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The Finger Lakes Trail: In Poetry

Nathan Kiel

Nathan Kiel and FootHills Publishing will be donating proceeds from the sale of this book to The Finger Lakes Trail Conference.


From the book:

Introduction


I grew up following the white blazes of the Finger Lakes Trail (FLT) and have long felt drawn to attempt a through-hike. After finishing my Bachelors, I felt the FLT would be the perfect way to punctuate my tenure in New York before moving to Wisconsin for graduate school. On May 17th, 2019, I began hiking at the New York-Pennsylvania border in Allegheny State Park with my friend, Luke. On June 26th, after forty-one days, Luke and I finished the FLT at the summit of Slide Mountain in the Catskill Forest Preserve. The 584-mile walk between these dates is held in the lines of these pages.


May 17


With each day I shed weight

Calories consumed

White gas burned

Food from my pack moves

To build these callused feet

Reinforce this sore back

Fuel my mind

To keep me eastward bound.


With each step I shed weight

Tighten my frame

Bring my skin millimeters closer to bone

Replace fallow-formed fat

With iron muscles

Trim the sitting season body

To sculpt one that moves.


With each breath I shed weight

Exhale the breakneck deadline-debt

Lug soles that erode my skull

To breathe in a weightless weight

That won’t be spanned with my arms

Or stuffed into a dry bag

The boundlessness energy

Of the woods.


June 13


I wake to the sound of dawn

Birds chirp and chatter

Alarming me of the days approach

While the trees and I

Hold our breath

And wait for the world

To warm

With the welcome sun.



Nathan Kiel was born in Dayton, Ohio. Growing up, he vacationed in the Finger Lakes and Adirondack regions of New York, hiking sections of the Finger Lakes Trail and climbing the High Peaks each summer. He is a recent graduate of the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, with a major in Conservation Biology. He has been writing poetry since high school, but began writing in earnest while an Adirondack Mountain Club Summit Steward and has continued through these Finger Lakes Trail adventures.


The Finger Lakes Trail: In Poetry

is a 28 page hand-stitched chapbook  - $10.00

Release Date 2/11

Nathan Kiel and FootHills Publishing will be donating proceeds from the sale of this book to The Finger Lakes Trail Conference.


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The Finger Lakes Trail

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The Finger Lakes Trail

$10.00

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Release Date 2/11