A Passion for Hiking: Robert Burns
Robert Burns has discovered the healing power of hiking. These days, many of us are finding a walk through the woods, up a mountain, or along a river to be the best way to unpack our stresses, visit with a friend, or explore the spaces between the daily events in our lives. Robert’s story of how he came to join our trails team rings true for us all.
Robert was always a sailor, but he made his connection to Maine while skiing out west. There, he met a person who offered him a job on an island in mid-coast Maine. Once here, he never left – unless as a mariner captaining to other waters.
Several years ago, Robert’s close friend faced a terminal illness, and elected to spend his final days appreciating this world by hiking, and brought Robert onto the trails with him.
They’d stop at a parking lot next to a road, a wooden kiosk, and sure enough – there were blue blazes to take them new places, but they didn’t think much about how those blue blazes got there. Before his friend died, they’d hiked most if not all of the Georges Highland Path (GHP). When his friend was gone, Robert kept walking, returning to those trails, where he felt his friend beside him. He found blazes wherever he went, all over Maine, back in the New Jersey town where he grew up, at harbors where he laid anchor, in beautiful places all over the country.
From his home in Cushing, he walked the GHP, and started thinking about the folks who painted those blazes, who built those trails, who opened their lands to hikers, who donated their lands for preserves, who made all this possible for his friend, for himself, and for posterity. He thought about the generous spirits who made and are still making this possible, and who are committed to making it last forever. He gave his thanks, became a member of Georges River Land Trust, and volunteered his hands, building and maintaining trails. Listen to Robert’s reasons for volunteering in the short video at right.
Thank you, Robert, for joining in!