If you don’t save your issues of the magazine, consider doing this.
Posted in , Aug 3, 2021
This morning was surprisingly cool for early August in the Berkshires, ideal for a hike in the hills before the workday began. I leashed up Gracie, filled our water bottle and headed for the nearby Appalachian Trail, hiking north towards Benedict Pond and Beartown State Forest.
Leashed because I don’t trust her. Not that she’ll run off but that she’ll find mud. I made that mistake last week and look what happened. (See Exhibit 1, right.) I had to take the rest of the day off just to get her clean. It wasn’t going to happen again.
The first mile or so is a slog, equivalent to climbing 50 flights of stairs according to my iPhone. Then the trail flattens out as it winds through the forest and runs along a farmer’s field. The cows weren’t out this morning for Gracie to bark hello to. We pressed on. We hit a patch where the air was scented by wildflowers and the birds were in full song. Yes, a God-given morning for sure.
Finally, we came to a section that had been washed out by last night’s thunderstorms. Mud. Stinky mud. Gracie stared longingly. “We’re turning around,” I said. I had to induce her with bits of dried bison treats.
On the way down we passed a young couple huffing and puffing their way up, loaded down with camping gear. I nodded. “You only have about a half mile to go,” I said. A second later the man turned around.
“Hey,” he said. “Are you that guy?”
I stopped. “What guy would that be?”
“You know, the guy in that little magazine.”
I’m rarely recognized, especially in the East, so this was a shock.
“You mean Guideposts?” I said.
“Yeah,” the woman said. “I recognize your dog. You’re even prettier in person!” (This was addressed to Gracie, not me.)
“You read the magazine?”
“Last night we pitched our tent on a platform at the shelter on East Mountain,” the woman said.
“I know it,” I said.
“Someone left some magazines in the hut, and we grabbed a couple to read in our tent. It was raining.”
“We’re not churchgoers or anything like that,” the man added, “but we enjoyed some of the stories.”
I smiled. “I always ask if there was one you especially liked,” I said.
“Yes,” said the woman. “The one by Michelle Williams about her depression. My sister has depression. I have that issue in my pack to give to her.”
“That’s great. You can always send her a link to the story from our site.”
“Maybe I’ll do that. Coverage isn’t great out here, though.”
With that they were on their way. “Watch out for the mud!” I called.
I imagine a lot of you are vacationing this month and bringing your Guideposts along. I know some readers like to save their issues but if you’re not one, why not leave your magazine behind? Maybe whoever picks it up might not be a churchgoer or anything like that but they may enjoy the stories. And that’s a start.
Do you leave your Guideposts where others can read them? Let me know by emailing me here. Safe travels!