In less than 10 minutes, I leave for the Appalachian Trail.
No, I'm not hiking the whole thing; I'm just spending my day out on the trail. It's part of my summer plan to follow the spirit of the poem William Cullen Bryant wrote to his dear friend, the painter Thomas Cole, before the latter traveled to Europe to study:
Sonnet, to an American Painter Departing for Europe
by William Cullen Bryant
Thine eyes shall see the light of distant skies:
Yet, Cole! thy heart shall bear to Europe's strand
A living image of thy native land,
Such as on thy own glorious canvass lies.
Lone lakes--savannahs where the bison roves--
Rocks rich with summer garlands--solemn streams--
Skies, where the desert eagle wheels and screams--
Spring bloom and autumn blaze of boundless groves.
Fair scenes shall greet thee where thou goest--fair,
But different--every where the trace of men,
Paths, homes, graves, ruins, from the lowest glen
To where life shrinks from the fierce Alpine air.
Gaze on them, till the tears shall dim thy sight,
But keep that earlier, wilder image bright.