Nursing the Addiction

Our YLE blog will feature the different voices of member naturalists. This is Austin's first post-- he brings a fresh perspective and a view from the Great Lakes and the Northeast:

Exploring nature is an ever-present aspect of my life. Call it corny, but everything from the desktop background on my computer to the stickers on my water bottle remind me of the trips I’ve taken and have yet to take.

But it’s when I’m basking in the warm afterglow of an expedition that it really takes hold. I recently returned from hiking the 100 Mile Wilderness in Maine. It’s the last 120 miles of the Appalachian Trail (the name is deceiving), and it cuts through some of the most beautiful north woods areas that I’ve ever seen.

And yet, like any junkie, I need more. Within a week of my return, I had a list of 14 hikes ranging from 25 to 2650 miles on my desk, drooling over a new one every day. There is so much to see! And while a creeping dread tells me that there’s no way I’ll be able to explore every nook and cranny on this planet, at least not without some sort of undeserved financial windfall, there is truly something special in the knowledge that no matter how far I roam, how many miles I hike, and how many photos I take, there is still something marvelous out there that I have yet to discover.

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