Charles Petersen

The New York Review of Books - - Contents - Charles Petersen

On the Trail:

A His­tory of Amer­i­can Hik­ing by Si­las Cham­ber­lin.

Yale Univer­sity Press, 243 pp., $30.00

On Trails: An Ex­plo­ration by Robert Moor.

Si­mon and Schus­ter, 340 pp., $25.00; $16.00 (paper)

To the unini­ti­ated it can be hard to un­der­stand why any­one would go hik­ing. To­day’s fleece- and Gore-Tex–clad masses may take for granted the at­trac­tion of spend­ing week­ends do­ing what, for most of hu­man his­tory, qual­i­fied as grunt work: trudg­ing through the wilder­ness, sur­rounded by dan­ger­ous an­i­mals, a heavy pack on your back. Ear­lier ad­vo­cates had to be more candid. “This is very hard work for a young man to fol­low daily for any length of time,” wrote John Meade Gould in a pop­u­lar guide in 1877. “Al­though it may sound ro­man­tic, yet let no party of young peo­ple think they can find plea­sure in it for many days.”

Henry David Thoreau of­fered sim­i­lar ad­vice. “If you are ready to leave fa­ther and mother, and brother and sis­ter, and wife and child and friends,” he wrote in “Walk­ing,” his clas­sic hik­ing trea­tise, “and never see them again... then you are ready for a walk.” When I was a child my par­ents had al­ready been in­doc­tri­nated into mod­ern hik­ing cul­ture; my sis­ter and I knew better. I would only go for a hike if promised M&Ms at ev­ery stop. My sis­ter, can­nier than I, de­manded a new CD be­fore each trip, which she then lis­tened to on head­phones while the great out­doors passed by.

Why do peo­ple hike? Sur­pris­ingly lit­tle has been writ­ten on the ori­gins of so un­nat­u­ral an ac­tiv­ity. Si­las Cham­ber­lin, an of­fi­cial at a Penn­syl­va­ni­abased hik­ing ad­vo­cacy or­ga­ni­za­tion and a re­cent Ph.D. who stud­ies en­vi­ron­men­tal his­tory, has writ­ten the first com­pre­hen­sive ac­count of the pas­time, On the Trail: A His­tory of Amer­i­can Hik­ing. Look­ing back it can seem easy to draw a di­rect line from men like Thoreau and John Muir to hik­ers to­day. We climb the same moun­tains: Thoreau, in The Maine Woods, writes about his strug­gle to as­cend Mount Katahdin, the end­point of the mod­ern Ap­palachian Trail; Muir, in The Moun­tains of Cal­i­for­nia, de­scribes much of the land­scape passed through by the path that now bears his name, the 211-mile John Muir Trail that runs from Mount Whit­ney to Yosemite. We also share many of the same goals. Thoreau pre­ferred to hike “ab­so­lutely free from all worldly en­gage­ments”; Muir spent days by him­self in the wilder­ness, with noth­ing but the an­i­mals in the for­est for com­pany. Cham­ber­lin’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the of­ten ig­nored club hik­ing com­mu­nity—34 mil­lion Amer­i­cans go hik­ing each year, but only two mil­lion be­long to hik­ing clubs—leads him to ask how typ­i­cal Thoreau and Muir re­ally were at the be­gin­ning of Amer­i­can hik­ing. Early hik­ers shared with th­ese men a love of na­ture, Cham­ber­lin agrees, and they may have also ad­mired the dar­ing of those who walked in the for­est alone. But what most early hik­ers sought was not soli­tude; it was fel­low­ship. The de­ci­sive mo­ment in the rise of Amer­i­can hik­ing was thus the for­ma­tion of groups like the Ap­palachian Moun­tain Club and the Sierra Club, in which “meet­ings, dances, meals, and sim­ple com­pan­ion­ship were al­most as im­por­tant as the act of walk­ing it­self.”

As one New Eng­land woman re­counts, the work­ing class felt no need for a club—typ­i­cally a project of the mid­dle class or wealthy—to au­tho­rize their leisure. “It was our cus­tom,” she wrote of her days off, “to wake one another at four o’clock, and start off... to­gether over some re­tired road whose chief charm was its fa­mil­iar­ity, re­turn­ing to a very late break­fast, with drag­gled gowns and aprons full of dewy roses.” Cham­ber­lin nonethe­less shows that the early clubs were re­spon­si­ble for much of the de­vel­op­ment of hik­ing as a dis­crete ac­tiv­ity, dis­tinct from a stroll in the park, or a long jour­ney along roads, or the sur­pris­ingly pop­u­lar nine­teenth-cen­tury spec­ta­tor sport of com­pet­i­tive walk­ing.

