Ktaadn

Seven years ago
Then Now
And yet still to come
These parallel universes exist
Time and Space
Their illusion can make one grow old
With a falsity of living
Of dying
Not understanding that we are all one
Misperceiving our true selves
Overlooking our indestructible consciousness
Going about daily life sleepwalking insane
Instead of dreaming to awake
Instead of deliberately living
Instead of meaningfully being
Distracted with distractions, entertainment
Feasting, drinking until drunking, dosing until drugging
We count followers, likes, digital bank balances,
Material things as successes
Modern day silver platters and goblets of gold
But they remain the common clay
Misguided
Meaningless
Trite
An inglorious Way
Of discounting self, others,
The grass under our feet
Birds, trees, water, sky, earth
The deer running through the woods
The blooming plankton floating in sea
The stars twinkling above in the night sky
Why communicate when we can
Dictate and mandate
And why love when we can
Hate, twist, stir, disassociate
Hanging on
Holding on
Arrested by desire
Suffering
We trapped in our prison of unrealistic expectations
This prison of our fixed thinking
A prison of our own fears
A screen for others to play on
A stage for created drama
Someone’s written script
A sign in today’s newspaper horoscope
This is how false friends take you for a fool
This is how people make themselves
For fools
This is how false thoughts within oneself arise
This is the cave.
Be a mirror
Be a shining light
Be a tiny spring flower
Be a spring-fed mountain stream
Be a cloud
Be the horizon
Be (t)here
Be the architect of your own design
Be love
Be-lieve you are everything
And nothing …
Seven years ago
Then Now
And yet still to come
These parallel universes exist
Time and Space
I am misty blue and green above below
Standing atop a hunted jagged peak
Holding love in my arms
The Klondike stretched out before us
Cold wind buffeting
Cold sun shining blinding
Warming hearts tender embrace
Casting away the mind’s abyss
As my heart crosses the divide

@nicholehastings

Press Release: “Trail Time? Not Quite”

As Always, Mud Season Beckons Caution

By Jared Pendak

Valley News Staff Writer

Thursday, April 18, 2013
(Published in print: Thursday, April 18, 2013

Elm Street AT Kiosk

Nichole Hastings received a disturbing email recently.

As a volunteer Appalachian Trail corridor monitor , Hastings was alerted to the sight of a mountain bike’s tire treads on the AT in Norwich, off of Cossingham Road. As a designated National Scenic Trail, the AT is meant for foot travel only and is subject to National Park Service regulations prohibiting bicycle and motorized travel of any kind, as well any use by riders of “pack animals,” i.e. horses, mules, goats and llamas.

The AT crosses Cossingham Road, a Class IV road near the intersection of Bragg Hill Road and Happy Hill Road that is popular for use among mountain bikers and horseback riders.

“The AT passes over the road, north-to-south,” said Hastings, who coordinates the Dartmouth Outing Club’s trail monitor program and also volunteers with the Green Mountain Club, which maintains the Appalachian Trail from Norwich to Woodstock. “It makes it convenient for ATVs or mountain bikers to go onto the trail, if they’re using that road. What some people don’t realize is that the trail is part of the National Park Service, and that keeping vehicles, including, bikes, off the trail is federally mandated.”

Read more here.

Norwich Celebrates A.T. Family Hike Day with a Weekend of Events

What could be better than a beautiful Fall day with family out hiking in Vermont?

We have an exciting series of events coming up on September 29th to celebrate ‘Appalachian Trail Family Hike Day’ in Norwich.  The Norwich Friends of the A. T. in partnership with The Norwich Bookstore, the Green Mountain Club, the Upper Valley Trails Alliance, and the Town of Norwich would like you to join them on Saturday the 29th.  There will be hikes, a picnic, and an opportunity to meet the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s publisher Brian King.

The celebration begins on Saturday at 10am with Brian King, the publisher for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy is flying up from Harpers Ferry West Virginia to sign his book The Appalachian Trail at The Norwich Bookstore.

The foreword of the book is written by Bill Bryson, a former resident of Hanover and author of A Walk in the Woods.  For more information on the book event, please call 802.649.1114 or email info@norwichbookstore.com.  The bookstore is happy to arrange for Brian to sign a book for you if you cannot join on Saturday.

At noon, there is a bring-your-own-picnic-lunch on the Norwich Green until 1pm.  During the latter half of the hour, we will begin shuttling people up to the Willliam Tucker Trail entrance on Happy Hill Road to hike.

At 1pm, Nichole Hastings will lead the hike to the Happy Hill Shelter and discuss the new privy installation.  We will hike the A.T. back towards Norwich and down Elm Street to the Norwich Green.  For more information please call 802.332.6615 or email nichole.l.hastings@gmail.com.  The trail from Happy Hill Shelter to Elm Street is rated easy/moderate for all ages.

