Smuggs ’14 Chronicle, Day 7: July 31, 2014—the Hike

The shuttle bus pulls into a parking lot for the Long Trail somewhere out of Johnston. We stretch, introduce ourselves and set off. Pat sets a pace we weren’t used to.

The forest closes in. Ascent follows ascent, each sapping a little more of our energy. Still, we carry on the usual small talk with other hikers. A snack break at a lookout offers us a view of Jeffersonville and the Lamoille, a snake of blue winding through a sea of green.

Happy chatter snapping another couple’s photo

More ascents follow. I fall behind with Mira, Mike and Martha. The trail eventually levels out as we pass a fallen giant. We break for lunch at a shelter, where Mira and I take in another view.

PB&J lunches Thunderheads roll in way too soon

The first drops fall. I put on my hat. Drizzle becomes rain, then the deluge. Mira finds my poncho—the one I failed to put on before getting soaked. We descend, cross a road, the ascend again. That’s when Martha announces that the hike is over; a shuttle bus is in route. We descend and ascend to keep warm, while the rain falls.

Returning home wet Jacuzzi bath to warm up

Photo by Ethan Robertson

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Frank J. Tassone

Frank J. Tassone lives in New York City's "back yard" with his wife and son. He fell in love with writing after he wrote his first short story at age 12 and his first poem in high school. He began writing haiku and haibun seriously in the 2000s. His haikai poetry has appeared in Failed Haiku, Cattails, Haibun Today, Contemporary Haibun Online, Contemporary Haibun, The Haiku Foundation and Haiku Society of America member anthologies. He is a contributing poet for the online literary journal Image Curve, and a performance poet with Rockland Poets. When he's not writing, Frank works as a special education high school teacher in the Bronx. When he's not working or writing, he enjoys time with his family, meditation, hiking, practicing tai chi and geeking out to Star Wars, Marvel Cinema and any other Sci-Fi/Fantasy film and TV worth seeing.

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