(This is student work submitted as part of the Youth Voices collaborative project.)
AT Trail Work Crew, By Carl Gebhardt Pomfret 6th Grade
“Ching! Crack! Owwwww! Helmet! Rock!” We are giving back to the AT by helping the thousands of thru-hikers that walk the trail each year. We hiked the AT after people worked hours to fix and make the trail and we are trying to keep it alive. My classmates and I are taking out rocks and roots in the trail to make it level and easier to walk or run on.
I hear the scraping and banging of my classmates hazel hoes and pick matics. I feel vibrations through the ground as people roll huge rocks down the steep mountainside and yell “ROCK!” to warn people below if there is anyone down there.
I smell the musty aroma of the dirt being uncovered and the repulsive scent of rotting wood. I feel jostling shocks go through the handle of my hoe as I strike a rock. I feel the brittle autumn air flow through my lungs and trying to penetrate my jacket. I taste a mouthful of prehistoric plants as Mackie’s hoe spews a bunch of dirt into my mouth.
“Who’s hungry for lunch?” “Me! Me! Me! Me!” And we put down our tools and head to our packs.
AT CREW WORK
by Mackie Eagan
Deep in the forest of life
Creatures hide from the humans that lurk these forests
These humans don’t hunt
Work on these forests
Take what the forest to gives them
Humans help these Trails
Georgia to Maine
South to North
Hot to cold
Night to day
Rainy to snowy
Busy to free
Nothing to all
Everyone to everything
Deep in the forest of life
Everything has a structure
The Pomfret and Stage roads form a parabolic structure to the AT in Pomfret
They also form the home to the Pomfret Stage, which is the AT
With a silence shattered by its own name, I gaze on the Pomfret Stage…
And a creature gazes on me
Just as I run among hills it runs between my legs
In a fraction of a second, I registered its slate gray fur with a dark finish turning it the color of a stormy sky
It stood out brilliantly against the red, yellow and orange of the leaves. Vole? Mouse?
I see the leaves quaking and quivering, hiding my friend, the rodent.
Then the quake halts and starts up again ½ a foot away.
I move an inch closer every second trying to uncover the animal
It must be some sort small mammal, like a mouse. It was moving to fast to tell what species.
The soft crackling of leaves, taunting me and luring me closer.
I move one leaf to the side. And an imprint is embedded in the leaves.
The trail leading away under the blanket of leaves in the direction that Mr. Hanson is telling us to walk. I realize I must leave the mystery rodent and return to walking the Pomfret Stage to the other side of the parabola.
Even things that aren’t physical have structures
Like this sighting.
There are phases to the encounter.
It reminds me that some things are universal. Whether the structure is square, cube or triangular they’re everywhere.
AT EXPLODED MOMENT
Snap, crunch, pop
Grey, blue and yellow sneakers pulverize the ground
A kaleidoscope of splatter-painted leaves blanket the earth
Two brown eyes dart
looking for a place to aim a
Grass stained knees
make contact with the ground
A leaf with a diminutive hole is clasped
The leaf has veins twining around the papery texture
Delicate fingers bring the leaf up
The stem is the color of blood
Points on the leaf remind me of freshly sharpened pencils
I stick my camera lens through the hole creating a frame
I snap the picture.
I look at the picture and my smile broadens and eyes brighten
The picture is far better than expected!
“Put your cameras down! Time to move on! You’ll have more time later!”
declares a voice
I reluctantly put the leaf down
Take my first step into the leaves and sigh
Wanting to stay
Raccoons and Maples on the A.T
(A.K.A. Evan’s totally awesome exploded moment)
By Evan Satterfield
A tree! I look at an ancient, colossal maple that is losing its dark, rough bark, revealing a tan, slightly rotten, smooth wood beneath. I have heard from a person who has hiked this section of the trail with his dog many times, that a raccoon lives here. I can picture the dog-sized raccoon slinking up the maple wearing a black mask, a pointed chocolate-chip nose and a round, fluffy tail entering the mammoth hole near the top of the maple. As I trudge away from the maple, I think of the raccoon in there, warm and snug inside its hole. I wonder how many people have seen the raccoon while hiking the trail…and what Mr. or Mrs. Raccoon might think of the trail’s visitors.
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For more information on the Youth Voices collaborative program please contact Kat Fulcher at The Vermont Standard, email
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 802-457-1313