The events are free and open to the public; reservations are not needed.  For a simple listing of the events see the  AT Family Hike Day Schedule.

And on Sunday September 30th, the Green Mountain Club will be moving lumber to the new Happy Hill privy site.  Volunteers are welcome!  Please meet at 10am at the West Hartford Village Store on VT Route 14.  Bring work gloves and boots.  You may email Nichole for more information at nichole.l.hastings@gmail.com.

We look forward to celebrating community, a treasure in our own backyard and Autumn with you!

***

Three other local hikes in celebration of AT Family Hiking Day are:

Holt’s Ledge Hike, Lyme NH – Meet 10 am at lower parking lot of Dartmouth Skiway, call Matt Stevens at 603.676.4102 or email at mstevens@appalachiantrail.org for more information.

Cossingham Road to Norwich, VT – Meet at 9am at Huntley Meadow, call Becky at (802) 649-9075 or email Becky.Lewandoski@uvtrails.org for more information.

Dupuis Hill, Pomfret VT – Meet 1 pm at far end of Billings Farm Museum in Woodstock.  E-mail Marissa_Jager@partner.nps.gov, or call 802-457-3368 x17 for more information.

*These three local hikes are sponsored by and being led by
the Upper Valley Trails Alliance, the National Park Service,
and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

Discover the D.O.C. A.T. Boundary Program

Introduction

to the

Dartmouth Outing Club’s

Appalachian Trail Boundary Program


Do you like to hike?  Are you interested in volunteering your time for a greater good?  Or a local summer escape into Nature with some ‘treasure hunting’?
You may want to consider volunteering to be an Appalachian Trail Corridor Monitor for the Dartmouth Outing Club’s Appalachian Trail Boundary Program.
Please join us at an introductory presentation and learn more about it and how to get involved and volunteer as a D.O.C. A.T. Corridor Monitor.

Date:  April 22, 2011 / April 27, 2011 / May 14, 2011

Time:  9:00 a.m. to 11/11:30 a.m.

Registration: pre-register, e-mail Nichole, limited space, no fee

Location:  Robinson Hall, Dartmouth College


Agenda

9:00 to 10:00 a.m.

The Boundary Program Presentation

In this presentation you will learn about how the program operates, the roles, responsibilities and expectations of a volunteer Corridor Monitor for the D.O.C. and A.T.C..

10:00 to 11/11:30 a.m.

A Walk on the Boundary

We will take the presentation on a walk from Robinson Hall to the A.T. Boundary, located near the Chase Field, behind the Co-op Food Store in Hanover, NH.

11/11:30 a.m. to ———-

Conclusion at the Canoe Club (optional)

When we conclude our field presentation, we will walk back and those who are interested may join us for further discussion over coffee.


 
 


What is the ‘Corridor’ and ‘Boundary’?
The Corridor is what we call the tracts of land on either side of the Appalachian Trail.  The Boundary is the yellow blazed ‘line’ delineating the separation of our Federal/State/National Park land from privately owned property.

What is a Corridor Monitor?
They are the dedicated volunteers who hike that ‘line’ monitoring and maintaining the Boundary.

Why monitor and maintain the Boundary?
To monitor and protect the Boundary and Corridor from encroachments such as hunting, timber harvesting and ATV use.


Schedule

April 2011

THURSDAY

21

FRIDAY

22

SATURDAY

23

9:00 a.m. to 11/11:30 a.m.

An Introduction to

the Dartmouth Outing Club’s Appalachian Trail Boundary Program

May 2011

FRIDAY

21

SATURDAY

22

SUNDAY

23

9:00 a.m. to 11/11:30 a.m.

An Introduction to

the Dartmouth Outing Club’s Appalachian Trail Boundary Program

June 2011

FRIDAY

10

SATURDAY

11

SUNDAY

12

MONDAY

13

TBA TBA

July 2011

MONDAY

4

TUESDAY

5

WEDNESDAY

6

THURSDAY

7

FRIDAY

8

SATURDAY

9

SUNDAY

10

 X  X

TBA

TBA

TBA

TBA

TBA

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

TBA TBA TBA TBA

TBA

 X  X

To become a Corridor Monitor or find out more about the D.O.C. Boundary Program, please contact Nichole Hastings at: nichole.l.hastings@gmail.com

Journal Entry: June 9, 2010 – 100 Mile Wilderness

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Day 11

Climbed four mountains today.  Started with Columbus Mountain, Third Mountain, Fourth Mountain and then Barren Mountain.  Also discovered why I’ve been struggling the past few days.  It’s tough, being female.  To have to unwillingly submit to such an inconvenience every month.  And no wonder why I’ve been craving iron.  All the beef jerky is gone.  The amount of energy I am burning, the dwindling amounts of protein and iron in my diet explains why I almost passed out a few days ago.

