AT Thru-Hike #71 – Re-Imagine

“Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.” – Pamela Vaull Starr

“My message to the world is ‘Let’s swing, sing, shout, make noise! Let’s not mimic death before our time comes!” – Mel Brooks

Day 125

Thankfully, Rasputin and I slept well last night in the side yard of the vacant purple house, avoiding arrest. As I crossed the street to get back on the trail, I walked by Dover Oak, the largest oak tree on the entire AT. I believe I am the largest Fob.

image

image

A short time later, I crossed a series of footbridges and boardwalks over creeks and swamps. I decided to listen to some tunes on my phone, and the first song that came on was Imagine by John Lennon. It’s a classic song about mankind living in peace and harmony, but Mr. Lennon takes us to such an idyllic place by removing heaven and religion from the equation. As I hiked, I thought about how the lyrics might have been different had Lennon been a Christian and held a Christian worldview. We’ll never know as he was against religious teaching and organized religion, and according to his song God, didn’t believe in Jesus or the Bible. Well, I happen to believe in God, Jesus, and the Bible, so I thought I would rewrite the song from a Christian perspective…

Re-Imagine
By Sir Fob W. Pot

Imagine there’s a heaven
It’s easy if you try
A hell down below us
It’s one or the other, when we die
Imagine all the people
Trying to obey, aha-ha

Imagine all the countries
It isn’t hard to do
Jesus was willing to live and die for
To save our souls, yes it’s true
Imagine all the people
Living life God’s way…You…

You may say I’m a Christian
But I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
Believing Jesus is God’s Son

Imagine our possessions
Shared at home and across the seas
Taking food to the hungry
Helping out the least of these
Imagine all God’s people
Lifting up the world…You…

You may say I’m a Christian
But I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
Assured of victory, through God’s Son!

At mile 1448.3 I passed the Appalachian Trail Railroad Station. I briefly considered a day trip into New York City, but decided I’d rather wait and do that in clean clothes with my wife. I did stop at the hiker-friendly Native Landscapes and Garden Center for an apple, two sodas, and two Klondike bars. The lady at the cash register was very friendly and interested in my hike. She probably sees ten to twenty hikers each day and yet made me feel like I was the only hiker on the trail. That’s a gift.

AT Railroad Station
AT Railroad Station

Around lunchtime I stopped at Wiley Shelter and visited with Loligag and Little Rhino, the pride of Little Rock, Arkansas. They offered me a cookie and I accepted, because one must accept all food offers while hiking the trail. About a mile later, I crossed the border into Connecticut!

Connecticut!
Connecticut!

At 4:00 p.m. I arrived at a beautiful campsite on Ten Mile River. After 12.2 miles, I decided to call it a day so I could swim, rest my feet, and enjoy the surroundings.

Ten Mile River Campsite
Ten Mile River Campsite (I’m on far right)
Ten Mile River (camped on right bank)
Ten Mile River (camped on right bank)

Day 126

This morning I crossed historic Bulls Bridge and stopped at the Country Store for second breakfast and some re-supply. The original Bulls Bridge was built across the Housatonic River by Jacob and Isaac Bull in 1760. Legend has it that George Washington crossed the bridge while it was under construction. The current bridge, one of three surviving covered bridges in Connecticut, was built in 1842 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Legend has it that in 2016 Sir Fob W. Pot crossed the bridge before and after consuming a muffin, banana, Gatorade, and cup of coffee.

Bulls Bridge
Bulls Bridge

At mile 1466.7 I considered going into Kent but decided not to. Two different hikers told me it’s not a hiker friendly town. One hiker said the laundromat isn’t hiker friendly. I can’t imagine what they would have against hiker laundry. Another hiker said hello to some people downtown and they replied, “just keep on hiking.” While it’s not fair to write-off a town on the basis of two reports, it was enough for me to push on to the next town.

Bug Stalks Fob
Bug Stalks Fob

Late in the day I descended the St. John Ledges, steep stone steps leading down to the Housatonic River. I then began a long, flat walk along the river. It was pretty but I had dozens of gnats swarming my head and sweaty body, by far the worst attack of my journey. I declared war on them. I put my trekking poles up and pulled out my DEET. I sprayed them with my left hand while hitting myself in the face and side of the head with my right hand. As I flailed around swinging wildly, I suspect I looked like the Gerasene demoniac Jesus encountered in Luke 8. The gnats and black flies fell from the air in masses, as more smashed casualties piled up on the sides of my face. My right hand was covered in bug splats, even as more gnat reinforcements arrived. It was an epic battle with no clear winner.

Housatonic River
Housatonic River
Sam Squanch & Boss
Sam Squanch & Boss

After a 15.6 mile day, I tented along the river near Stewart Hollow Brook Shelter. I was joined by Loligag, Little Rhino, and Count, who got that trail name by carrying and reading the large Count of Monte Cristo novel early in his hike. Later, I was happy to see Brits Sam Squanch and Boss come into camp. I asked how their two days in New York City went. Sam Squanch said it was pretty overwhelming and New Yorkers are “not that friendly.” He managed to buy a street performer’s demo CD, on sale for $10, for the price of $20 because the artist couldn’t make change.

Fob

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13 thoughts on “AT Thru-Hike #71 – Re-Imagine”

  1. Thoughtful re-write of a great song, great job Sir (Fob). If some towns don’t like hikers you just have to wipe the dust of their town from your feet and keep on hike’n. That looks like a Hennessy classic hammock in the last photo. Maybe your second AT you’ll try hang camping.

    1. Thanks Nick! There surely will not be a second AT hike for me! There have been a few nights where hammocking would’ve been a nice option, but I prefer the space, warmth, and privacy of a tent. Although as you’ll see in a future blog, there are some downsides to being on the ground.

  2. There was a one sentence letter to the editor of the ny times after Imagine came out
    It said, Imagine John Lennon with no possessions.

  3. I’ve been reading about your hike and can’t remember how I found your blog but I’m loving it!

    Glad all is well. Love and prayers to all.

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