“One day’s exposure to mountains is better than a cartload of books.”- John Muir
During a sabbatical from my current profession I found myself in Wallingford, CT. Being from a small rural community in Kentucky I have been able to travel in abundance during the past decade, and those expeditions to various locations was an optimal time to find a quite hiking trail, Connecticut was no different.
Arriving in Hartford’s airport, BDL, I noticed the lego Mark Twain house and spent some time observing it before fetching the rental car. Admittedly, I haven’t read much of his writings, but the idea of his house being modeled in lego form was neat.
During the training sessions, that I was in town to attend, all I could think of was going out those afternoons and hitting the trails. As the clocked ticked down to that fabulous time of 3pm Eastern, after all that was 2pm Central where I reside when not on the road. When the whistle blew I was onward to the hotel across town for a change of clothes, grab my hiking bag that was stashed away in my checked luggage, and hit the trail.
Chauncey Peak was my first excursion on the New England Trail. The trail was around a 2.2 mile loop hike with a slight elevation gain of 351ft. It was late September and the afternoon air was pleasant, in the low 70s. Upon stepping onto the hiking trail, less than a quarter mile from the trailhead there were a couple of teenage boys smoking weed. I thought, good for them, and went on my way down the trail.
The pathway through the forest is was very refreshing, the New England foliage wasn’t at fruition but heading in that direction. One section of the trail proved to be difficult, and after a bit of research, this part was nicknamed “the flume” for the arduous incline, I can only assume the grade was over 35%. Difficultly on a hike may deplete, but it is a gratifying experience.
When arriving at the pinnacle of the hike the view was astounding. I was the only hiker in that area of the trail at that time, maybe the cannabis duo that was observed earlier decided against coming this far out and onto the ledge. After all, at one point while standing on the top of the peak and gazing out at the sunset I wondered if people go missing here like they do in the Great Smoky Mountains.
Having the peak to myself for a good bit was relaxing. The view from there allowed the eyes to see for miles and miles. All kinds of thoughts enter the mind in a place like this, the history, all those who have viewed this same scene; only on this day and this minute it was my turn to gaze out into the forests of new world and respect all of what the universe created.
Knowing that more than likely that I wouldn’t be up in these parts anytime in the near future I took it all in and spent a few hours on the trail, the sun went down on me leaving me getting back to the trailhead in the dark.