Teenage Appalachian Trail adventures


through the aisles of rhododendron
around switchback slopes winding
the Delaware playing peek-a-boo
between branches come vistas
and blueberries offer reasons to rest
the Appalachian Trail called us away
from the pavement and noise to her
Gaia sending aphrodisiac pheromones
to teenage city dwelling boys
longing to teach them of her ways
bedding us down on ferns and moss
soothing our thirsts in cool streams
from the Pennsylvania border to Jersey’s end
we walked, thinking ourselves explorers
modern day Hudsons and Vespuccis
treading paths well worn, but not to us
every step was an adventure
braving marauding bears on maul parties
living on rusty water and  meager rations
we pushed on following each blaze
with battle wounds and war stories
to regale those urbanites who scoffed
at why we would forgo roof and running water
for the dirty recesses of the woods

To my cousin John E. who led the way.


10 Responses to “Teenage Appalachian Trail adventures”

  1. wally426 said

    Little did we know that while telling all those war stories, we were in the midst of creating one of the best. I can still hear John’s cadences as we trudged along that trail.

    Suddenly the last leg of that hike is so clear. I feel drunk from the taste of rusted water, the sting from repeated losses of Chinese Poker still throbs ten years later. Thanks for refreshing these memories on an otherwise drab Tuesday at the office…

  2. Joseph Harker said


    All things considered, I live relatively close to the trail, but have never taken it up. After driving by it last week and reading this breathtaking evocation of its beauty… well, maybe it should happen.

    • Vic said

      Thanks, Joseph. I strongly suggest taking some time to explore those trails. I would be happy to share my experiences with you, if you need guidance. Appreciate your comments!

  3. Details like these bring clarity to the poem, which in turn transports the reader ‘into’ the scene portrayed. Felt like I was there. Thank you for this rich reading experience. Cheers.

  4. ninaspink said

    I was transported along with you as if I was following from a distance, just peeking round each tree to see what you were up to.

    Not one of the boys but steeling in on the adventures.

  5. Vic said

    Thanks for peeking, Nina. I’ve been trying to get into the woods more often these days so I hope they inspire me. Thanks for your support!

  6. […] thanks! He has really good stuff up on his site, and you should check out (my favorites are perhaps this one and this […]

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