The Long Trail Turns 100


I've hiked the Long Trail for 35 years.  When I hike alone, for solitude and meditative connection to wilderness, I often compose a poem and leave it at one of the shelters under my trail name, Mountain Poet.  Here's one I wrote last autumn:


September 25, 2009

The Long Trail
Clarendon Shelter & Swansong Shelter (The "Secret" Shelter)

Spectral foliage floats
on a breeze from an azure sky,
M.C. Escher mosaics of leaves under foot.
Mezzo-throated thrush
sings only to me
(maybe it's true.)
Many springs and summers
I have walked these mountains.
Now it is my autumn
and these vistas are memoir.
Color where once was only green,
patterns evolving, seasonal, recurring
yet unique, like fractal bits
that contain a universe.
Nothing stays as it seems
visual tricks, transitions,
painful and amusing,
as if one of our Gods
perceives us as billions of
M.C. Escher's September leaves
that morph into birds
and fly off the woodcut's edge.


- Jack Mayer

Middlebury, Vermont



  • Longtrail 100 Blog
  • Trail Markers
  • Trail Stories
  • View All

Longtrail 100

VPR is marking the 100th anniversary of The Long Trail with a month-long series of reports and essays. Through this series, we'll explore the history and future of The Long Trail and introduce listeners to the people who built, maintain and hike it today.