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Mountain Therapy

By Stephenie Steck

The Appalachian trail is one of the most beautiful and scenic trails I have backpacked. The trees along the path are marked with what looks like the downward stroke of a paintbrush, also called a blaze. The white blazes of this trail have become my retreat from the cluttered and often overwhelming world I live in.

I fill my pack with the essential items I will need.

The satisfaction of carrying everything I need in one small bag simplifies my world.

The pack and its contents put my wants versus needs back into perspective. It also causes me to appreciate the simple aspects of life.

A steaming bath, a soft bed, a hot cup of tea and the warm embrace from my husband when I safely return.

The trail symbolizes the twists and turns of life. With each forward step I take, I leave behind me the clutter and noise of life until I no longer hear it. It is in these moments that I achieve the clarity of thought I was searching for. My focus becomes the smell of the pine, the birds I hear and the beauty I see all around me as I search for the next white blaze.

Backpacking the Appalachian trail on my weekend adventures provides the mountain therapy I need, one blaze at a time.

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