Yes, We Love Appalachia

Notes from Trail Adopter, James D. Christmas

When I am asked “Why do people love Appalachia so much,” a single sentence cannot possibly personify what we woodsman and mountaineers of the East feel and experience. The old cliché of how it is an indescribable kindred spirit is all well and good, but why we love Appalachia should be expanded upon.

Living in Appalachia and participating in the mountain lifestyle promotes mental and physical health, adding color to the personality of the individual.

If it is a raw, rainy day, it is still a very good day! There’s hot bacon and eggs, fresh off the griddle pancakes with plenty of syrup, and bowls of hot oatmeal with brown sugar. Milk, orange juice, and hot coffee and cocoa go along with just about anything too. One could go on and on about the great food, and there aren’t enough recipe boxes in the world to hold all of our kitchen secrets.

We love to wear our trusty clothes—some old, some new. We love our trail gear and tools, and we swap stories about them.

This may sound strange to many, but there is nothing like being half covered in mud with your boots full of water and having four or five hours of trail work behind you. Great feelings of accomplishment and being part of nature abound in our hearts and minds! I suppose you could blame it on a mixture of adrenaline and God, with a bit of Mother Nature.

From herbal medicines in Georgia to the big kettles of “everything” soups made by the Appalachian Mountain Club in New Hampshire, there is always something to soothe the nerves and calm the spirit.

All in all, when we are done with our work, we relish in the satisfaction of knowing we did the forest a world of good. Digging out drainages, placing rock steps, building bridges, and cutting trailside brush all contribute to the health of the forest and mountains. We wouldn’t have it any other way!

Submitted by James David Christmas.