“I never expected to make friends out here. Thought I’d be alone.” Brookie said earlier to night. I replied with the same “Totally me niether. Thought I’d be alone.” We both reflected on our little crew, Flora, Fauna, Walker and each other. How fond we had all grown of each other in such a short time and well somewhat unexpectedly.
Brookie is done hiking the trail. It was his plan all along to only do Maine through the Whites. He actually finished a few days back. We had been separated since the Presidentials.
I was planning on taking my time getting into Hanover, New Hampshire when I ran into Walker. He told me that Brookie was done hiking, getting ready to make his big move west and was going to stop in Hanover to catch the gang for one last goodbye.
I contemplated my plan for an easy stroll into Hanover vs a 19 mile day followed by a 16 early to try and catch Brookie. I pushed hard and made it. We had laughs and fun, beers and memories.
Brookie said 2 things that will always stick with me. First he said “Chip, there’s something about you that puts people at ease.” Not sure I have ever heard that before, not sure It’s even true but I like it:)
Second Brookie says he was afraid of heights like me. Says he started climbing (cliffs not just hiking) to overcome his fear of heights. He does winter climbing. Ice and serious climbing including Katadihn in winter. My first reaction was a laugh and yeah I’ll NEVER!!! He went on to describe a winter morning climb.
Brookie described getting up before first light, watching the colors of the snow change as the light broke. He described making breakfast atop a snow covered mountain. Watching the light of the sun as it trickled in on the slope. The colors of the snow as they changed from dark hues of purple’s and blues creeping out of the shadows into deep oranges. The oranges grew into bright reds and yellows as the sun rose over the mountain.
I had hardly ever heard such an amazing description and thoughts of overcoming my own fears to experience something so incredible swept over me. We shall see.
Dan is a warm friendly person who makes you smile and laugh. He had challenged me to expand my boundaries and grow as a person and that’s why I am out here.
Here’s to you Dan. I hope your move west is everything you hope for and more. Thank you for your friendship and for your inspiration. I am truly grateful. Enjoy the journey!