Both of us look for beauty in our surroundings. Even though every ounce adds up on a long-distance backpacking trip, we chose to carry a small camera, sketch paper, and a variety of pencils. Here is some of the art we brought back from our time on the trail. Enjoy!
Daughter spends hours creating imaginary characters. While on this trip, she worked hard at adding action to her drawings.
Influenced by spending so much time in the woods, she drew both whimsical and realistic images of things she discovered along the trail. One afternoon she dissected a number of acorns and drew what she found inside the shell.
Scenes like this one near the Blackburn Trail Center led to both a drawing and a poem:
Up! Down! Up again!
When will we be there?
11:00. 11:45. 12:00. 1:00.
Finally!! (Oh,nice view…)
I prefer to use color in my drawings, like this reminder of a rainy day:
Daughter remembered the day this way:
Pouring, Sloshing, Sliding
Walking in the rain
My heart sings when I see beautiful colors in nature, especially when the color “pops” out from a darker background. When trying to capture those scenes on paper, I love the saturated colors I get from Derwent Inktense watercolor pencils:
Finding beauty and making art on the trail added to our enjoyment of our grand adventure!
Many folks assume the Appalachian Trail must be similar from start to finish—a dirt path meandering through the woods. That’s not wrong, but it only describes a small portion of the AT. In reality, we backpacked an ever-changing trail.
The stereotypical “walk in the woods”
In the 150+ miles that we hiked, we encountered changing elevations, varied plants and trees, and different views. Sometimes it felt like we were walking through an unending green tunnel. Other times we saw glorious layers of mountains beyond a patchwork quilt of farms in the valleys. Here are some of the many trails we walked while backpacking on the Appalachian Trail in Maryland and Virginia:
Boggy ground is crossed on a series of boardwalks…
A few streams are crossed on a bridge, some are waded through, and most are crossed by balancing on rocks.
Sometimes the trail follows the side of a road.
Sometimes it winds through the center of town! (This is in Harpers Ferry WV…not Narnia as some might suspect…)
Some trail sections have gravel; some require climbing over boulders; and other sections are just a jumbled path through loose rock.
No matter where the white blazes lead, it is always interesting to follow the ever-changing trail.
(Note: we finished this year’s hike on October 21 but will continue to share stories and photos from the trail for another few weeks.)