of Dandelion Wine or Huckleberry Finn. We circled it, and turned back. When we walked back into the wooded part of the trail, the sun had gone shy, and the woods seemed as close to twilight colored as I would dare venture into. I snapped a photo, but even as I looked down at it appear on the screen, I knew it couldn't do that moment justice. It couldn't capture the cool of the woods after the hot meadow, or the wet smell of leaves, or, I don't know . . . the fullness of that moment.
The A.T. stop on the Metro North is just a bench on a platform next to the tracks. We got there in time to catch the 4:44 back to Grand Central, then, two trains, a wait for police dogs, and two subways later, we rolled back into Brooklyn at 8:15. We scraped the idea of going for ice cream, and all shuffled back to our respective homes. Edie feel asleep, James and I ate burritos, and Saturday drew to a close.