I spent the weekend with hikers. I love hikers. Hikers are good. Hikers are my friends. I fit in with them.
It was POG's annual 40th birthday celebration in Hot Springs, North Carolina. Good "trail town." We just had a handful of folks this year, so it was a subdued weekend. No complaints from me. I like subdued.
It was also a weekend of campfires, vino, trail stories, cold rain, deep sleep, memories, and laughter. We went on a shopping spree Saturday afternoon at Bluff Mountain Outfitters. (Bluff Mountain Outfitters, Mount Rogers Outfitters in Damascus, Virginia, and The Backpacker in Baton Rouge are the shopping-spree-establishments-of-choice for this girly-girl, by the way). Didn't buy myself a thing, but I did get the hubster his Christmas present.
I have lots to write about today, so stay tuned. It's time to get to work, however, and I have a lot of it to do. So I'll leave you with this poem, one of my favorite "hiker poems." Enjoy.
THE MEN THAT DON'T FIT IN, by Robert Service
There's a race of men that don't fit in,
A race that can't stay still;
So they break the hearts of kith and kin,
And they roam the world at will.
They range the field and they rove the flood,
And they climb the mountain's crest;
Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood,
And they don't know how to rest.
If they just went straight they might go far;
They are strong and brave and true;
But they're always tired of the things that are,
And they want the strange and new.
They say: "Could I find my proper groove,
What a deep mark I would make!"
So they chop and change, and each fresh move
Is only a fresh mistake.
And each forgets, as he strips and runs
With a brilliant, fitful pace,
It's the steady, quiet, plodding ones
Who win in the lifelong race.
And each forgets that his youth has fled,
Forgets that his prime is past,
Till he stands one day, with a hope that's dead,
In the glare of the truth at last.
He has failed, he has failed; he has missed his chance;
He has just done things by half.
Life's been a jolly good joke on him,
And now is the time to laugh.
Ha, ha! He is one of the Legion Lost;
He was never meant to win;
He's a rolling stone, and it's bred in the bone;
He's a man who won't fit in.