The so­cial am­bi­tions of the clubs were ev­i­dent from their mem­ber­ships. When the first sig­nif­i­cant hik­ing as­so­ci­a­tion, the Ap­palachian Moun­tain Club (AMC), formed in Bos­ton in 1876, the group’s mag­a­zine de­clared that it had been founded on the mar­riage of “sci­en­tific and aes­thetic el­e­ments,” so that “the for­mer, like a strong hus­band, would do the la­bo­ri­ous honor-bear­ing work, and the lat­ter as a grace­ful en­thu­si­as­tic con­sort, would win many friends to the as­so­ci­a­tion.”

This lan­guage was not just fig­u­ra­tive: the AMC, like most hik­ing clubs, re­cruited men and women alike. Per­haps the founders were think­ing of how the Shoshone woman Sa­ca­jawea helped guide an ear­lier trip into the moun­tains. Meri­wether Lewis and Wil­liam Clark, along with their fol­low­ers John C. Fré­mont, Clarence King, and Fer­di­nand Hay­den, were among the most widely read “na­ture writ­ers” of the day; it’s not too much of a stretch to think that the early clubs saw them­selves as recre­at­ing in minia­ture th­ese more fa­mous ven­tures in the union of ro­mance and science. And un­like Thoreau and Muir, when th­ese ex­plor­ers re­counted their tales of long walks through the woods, they could at most of­fer only the pre­tense of fac­ing the wild alone— their govern­ment-spon­sored ex­pe­di­tions re­quired dozens of par­tic­i­pants. As the mem­bers of the AMC marched off into the moun­tains of New Eng­land, botaniz­ing and chart­ing routes up peaks, they too did so in large groups. Out west the Port­land Maza­mas held their first gath­er­ing in 1894 atop nearby snow-capped Mount Hood—155 men and thirty-eight women met at the sum­mit. In Cal­i­for­nia the Sierra Club, founded by Muir in 1892, or­ga­nized reg­u­lar trips into the high coun­try. A rep­re­sen­ta­tive out­ing in­cluded 287 mem­bers. Even if early hik­ers had wanted to travel by them­selves, the equip­ment would have made an ex­pe­di­tion dif­fi­cult: a typ­i­cal mul­ti­day trip re­quired heavy can­vas tents, cast-iron Dutch ovens, rub­ber mat­tresses, and sheet-iron stoves—much of it sur­plus equip­ment from the Civil War. Early hik­ing looked less like a coun­try idyll, more like an army en­camp­ment. So much for the soli­tude of the wild.

The clubs’ show of sci­en­tific cred­i­bil­ity could not be sus­tained for long. The Maza­mas pro­moted one group of trips with the prom­ise of es­tab­lish­ing “he­li­o­graphic com­mu­ni­ca­tion” along the en­tire West Coast; in the event, club mem­bers used mir­rors to sig­nal from Mount Baker in north­ern Wash­ing­ton to Di­a­mond Peak in cen­tral Ore­gon, an im­pres­sive ac­com­plish­ment, but one that, ex­pe­di­tion or­ga­niz­ers ad­mit­ted, had lit­tle sci­en­tific value. Those with greater in­ter­est in the pro­duc­tion of knowl­edge re­belled at their fel­lows’ de­vo­tion to the pic­turesque. “The wish to en­joy the prospect be­comes the pre­text for re­peated halts,” com­plained one sci­en­tif­i­cally in­clined hiker; dis­tracted by beauty, “the will acts with less vigor.” By the early twentieth cen­tury the mar­riage of science and ro­mance had ended in di­vorce. With­out science for cover, the clubs needed some new ex­cuse for their love of long walks in the woods—ro­mance and beauty seemed sus­pect, es­pe­cially given that the clubs, while they ad­mit­ted women, re­mained dom­i­nated by men. The most ob­vi­ous place to turn was the great new pas­sion of late nine­teen­t­hand early-twentieth-cen­tury Amer­ica, bod­ily cul­ture. “The real joy of hik­ing is that it is highly health­ful and at the same time in­ter­est­ing,” a Cleve­land club mem­ber of­fered. A hiker from Al­len­town, Penn­syl­va­nia, was more un­re­strained: “The next time you climb that moun­tain, and your chest heaves, and you feel like your lungs will ex­plode, re­mind your­self,” he wrote, “it’s all for health’s sake.”

