Blue Moon

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Blue Moon
Photographed by Nichole Hastings
With the iPhone 4S

Out in my evening run on Hopson, by way of Elm Street, the trees lining the road suddenly disappear and the sky opens up. I stop and stare. My breath and pulse quickened from the run and sweat trickling down my neck. A blue moon dominates the rose pink sky, large and luminous, and my heart soars.

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Bridge Over Still Waters

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Bridge Over Still Waters
Photographed by Nichole Hastings
With the iPhone 4S

Dating is difficult when you meet people who really don’t know what they want and haven’t yet achieved emotional maturity. They act without thinking or regard for another’s feelings then think saying “sorry” opens the gateway to automatic forgiveness and friendship. That’s why it’s best to think before you act or react about the potential consequences in forming new relationships. Act like you’re into the other person and they will think it is so. Don’t do it if you don’t want it. Because sometimes saying, “I’m sorry.” after the fact isn’t enough.

Photo Editor edits: contrast, brightness, saturation

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!

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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.

Photo Memory: “Unexpected Morning Symmetry on 02/11/2011” photographed by Nichole Hastings

“It was February 11, 2011.  I was crossing the Ledyard Bridge towards Hanover and there to my left was a treat.  An unexpected image of morning symmetry.  At first I fumbled with my phone after taking the first picture and trying for a second one.  A window of time was closing.  And I thought the first picture had hidden the basket behind the bridge.  I couldn’t get the camera readied quickly enough.  The window closed.  Upon closer inspection later that evening I came to the conclusion that I was satisfied with my one and only shot.”

Journal Entry: June 30, 2010

I sit here after crossing the Connecticut River from New Hampshire to Vermont, Hanover to Norwich and yet I find no escape. Even while gazing across the wind-chopped water, sitting quietly alone there is no sweet release. It is only away in Nature, hiking through woods and on mountain top do I feel completely free. Free from the prying eyes and tireless voices abuzz with concerns that are so trivial to me.
I sleep little each night, restlessly, since leaving the 100 Mile Wilderness and the comfort of the Appalachian Trail. My neck stiff with tension of being noticed, seen, even called out at as I pass by strangers. My head spinning with the whirring sound of machinery and Man. There is no recognition that I do not want recognition. It pursues me relentlessly, tiring me, seeking me out in mere mundane tasks.
I feel another perfect fork before me only this time it travels North or South. To head North to Monson means struggle, disappointment in unanswered questions and anonymity. To continue South will result in that very thing I wish to escape. That fame, that glory, that living of life I want others to pursue. It falls in my unhappy lap as a cat that persistently pursues that hapless person who does not seek its attention.
Is there no middle ground? Must it be a perpetual wave of extreme ups and downs? I shy away from the recognition, the fame, the glory because all too quickly such things can turn on you and thus subside. The positive and negative energies waxing and waning with the cyclical moon. Round and round and round to what reason? What end? I fear there is none and know that to be the truth. I feel too one with the Earth in this sense. For without rhyme or reason, a chaotic symphony of events occurs finding sometimes a sweetly harmonized or violent clashing of existence.
I curse in vain this knowledge, this thing we call free will, this fate-less existence. I admire, the trees, the water, the sky, the earthy soil. It does not rail and ask why or wonder. They simply are.