"Its not what you look at, its what you see" Thoreau

"Its not what you look at, its what you see" Thoreau

Monday, April 19, 2010

I LOVE MYSTERIES! And love to RUN on this one...

Frank Lloyd Wright - Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature, it will never fail you.

I have recently been enjoying and exploring the different portions of the Finger Lake Trails. Being that it is Spring, the flowers are just starting to bloom, ferns coming alive, water streaming down all of the crossings, and many places to become a muddy mess in the Spring...but I love it! And the waterfalls that pop out of nowhere are breathtaking (such as the one in the pic above).

I have always enjoyed the Virgil Mountain area of the FLT...but a friend of mine, who is also getting obsessed with the trails, has told me about some new and unique places which we are both following. I love the mystery of not knowing what steep hill is to come, what waterfall will be around the next corner, old grave sites hidden from years past...it keeps my passion in the woods to keep going and going and going. When I go out on these excursions, I am out for hours and could continue for hours! Lost in the beauty - steep climbs, many stream crossing, shoe sucking mud in some parts, mighty waterfalls...a change of scenery in an instant. That may be why I like the mystery of a new course...I loose track of time and am moving with pure excitement to discovering what will be next.

The main FLT is 561 miles long, in addition to 6 branch trails, 14 loop trails, and several spur trails totalling an additional 351 miles. Several sections of the FLT have been certified as part of the North Country National Scenic Trail and when completed will extend 4,600 miles across seven states, Eastern New York to Central North Dakota. Who maintains all this - the volunteers and at least 15 organizations (also volunteers) as well as the US Forest Service. So thankful for them!

So, I'm sorry to say to my past trails that I have enjoyed...I will still be on them and run them...but my legs and eyes and heart are learning something new here...and I am always up for a challenge. And those who want to join...would love the company, but be up for a challenge, plenty of fluid (thank you 70 oz Nathan Hydration Pack, you saved me on this last one!), a good attitude, and a childs imagination. My kids were with me on a some of this trail on Monday...and their excitement just magnifies mine.

I think of all the poets who wrote about their times in the woods and it all makes sense to me.


Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you are not lost.

Wherever you are is called here, and you must treat it as a powerful stranger, must ask permission to know it and be known.

The Forest breathes. Listen. It answers, I have made this place around you, if you leave it you may come back again saying, Here.

No two trees are the same to a Raven.

No two branches are the same to a Wren.

If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you, you are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows where you are. You must let it find you. David Wagoner

One of my favorite lines in a song by Coldplay "are you lost or incomplete". When I am in these trails, I do not feel lost, I feel like I want to keep going to get the complete of it. And...I will. Many years to discover and complete.


  1. You are so full of life Jill - always a joy to read about where you are heading next. You must be a blast to be around! Keep discovering and please, keep sharing.


  2. "How can I be lost, when I have no place to go" - Metalicca

    I have followed trails to get lost on purpose to find out where they came out...in doing so I was able to put together some loop trails where everyone said there were none. The first time through was always the best as the curiousity and wonder of the adventure was so new and challenging. - *John

  3. Jill, thank you for the wonderful insights. I feel the same way and always love to get lost on any trail - new or old. It reminds me of when I was in the Navy and would travel to other parts of the world where I would go out and run lost. Nothing like it. I have about a 4-week's-wait until I can run again (hip stress fracture from Umstead), and am looking forward to every minute that comes! Cheers to you and your great Chi!