For some, hik­ing of­fered re­li­gious ben­e­fits. “Our trips have al­ways em­braced . . . first, the wor­ship of God,” one hiker in­sisted; his club reg­u­larly sched­uled re­li­gious ser­vices at a rock for­ma­tion they dubbed Dan’s Pul­pit. There do not, how­ever, seem to have many priests or rab­bis in the woods. In­deed, al­though Cham­ber­lin cher­ishes the early hik­ing clubs too much to draw out this point, the ev­i­dence he presents sug­gests they may have been one of the cen­tral ral­ly­ing points—along with the Epis­co­pal Church and Ivy League football—for a new elite cul­ture that for the first time ex­cluded all Jews and Catholics. Bas­ing their iden­tity on the then-novel con­cepts of “mus­cu­lar Chris­tian­ity” and “An­glo-Sax­on­ism,” club hik­ers de­sired to present them­selves as an­cient and rooted in the land. “There’s noth­ing like a good, hon­estto-good­ness, up­right, God-fear­ing, one hun­dred per­cent Amer­i­can, red­blooded au­tumn hike,” one mem­ber wrote in his club’s log book—per­haps par­o­d­i­cally, as Cham­ber­lin in­sists, but if so the par­ody also re­veals the char­ac­ter of much hik­ing rhetoric.

The founder of another club felt that his group was rem­i­nis­cent of a lead­ing WASP im­pe­ri­al­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion, dub­bing it “a sort of ad­vanced Boy Scouts.”1 Other clubs promised health of a dis­tinctly racial va­ri­ety. “All we need are a few more trails...and the color of young Amer­i­cans will soon turn from putty to bronze,” a Wis­con­sin club de­clared, promis­ing its hik­ers “two rosy cheeks.” At least one south­ern club ex­plic­itly limited its mem­ber­ship to whites. North­ern clubs may not have needed to: al­though Cham­ber­lin notes that some clubs were racially open, he does not dis­cuss a sin­gle non­white hiker be­fore World War II.

Af­ter

World War I the clubs’ hori­zons, which had rarely reached be­yond lo­cal or re­gional bor­ders, ex­panded to in­clude en­tire moun­tain ranges. What re­main the most promi­nent sym­bols of Amer­i­can hik­ing cul­ture were the re­sult: the Ap­palachian Trail, 2,160 miles from Ge­or­gia to Maine, and the Pa­cific Crest Trail, 2,659 miles from the Mex­i­can to the Cana­dian bor­der. Like the

great wagon roads of the nine­teenth cen­tury or the fed­eral high­ways then be­ing charted across the coun­try—Route 66 was es­tab­lished in 1926—th­ese trails knit to­gether the na­tional land­scape. The lack of util­i­tar­ian func­tion also made the trails’ ide­o­log­i­cal pur­pose more ev­i­dent. The chief ar­chi­tect of the Pa­cific Crest Trail, Clin­ton Clarke, saw the project in ex­plic­itly racial and re­li­gious terms. The “ne­gro boys” of Amer­ica, he com­plained in 1937, had re­mained “closer to the soil” and so were tak­ing “all the ath­letic prizes,” while whites suf­fered from “too much sit­ting on soft seats in mo­tors, too much sit­ting in soft seats in movies, and too much loung­ing in easy chairs be­fore ra­dios.” Only a long trip in the woods by “clean, strong young Chris­tians,” Clarke’s as­sis­tant wrote, could “pre­serve our Chris­tian civ­i­liza­tion,” while erad­i­cat­ing com­mu­nism as well. The great at­trac­tion of the new trail, ac­cord­ing to a young man who blazed a sec­tion, was “the fact that I was one of the first fel­lows to par­tic­i­pate in such a con­quest of this kind.”2 Back east the founder of the Ap­palachian Trail, Ben­ton MacKaye, was a rather dif­fer­ent fig­ure, a sup­porter of the Soviet Union and a friend of Sin­clair Lewis, John Reed, and Lewis Mum­ford. MacKaye be­lieved his trail would pro­vide a so­lu­tion to the la­bor un­rest of the pe­riod—much of which was led by Wob­bly lum­ber­jacks and min­ers—by of­fer­ing land and work in govern­ment-owned towns, newly built along the trail in the for­est; no less a man of his time than Clarke, MacKaye termed his scheme “col­o­niza­tion.”

