Photo courtesy of Dan DeWitt
One stirring view of distant mountain ridges couldn’t ease my persistent case of the Covid-19 blues. Neither could one frosty night snug in a tent or one hard, cathartic climb.
It took time, the accumulation of sensations, and it wasn’t until I’d reached my second campsite, filling water bottles and watching sunlight sift through hardwoods, that the Appalachian Trail finally worked its magic.
Immersed in the woods rather than the news, I could appreciate that ancient mountains still stand, that snowdrops and robins still reappear in spring, that the world is worthy not only of lamentation but of marvel. For the first time in weeks, I felt pretty good.
I took off on this hike spontaneously in late March, not knowing that I was slipping through the last permissible window before even the wilderness was closed for business. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy has since warned
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