Natural Ground by Jane Boxall Allen is one of the stories entered in this round of the Champlain Area Trails (CATS) writing contest.
If you haven’t yet, you should go vote in the Champlain Area Trails Travel Writing Contest!
I enjoy the way that Allen begins her story. She describes her arrival in Essex on the ferry, and comments on how with a first look things haven’t seemingly changed in decades. Which is true enough considering Essex’s historic district status and all of the flourishing nature surrounding the area.
“Arriving in Essex on the morning’s first ferry from Vermont always feels somehow historic, timeless. The village is waking up, mist swathing the saddleback of Boquet Mountain and the more distant Adirondacks. It’s the same autumnal morning-mist that people would have seen back when the Essex shipyard was still making boats, and the idea of a smartphone was pure science fiction…” Continue reading the story!
Tips for the Trail
Allen describes her visit to one of the CATS trails as she trains for a half-marathon. Her observations of the area’s beauty come through in her writing very well.
Allen also makes some smart remarks in her story that are both humorous and helpful. For example, she shares this tip for those venturing into the woods this time of year: “In observance of hunting season I opted for a combination of hot pinks, yellows and purples, topped off with a red Betty Boop hoodie. My aim was to look like a kaleidoscope, not a bear.” It’s always best to be cautious and wearing bright colors will announce your human-status to nearby hunters.
The writing continues to have a slight humorous edge as Allen discusses some of the fears she has as a solo hiker and how she overcomes them.
Go read all of the CATS contest entries and don’t forget to vote for your favorite!
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