Like any ac­tiv­ity ori­ented around that great cipher, Na­ture, hik­ing is ide­o­log­i­cally flex­i­ble. Af­ter World War II the cul­ture es­tab­lished by the clubs un­der­went a rad­i­cal change. A new breed came to promi­nence: the “thru-hiker.” The first, Earl Shaf­fer, had never be­longed to a hik­ing club. He spent the sum­mer of 1947 try­ing “to walk the army out of my sys­tem, both men­tally and phys­i­cally,” by be­com­ing the first per­son to trek the en­tire length of the Ap­palachian Trail. When Shaf­fer fin­ished, the pub­lic guardians of club hik­ing cul­ture were in­cred­u­lous. An of­fi­cial ques­tioned him at length, only to re­lent when Shaf­fer pro­duced a day-by-day di­ary and hun­dreds of pho­to­graphs doc­u­ment­ing the trip. Thru-hik­ing was too threat­en­ing to the clubs. The goals were dif­fer­ent: speed and fame (sev­eral clubs banned hik­ing races) as well as a ther­a­peu­tic ap­proach to na­ture that seemed in­sis­tently an­ti­so­cial, a re­jec­tion of fel­low­ship. The suc­cess of thru-hik­ers also called into ques­tion the need for the ma­te­rial re­sources the clubs pro­vided. Trips like Shaf­fer’s “proved that it was pos­si­ble to hike with­out a camp cook, heavy equip­ment, ex­pe­ri­enced guides, or other ben­e­fits of club out­ings,” Cham­ber­lin writes. This shift came about in large part be­cause of the spread of new tech­nol­ogy like light­weight ny­lon tents and freeze-dried food. Shaf­fer and his fol­low­ers—in­clud­ing Martin Papen­dick and Colin Fletcher—looked less like club mem­bers and more like high­tech lon­ers, per­haps new ver­sions of Muir and Thoreau, per­haps a por­tent of what Robert Put­nam di­ag­nosed as the quin­tes­sen­tial post­war Amer­i­can so­cial pathol­ogy, “bowl­ing alone.”

Cham­ber­lin con­tends that the hik­ing cul­ture that fol­lowed has been a pale shadow of that pro­duced by the clubs. Robert Moor of­fers a more promis­ing view. On Trails, his ac­count of his own 2009 thru-hike of the Ap­palachian Trail and the prac­tice of trail-mak­ing more gen­er­ally, shows how con­tem­po­rary hik­ers have moved be­yond the sport’s WASP ori­gins and, in part by re­turn­ing to the thought of Muir and Thoreau, in part through the can­on­iza­tion of writ­ers like Jack Ker­ouac, Gary Sny­der, and Ed­ward Abbey, come to see hik­ing as a way to cre­ate not a club but a kind of utopian com­mu­nity. A typ­i­cal par­ody of the hik­ing cul­ture that arose af­ter the 1940s might run like this. Hik­ers are just as white, wealthy, and so­cially snobby (if not ex­plic­itly racist) as ever, but now, be­cause they hike alone or in small groups in­stead of clubs, they are ob­sessed with in­di­vid­ual speed as well as ever newer and more ex­pen­sive equip­ment that, when not in use, piles up in the garage along with all the other de­tri­tus of suburban life.

This im­age, which Cham­ber­lin ped­dles as he con­trasts post­war hik­ing cul­ture with the pos­i­tive as­pects of the clubs, has some truth to it. But the con­sumerist hiker, who, how­ever much he en­joys walk­ing, does not so much es­cape to the wild as use the wild as an ex­cuse to in­dulge in yet more shop­ping, is an apt la­bel for only part of the con­tem­po­rary hik­ing com­mu­nity. The re­main­der are more likely to rely on the same piece of gear un­til it falls apart af­ter decades of use—hik­ing equip­ment may be the last bas­tion against planned ob­so­les­cence in the Amer­i­can econ­omy—or else, as in the re­cent craze for light­weight back­pack­ing, to look for ways to re­pur­pose com­mon items like old plas­tic water bot­tles, which are lighter than the most high-tech ver­sions on of­fer. My fa­vorite book on the sub­ject rec­om­mends, “Make your own stuff, and mak­ing it out of trash is al­ways best!”

