I do traffic, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. At least not for now. I recently traded life in a state where trees are seen as an enemy, for life in the state with the greatest amount of Appalachian Trail mileage. The Governor of Indiana, which I recently left, funds the Department of Natural Resources by selling clear cutting rights in the state forests, mostly along trails. Much of the harvest was in Yellowwood State Forest, the last pristine tract of old growth in the state. It is gone now, and so am I.
The last long hike I did in Indiana was the Tecumseh Trail, weeks before the logging started. It winds through the Yellowwood old growth. I got to see it before they dropped it. Trail and forest lovers begged and petitioned the government not to log it. The pleas fell on ears deafened by ignorance and greed. I can remember a time when conservatives actually stood for conservation.
So I moved to a built-up area (known in loving shorthand as the DMV – D.C., Maryland, Virginia) partly to be in a place where they see trees as something more than uncut lumber. Funny thing is that my commute here takes about as long as the one I left (Shelbyville to Bloomington, Indiana and back every weekday). My Indiana commute took me through rolling forested hills. At the end of my return commute now, I gaze upon the hazy Bull Run and Blue Ridge Mountains. Front Royal and Shenandoah are less than an hour away by car. Harper’s Ferry, the Maryland mileage, and Pennsylvania are close.
I go nuts if I can’t get to the woods, and the mountains whisper to me. To like-minded souls I would say “do what you have to do, to be where you long to be.”