About a half a mile down the street from the cottage, a young couple (likely around my age) is building a house. I ventured off the main road onto their driveway one day to introduce myself. I was met with kindness and an invitation to visit daily, especially if I wanted/needed a break from writing..

During my walk with Jude yesterday I took them up on their offer. The roads in this neighborhood are not paved, so part of what I loved about intruding the privacy of these particular strangers is that they could hear the pebbles jump as we approached, so they came out to greet us. The girl was not around yesterday, only her partner and a neighbor who is helping him build. I asked if I could walk further toward the mountain and he gave me another invitation to tour a trail adjacent to their property. “Just enter those woods and you should be able to get through for a few miles.” It had just rained and the grass had not been mowed, but I did want to find my way to a dignified view of the mountain. Again, I took him up on his offer, and Jude and I headed toward a fenced wooded area, where the said trail began. When we arrived to the wooded area, I quickly realized that there was no visible trail. Perhaps I was expecting a Brooklyn-eque trail–the kind that humors those of us whose primary language is pavement and concrete. 10 feet wide, 5 or so city avenues long and frequent trash cans to dispose of doggy poop bags. No, I would have to raise fallen branches, dodge thorny bushes, swat mosquitoes, the whole Vermont nine. Jude looked up at me like, “what the hell is this??” We got about 5 steps in before I turned around.

I call this story, “HIKING.”

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