Moor, who hikes with a tarp in­stead of a tent and de­hy­drates his own food, is clearly of this lat­ter tribe. His spir­i­tual guide to hik­ing is not the lat­est out­doors com­pany cat­a­log but the poet Gary Sny­der, at least as chan­neled by Ker­ouac in The Dharma Bums: “Walk along look­ing at the trail at your feet and don’t look about and just fall into a trance as the ground zips by”; only then will you achieve the true “med­i­ta­tion of the trail.” Moor had set out on the Ap­palachian Trail with no par­tic­u­lar goal other than “to live in a pro­longed state of freedom.” The first day he re­al­ized the hike re­quired a kind of sub­mis­sion. In his jour­nal he wrote:

There are mo­ments when you can­not help but feel that your life is be­ing con­trolled by some no­ten­tirely-benev­o­lent god. You skirt

down a ridge only to climb it again; you climb a steep peak when there is an ob­vi­ous route around it; you cross the same stream three times in the course of an hour, for no ap­par­ent rea­son, soak­ing your feet in the process. You do th­ese things be­cause some­one, some­where, de­cided that that’s where the trail must go.

Be­cause the path had been carved out by trail-builders and past hik­ers, to fol­low it, Moor found, was to be a slave to de­ter­min­ism. His sense of mas­tery, as he fin­ished, was mixed in equal mea­sure with a feeling of hu­mil­ity. “On a trail, to walk is to fol­low.”

To walk is also to be part of a com­mu­nity, al­though of­ten an un­planned one. The Ap­palachian Trail has changed since Shaf­fer’s lonely ex­pe­di­tion in 1947: in 2015 roughly 2,700 hik­ers set out from Ge­or­gia in­tend­ing to walk the en­tire length to Maine. A sim­i­lar num­ber at­tempted the Pa­cific Crest Trail, with about fifty hik­ers de­part­ing from the Mex­i­can bor­der on a typ­i­cal day in April of that year. This may not sound like a crowd, un­til all those hik­ers ar­rive around din­ner­time at one of the shel­ters or camp­sites along the way. As the weeks go by a free-float­ing com­mu­nity de­vel­ops. Moor fell in with a group for the first part of his trip, then out­paced them. “Weeks or months later,” he writes, “when­ever I slowed down or they sped up, I would bump into th­ese friends again, as if by some mirac­u­lous co­in­ci­dence.” If not by in­ten­tion—the orig­i­nal pro­mot­ers had ex­pected that few peo­ple would hike the trail’s en­tire length—this was by a kind of de­sign. “The mir­a­cle,” Moor writes, “was the trail it­self, which held us to­gether in space like so many beads on a string.”

Moor set out alone, but he found on his hike a com­mu­nity in which, as the Ap­palachian Trail’s founder, Ben­ton MacKaye, had hoped, “co­op­er­a­tion re­places an­tag­o­nism, trust re­places sus­pi­cion, em­u­la­tion re­places com­pe­ti­tion.” Un­like many other works about hik­ing—Ch­eryl Strayed’s best-sell­ing 2012 mem­oir Wild be­ing the most promi­nent ex­am­ple—Moor does not take this ex­pe­ri­ence as the oc­ca­sion for an an­guished ex­ca­va­tion of his past. In­stead his ex­pe­ri­ence be­comes the start­ing point for a series of re­flec­tions on the na­ture of trails them­selves, from the ear­li­est sur­viv­ing traces of an­i­mal move­ment 565 mil­lion years ago to the arts of con­ceal­ment that make pos­si­ble the well-main­tained trails of to­day. Through­out, Moor re­turns to the same para­dox: the way that the care­ful plan­ning of trail ad­vo­cates like Cham­ber­lin can come to­gether with the spon­ta­neous ac­tiv­ity of in­di­vid­u­als like him and his trail-mates to cre­ate a hik­ing cul­ture that ex­presses a utopian cri­tique of mod­ern so­ci­ety.

