Those that know me know that I have one big fear, flying. I haven’t always been afraid to fly, but just thinking about being in a large metal tube 30,000 feet in the air is enough to make my pulse quicken and panic to ensue. The recent tropical activity got me thinking that there are people whose job it is to fly into the most severe weather conditions that Mother Nature creates. They’re called hurricane hunters and these brave men and women fly into the heart of the largest storms to gather intel and help those in the storms path make important decisions like whether or not to evacuate. This is my worst fear magnified.
On Trails is subtitled 'An Exploration', but it might be more accurately labeled as author and hiker Robert Moor's meditations on trails: why they exist, how they come to be, and, most importantly, why they are followed. After a youth spent feeling like a self-described drifter, Moor set out in 2009 to hike the entire length of the Appalachian Trail (“AT”), from Springer Mountain, Georgia, to Mount Katahdin, Maine. As one would imagine when walking more than 2000 miles over a period of multiple months with limited stimulation other than the passing woods around him, he spent plenty of time with his own thoughts. As Moor hiked the trail, he began to consider the history of trails like the AT and how they come to be. Given the title, it is surprising how far and wide, and with what can occasionally feel like aimless intent, he wonders in search of answers, but the patient reader will be rewarded with some thoughtful and beautifully conveyed writing.