Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Bearded Woods Hostel to Falls Village, Connecticut

8.2 miles

Torpedo-shaped serenity, in 2015

I'm at the Falls Village Inn, where Big County and I ordered pizza and night-hiked past the shelter so many moons ago.  I love sitting here with my well-poured pint, remembering those nights eleven years ago, being the dirty hiker writing at the classy Connecticut taproom, waiting for my bacon cheeseburger with grilled onions.  I came into this town precisely for this experience, remembering the dim lighting of this room, exactly the same as in 2004.  It's a challenge being a single woman hiking, and maybe never more so than when coming into a town and ordering a beer, sporting my hairy legs amid the white-dressed silver-haired ladies.

Nevertheless, I love everything about this experience.  Camping behind the Toymaker's Cafe with no bathroom, by myself, in the gravel even.  One thing I'd conveniently forgotten about the trail is how crowded it is.  Aside from my first night camping, it's the first time I've camped alone.  After a short day hiking in beautiful Connecticut hills, crossing the dammed Housatonic and its falls, I was able to spend a sunlit afternoon alone, catching up on my reading and writing in some stranger's backyard.

I love the torpedo-like serenity of being caged into my little mesh one-person tent, even here in the middle of town.  Being able to zip myself in is like wearing a shroud, or an invisibility cloak.  In many ways, spending an afternoon alone in the sun is easier here, in a stranger's backyard, than in normal life.

Why is that?  Couldn't I just pitch my tent in Maine or Massachusetts?  It is the beauty of being a the stranger come to town, beyond suspicion, anonymous by virtue of my impermanence, come to eat a burger and leave.

[Hiking the same section in 2004.]


liz cooksey said...

Hi Melissa, this is Liz Cooksey (Ahern).I am reading your blog for the first time. I am piecing together your life like a fabric quilt. I would love to talk but have no idea how to get in touch. Let me know. Would love to talk.

Melissa Jenks said...

Great to hear from you Liz!! I'm so glad you're reading. I know, I'm all over the place. Your email address is on the Faith Academy list, I believe--I'll drop you a line (or there's a link to my email on the About Me page--leaving one here results in spam).