The trail, for Moor, is not sep­a­rated off from the mod­ern world; rather, the trail be­comes that world’s in­verted mir­ror. He is ob­sessed with the con­cept of “stig­mergy,” a bi­ol­o­gist’s term for how crea­tures like ants and ter­mites self-or­ga­nize with­out any cen­tral com­mand. Un­like its close cousin the mar­ket, stig­mergy as­sumes al­tru­ism, not com­pe­ti­tion. With an­i­mal trails much of this al­tru­ism is in­ad­ver­tent: a crea­ture can­not travel to a food source with­out leav­ing be­hind a trace of the way it went—and as other an­i­mals fol­low, that trace turns into a trail. In hu­mans, a sim­i­lar logic can be found in the paths of cul­ture. Moor de­tails the prac­tices of tribes like the Western Apache, which see the past it­self as a trail that must be care­fully at­tended and pre­served. Then “the land grows to con­tain not just re­sources,” he writes, “but sto­ries, spir­its, sa­cred nodes, and the bones of an­ces­tors.” Moor tends to ig­nore the way overuse can cause a path­way to ex­pand un­til it de­stroys a land­scape, or con­sen­sus leads to a mono­chrome cul­ture stuck in the same old ruts. He takes the per­spec­tive of the hiker, try­ing to ac­count for what made pos­si­ble the brief utopia he found on the Ap­palachian Trail: a phys­i­cal land­scape planned by trail builders, a cul­tural land­scape cre­ated by hik­ers—even those in the woods for only a day or two—de­voted to not just trav­el­ing the trail but build­ing a com­mu­nity and help­ing one another along the way. Moor, per­haps with­out mean­ing to, also car­ries out a sub­tle cri­tique of the hik­ing cul­ture he in­her­ited from the early-twentieth-cen­tury clubs. Against the spirit of con­quest that mo­ti­vated some early hik­ers, he bases his un­der­stand­ing of trails on a re­la­tion­ship to the land drawn from Na­tive Amer­i­can tra­di­tions. He de­votes another chapter to the In­ter­na­tional Ap­palachian Trail, a project that ex­plodes the na­tion­al­ist im­pulse be­hind the long trails of the 1920s and 1930s by tak­ing se­ri­ously the idea of a trail con­cerned with re­spect for ge­ol­ogy it­self, es­tab­lish­ing path­ways through ev­ery rem­nant of the orig­i­nal Ap­palachian moun­tain for­ma­tion, from Mex­ico to Canada, Scot­land to Morocco.

A still-fur­ther re­vi­sion may be needed. Moor notes the ab­surd speci­ficity of the word “hike,” which car­ries with it both a sense of work—the word’s et­y­mol­ogy lies some­where be­tween “to hoist” and “to sneak”—and an as­sump­tion of wilder­ness. Other lan­guages are more ca­pa­cious. In Ger­man, to hike is wan­dern, to wan­der; in French, it is ran­don­ner, which orig­i­nally meant to move with im­petu­os­ity. Even in English, “hik­ing” is a pe­cu­liarly North Amer­i­can word: for the Bri­tish and the Ir­ish, a walk can des­ig­nate any kind of per­am­bu­la­tion, from a stroll in the park to a trip through the Alps; New Zealan­ders go tramp­ing, while Aus­tralians pre­fer bush­walk­ing.

In the United States, it wasn’t un­til around 1900 that the words “hike” and “hiker” be­gan ap­pear­ing in the an­nals of out­door so­ci­eties. A young woman on a Sierra Club out­ing left a portrait of this new spec­i­men, the hiker: “He is harm­less, but is not gen­er­ally loved, for he is a lit­tle over­bear­ing and given to much talk­ing of a cer­tain cat­a­logue of hours and dis­tances which he keeps in his mind and calls his record.” A few years later Muir, when asked for his own opin­ion on hik­ing, re­jected the term, pre­fer­ring “to saunter”; most oth­ers talked of tramp­ing. The for­mer strikes me as too pious—Muir adopts Thoreau’s folk et­y­mol­ogy, ac­cord­ing to which “saunter” comes from “à la Sainte Terre,” a pil­grim­age to the Holy Land—while the lat­ter is too redo­lent of cul­tural slum­ming. I pre­fer the term taken up by Henry James in The Art of Travel: the next time you see me on the trail, whether in a park, along the street, or in the woods, you’ll find me ram­bling.

Hik­ers as­cend­ing Tyn­dall Glacier in Rocky Moun­tain Na­tional Park, Col­orado, circa 1920

The Wan­der­lus­ters, a coed hik­ing club based in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., circa 1915

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