Tag Archives: New York City

Fingerboard Shelter 11/6, 800.0

We drop down from the friary high on the ridge into the valley where I walk a mere twenty yards off the trail to resupply at a shell station.

We are not in Maine anymore.

Four mile later, we drop down off another ridge overlooking the Hudson. We pass the time talking about movies and Dragonforce and Jack London.

Soon we are road walking on the Bear Mountain Bridge passing Suicide Hotline signs. “Don’t do it Jeremiah!”

We double back on the other side of the road. The entrance to the zoo is over there, the first and possibly only bears I will see.

The trail passes through the zoo and lets out on a city park. There are a lot of people out running today, a lot of high school students. Maybe they practice here.

Then, the gun goes off and dozens of cross country runners race around the windy lake in their flapping singlets.

They turn back and run on the A.T. for a bit, passing me with gentle long strides, breezing by at over ten miles per hour, six minute-miles. I walk my twenty minute-miles, my three miles an hour.

I crest Bear Mountain, the New York City skyline in the distance, a heated lookout tower on the top.

New York City Skyline

What did happen to my wilderness experience?

In the valley I sprint across a four lane highway as traffic speeds the thirty-two miles to N Y City. At least where I sleep it will be quiet.

At least I’ll fall asleep stress free, happy.

The dream was only a reminder

I once read the essay “On Dreams” by Sigmund Freud. In the concise version of his more lengthy essay he interprets dreams and establishes his belief that dreams are not disordered or accidental. He claims that some dreams are essentially the subconscious reaching out to the conscious.

Last night I had a dream that feels very meaningful to me.

As far as my memory of the dream reaches I felt fearful and nervous. Very quickly the root to my fear became apparent. I was driving on a four lane interstate with a tail. Several huge vehicles were coming up fast and I knew they were after me. I looked back in my rear view mirror as the lights from the oncoming truck came close enough to blind me.

I swerved onto an exit ramp to avoid being run over by the villain of my dream.I was not aware of the reason I was being chased but I definitely knew to run.

The exit ramp was my escape to an access road that ran parallel to the highway. I drove along at ninety miles an hour alongside the villain chasing me. Now I had a vantage of the massive group coming after me. All the vehicles were bulky, threatening, huge trucks. Some looked like army vehicles, others were dump trucks, and the lead was a tractor trailer.

I watched as the caravan swerved through traffic trying to keep up with me, ramming unsuspecting cars in the process. Soon I took a turn off the access road onto a gravel road. From there I saw the start of a trail. I ditched my car, set out on the trail, and my anxiety dissipated. Helicopters flew above looking for me, but I was concealed on the forest floor. I had a pristine view for miles, with the sun rising in the distance. The evergreen trees covered my head and I had no fear of being caught. I was free.

Whether this dream is silly or truly metaphorical, I don’t know. I do suspect that it’s a sign that right now I am discontent.

I went to Manhattan last year for the first time in my life. I had never seen such an urban setting with so much asphalt and concrete and so little trees and grass. However, in addition to central park, there were many more smaller parks scattered over the city. Each time I passed a park on my walking tour of the city I noticed the congestion of people in the park. People fueled off whatever green they could surround themselves with and the main hang outs and gathering spots were parks. With this observation, in addition to realizing my dislike for the brown, gray, and off white beneath my feet, I was so amazed and excited to see how so many people were attracted to whatever green they could find. It was almost like I expected to find people huddling around bits af grass growing in sidewalk cracks. And the bitter sweet observation helped enlighten me to  every one’s desire for some natural element of the world in their life.

Some people hate camping or are grossed out by dirt and mud. Some are scared of snakes and spiders. Some use umbrellas in rain and pump the heat up to 80 degrees in the winter. I run inside to the protection of my house’s walls when I get swarmed by mosquitoes. And the movie “Birds” definitely did not help my fear of hawks, eagles, and owls. But I do believe that deprived of the softness of dirt beneath our feet, the freedom of fields, and the warmth of the color green, we all get a little thirsty no matter how urban and new age we think we are.

I see dirt and grass and trees that chose their own location every day. But still the hardness of concrete that surrounds me drives me to an even great desire for the kingdom plantae. I want freedom and soon I will have it. My subconcious doesn’t need to tell me that in a dream. I already knew it.