Eastern Mass. to Rochester, N.Y.

I left my sister’s house this morning, and started driving west. By late morning I was in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts, and I couldn’t stand sitting in the car any more, so I got off the highway to go for an hour and a half walk on the Appalachian Trail. I parked in Beckett, Mass., and started walking, following the famous white blazes south.

There’s a footbridge for the Appalachian Trail over the interstate, and I’ve driven under it many times; now at last I was walking across it, watching the cars speed by under my feet. The trail climbed up into the woods, and a Wood Thrush sang in the trees. The traffic noise grew fainter and fainter, until at last it faded completely away. Black-throated Green Warblers and Red-eyed Vireos sang their monotonous songs in the trees above me. All too soon, it was time for me to turn back, and reluctantly I headed back downhill to the car.

The rest of the day was boring: driving, stopping at rest areas, a couple of naps in the car because I was still tired from dealing with Dad’s estate. I went to the wrong place in Rochester, and when I finally got to the correct hotel and checked my voice mail I got a message from one of my cousins that another of our cousins had died after a long illness.