They tell you not to look at the sun, but when it’s this bright and this everywhere you are going to break the rules by simply opening your eyes. And so you do. And you were right: it’s everywhere. It’s golden hair in between the branches of trees. It’s hot arrows through buildings and alleyways. Coins skittering. Dappled. Mottled. Freckled. Sunlight in the morning can do all kinds of things. But more than anything, and quite especially: it’s everywhere.
It won’t be long before this kind of morning and this kind of light that is impossible not to see will be everyday and all around me in the 8am hour. 2.5 miles. When it’s humid I get all jeweled in sweat – and that sounds nice and it looks kind of good and it makes me smell a little like a cross between a cat and cut grass. And it’s a walk to work. It’s my walk to work. Walk. Trek. Hike. Downtown. Over the scales of the city. And I only do it when it’s warm enough and my reptile body can stay warm the whole long way down 4th Street.
You come inside and you feel more like a living creature than ever, and it’s great to feel so connected to the world before you seal yourself inside for the day. My eyes feel bigger when I walk to work.
And this is how I hike. The trail is even more feral with a partner. That’s enough, there.
But the natural wonders of moving feet over and through earth stretch far beyond the sidewalk chalk dance of the intrepid summer commuter (me). Why, heavens! The Bluegrass is lush. And blue. And grassy. Hiking:
Tonight, Monday, March 18th, Carmichael’s Bookstore will help you hit the trails with the help of writers and nature-lovers, Sean Patrick Hill and Valerie Askren. Join the pair at the Frankfort Avenue store as they present their books, Hiking Kentucky’s Red River Gorge and Five Star Trails: Louisville (respectively), for a special reading and signing at 7pm.
Sharing a love of both the outdoors and a writing thereof, Hill and Askren both make camp in our fine state – imparting a natural knowledge of Kentucky’s hiking bounties through their work. Hill, the author of both Hiking Kentucky’s Red River Gorge and Moon Outdoors: Oregon Hiking, has also published two books of poems, The Imagined Field and Interstitial. He is currently pursuing a MFA in the Warren Wilson College Program for Writers. Askren, presenting Five Star Trails: Louisville, is a world-traveled outdoorswoman, with adventures to wondrous spots such as Nova Scotia, Southern France, Canada and the Grand Canyon adding insight to her writing. Askren has also published the guide Hike the Bluegrass: Your Guide to Hiking, Walking and Strolling Across Central Kentucky. Copies of both featured guides are available in paperback for $15.95.
I’ve seen from the passenger side of the car – they call this “shotgun” as you know – how beautiful Kentucky can be. The trees like carpet over the hills. You can completely understand how hills can “roll” after seeing this kind of thing. Trees thick - giant and fresh moss on the shoulders of the valley. It’s going to get warmer and you can get out of the car and get inside of all that green.
And I’m going to skate over the city in my boots that leak in the rain and get hot skin and burned retinas at 8am from the sun that is everywhere and gets closer and closer every year it seems.
Carmichael’s Bookstore has two area locations: 1295 Bardstown Road and 2720 Frankfort Avenue. For more information, visit the event page or call the Frankfort Avenue store at (502) 896-6950.
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