Easy Liv­ing

Zaleski State For­est, Ohio

Backpacker - - PLAY LIST -

I lounge in a ham­mock slung be­neath a canopy of old oaks, laugh­ing with my hik­ing part­ners. We’re rem­i­nisc­ing about our child­hoods spent ex­plor­ing these woods and the lily pad­cov­ered marshes in the north­ern Ap­palachi­ans as a bot­tle of cheap whiskey makes its rounds. Scat­tered light leaks through the tree­tops as the sun dips be­low the hori­zon, turn­ing the al­ready-rus­set leaves into a crim­son canopy. Look­ing around, I think the place hasn’t changed much in the past two decades. We only have 5 miles to go on this quick, 11.2-mile loop, but like these woods, we’re in no hurry. Nos­tal­gia takes time— and we have plenty of it. BY ASH­LEY M. HAL­LI­GAN

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