This poem, written by Fred L. Bailey, was read and gifted to each speaker at the Ellijay/Gilmer County A.T. Community Designation:
Lonely walking through unknown mountains with doubt and fears
Seeking Life’s meanings and listening to what nature hears
Free from commerce, clutter, clanging and the complicated math
Spring moves northward on the ever changing Appalachian path
Eagerly searching for eye level sky under heavy load
Mossy rocks and blow-downs give knowledge of no road
Flora, fauna, fields and forest – Chosen 1 to roam
Forget the sweating, chafing, aching – Katahdin is my home.
Network of shelter poets are read as dark falls
Whisper stoves are silent before the mice do crawl
Distant lightning with creaking trees provide a sleepless night
But gleaming dew on golden grass gathers morning light.
Fellow trekkers become friends as summer’s heat does pour
Buds give way to leaves as hawks lazily soar
Hot Springs, Harpers, Hanover villages fall in victory pile
Strong legs ascending and descending like ants in file
The ridgeline corridor air cools as summer confronts fall
Conflicting emotions grip me as journey’s end does call
Thru-hiking is almost perfection except a good hot bath
Sill memories continue about the ever changing Appalachian path.