Muggles Awake!

Limestone Spring Shelter, Conn., AT NOBO mile 1,491.6, Thursday May 22, 2014 — At first you can sense it deep in your bones. It’s a primal vibration that our ancestors knew when the buffalo were running. It’s a deep bass rumble that signals the gods of fire are unhappy long before you can actually hear them.

Your cerebral cortex fires and you snap awake just as the big diesel makes reality unmistakable.

Wait a minute, your brain argues. Aren’t we supposed to be sleeping at a shelter deep in the woods. Where’d the train come from?

As you stare into the cloudy night, the Hogwarts Express appears out of nowhere, not even 50 yards from your sleeping bag. After all, out here what else could it be? There are no trains out here.

It rumbles by quickly and then it is gone. Silence returns along with fitful sleep.

By morning you can’t even remember if it was real. Oh, it was real alright. Everybody is talking about it. “Where the hell did that train come from? Scared me to death!”

When you pull out of camp in what’s left of the overnight rain, you expect to cross railroad tracks post haste. After a brief walk you’re left wondering where they are. You can see a quarter mile ahead and there’s nothing.

Then you look right, across the Housatonic and there they are – on the far side of the river. Last night they seemed much closer, but you’re glad they’re real.

It was a dark and stormy day alright. We enjoyed some respite as we hiked. The wispy cloud fog framed beautiful views and we tramped over some fun rocks on our way to a successful 20-mile day.