I wandered away from blogging, for a variety of reasons, but I enjoy following other people’s stories, and I’d like to try again, from time to time, to share mine. While I’m hesitant to introduce the world to yet-another-hiking-blog, most of my wandering of late has been in boots outdoors, so many of my stories will be inspired by those travels.
Today’s story is about a spot of ground on a short stretch in a tiny slice of a 2,190 mile long trail (which, to date, I have now traveled just shy of 1% of.) The view that opens up from this tiny place is so spectacular that it has a name, Rand’s View, and it shows up as a point on Appalachian Trail maps. Rand’s View, named after the family that once owned a farm on this land, can be found on the Appalachian Trail in Falls Village, Connecticut. I don’t need words to explain why it is said to be the best view on the AT in CT.
The word “awesome” has all but lost its meaning today, but what I felt upon emerging from the woods into this view was overwhelming awe, and gratitude for the existence of such a place in an increasingly congested State. I was reminded of what Theodore Roosevelt said of camping in Yosemite National Park:
“It was like lying in a great solemn cathedral, far vaster and more beautiful than any built by the hand of man.”
Nature’s cathedrals can be found in our National Parks to be sure, as I’ve experienced numerous times, but I also love discovering its sanctuaries in my own backyard. This one is a 40-minute drive from my town and a 2-hour hike in from the trailhead I chose. Nonetheless, I don’t take my ability to hike these miles for granted, and I’m happy to note that a nearby point in Falls Village is home to one of a handful of wheelchair-accessible sections of the Appalachian Trail. I hope that sets a trend that will continue, to allow as many people as possible to experience the perspective, and the grounding, that these places provide.