Day 144: Blue Blazing

Publish date: Sep 17, 2019

Blue blazing is when you take a side trail to check out some view. The Whites are full of blue blazes. I’m ahead of my group right now, due to family visits and different paces through this technical terrain, so I decided to blue blaze around with a thruhiker named Sorte. Sorte is trying to hit as many of New Hampshire’s “4000 footers” as possible (he ended up getting 31 out of 48). We would get to a blue blaze, stash our packs out of sight, and then speed off to check out the views. It was a total blast.

Hikers can be super lazy about doing non-trail miles. For example, when we visited Yoshi’s parents, my group once opted to drive a quarter mile. Lots of us refuse to do a long blue blaze, even if the view is supposed to be spectacular. Sorte and I did a total of 8 non-trail miles today. It was a good exercise in thinking about this experience as being about nature, not just this one trail with its big imaginary arrow pointing north. We have this contract with the trail, “we will hike you!”, that might feel stifling at times. Blue blazing reminds you that you’re not just here for the white blazes.