I put in a good day today.  The only real difficulty were my feet.  The pain became noticeable  after nine miles or so.  Especially my right foot, the ball and toes.  They alternated between pain and numbness.  The trail was rocky, ridged with ups and downs that at times seemed endless.  Just when I thought, ‘This must be the last one,’ I would see another up ahead to traverse.

It begins with a ‘random’ thought entering my mind.  Why do I need a man to be a mother?  Well, other than for the obvious.  There are many creatures on this planet with only one parent raising the young.  I remembered a study I had read saying that currently forty percent of  human mothers are single moms.  Perhaps women should re-think their desire and expectations of men.  Or perhaps Society and Culture should stop dictating and perpetuating these rigid expectations which people cannot meet.  The resulting disappointment would be unnecessary.  It’d be pointless actually.  Maybe women, no people, should pay more attention to understanding who they are, the cause and effect of their actions, and ponder the dynamics and priorities of this world which we exist in.  Defy any and all expectations.  If it can be imagined, live it, then it will manifest and be so.

Other ‘random’ thoughts.  How interesting that my ex-husband describes himself as ‘widowed’ on his Facebook profile.  Such a tragic expression of anguish for his actions that precipitated my flight from him.  I wonder if he is still alive.  I hope for he is.  And that life is really truly good for him.  I hope for him to have a realization and to stop asking, “Why did you leave me?”  Each time I hear that question, my stomach churns and my heart breaks.  Because he knows.  Yet, he cannot see, his fear of acceptance and by giving in to those insecurities, how it’s destroyed the beauty we once discovered and shared.  Like a small child pulling the legs off, one-by-one, of Daddy Long Leg spiders.

I wonder if I am capable of having children.  There were so many opportunities, years spent trying but to no avail.  I wonder at the twisty-turny path that has brought me here to this very moment in time.  Will I hike the entire Appalachian Trail and still not find what I’m looking for?  Knowledge?  Adventure?  Philosophy?  As the man on the Hunt Trail suggested.  An escape?  A tragic death?  I walk in wonder…

I feel very happy here.  Each morning I awake and life simply begins.  Each day is filled with purpose and discovery on a winding path with an uncertain future around each bend in the trail.  It’s sheer bliss, Heaven really, when I reach a lean-to and no one is there.  I feel relief and glee.  I have the entire moment to myself to do what I want to do and in whatever way I want to.  The first thing I did when I reached the Long Pond Lean-to was to take all my sweaty, dirty clothing off.  I bathed nude in the cold stream trickling nearby then air-dried by a fire built by my own hand.  I spent an hour or more grooming.  Admittedly, one of my favorite activities.  This solitude, in the wilderness, has been one of the most relaxing and enjoyable times in my life that I can recall.

I looked at my maps trying to discern if I will make it into Monson for my first mail drop tomorrow.  The town is listed as two miles off the trail.  The post office probably closes at 4 p.m.  I think I could make it but it would be late and I would have to stay in town.  I’m not keen on that.  The hostel is twelve dollars and the alternative is to hike back to the trail and tent before dark instead.

I’m very very low on food.  I think I have enough to make it to the next lean-to, stay the night and then into town the following day.  My plan is exacting and precise, but, I like it.

Distance: about 11-miles

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Historic Hiking Gear (50’s & 60’s) and Appalachian Trail/Dartmouth Outing Club Documents

velvet rocks sign

Image by nicholaslaughlin via Flickr

The Hanover (NH) Area Friends of the A.T. would like to have a contingent of Appalachian Trail hikers (thru-hikers, section hikers) in our 250th Birthday parade on July 4, 2011 as part of our efforts to celebrate the presence of the A.T. in our town and promote appreciation of the trail by residents and visitors. If you would like to take another brief hike on the A.T. as part of this celebration, please contact Larry Litten at larry.litten@gmail.com for details.

The Friends group is also planning to have some historic displays in conjunction with the birthday celebration. One display, at the Mountain Goat outfitters, will contrast contemporary backpacking equipment with equipment from earlier eras (we especially hope to obtain equipment from the 50s and 60s, when thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail got its real start).

Another display, at Hanover Outdoors will feature historic publications.  We are looking for historic publications mentioning the Appalachian Trail and or the Dartmouth Outing Club.

If you live in the Vermont or New Hampshire area and are willing to lend a backpack or sleeping bag, or any other backpacking equipment from a bygone era, to this exhibit (on display from June-September), please contact Larry at larry.litten@gmail.com or Nichole at nichole.l.hastings@gmail.com

Thank you!