An Appalachian Experience

Native Roots

IMG_2952 Failure is not an option!

“It’s a dangerous business,” said Bilbo about going out one’s door! “You step into the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

And so it was with six intrepid young men who set their feet upon the historic Appalachian Trail this summer, walking 75 New Hampshire miles from Dartmouth College, Hanover to Franconia Notch. While only a rough 3.4% of the entire trail which traverses 14 states, their route did encompass 46% of the New Hampshire portion and carried them over some pretty formidable peaks. But I would fall short of ever calling it a dangerous business in any modern understanding, and move my thinking a bit closer to what Tolkien himself resonated to, which was the hero’s mythic adventure, as perceived throughout time, in being a true rite-of-passage experience for youth. Hazardous…

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