Happy National Trail Mix Day tomorrow! This is the day to make “gorp” or trail mix with your favorite snack foods and eat it. Traditionally, one mixes peanuts, M&Ms, nuts, and raisins together. Yogurt bits and freeze dried fruit can also be added. I prefer the straight up M&Ms with peanuts. That’s what I eat out of the trail mix anyway. Others can choose the nuts and raisins.
Legend has it that two California surfers mixed raisins and peanuts together for an energy snack in 1968. Another source said that it was Jack Kerouac’s book The Dharma Bums that first mentioned trail mix in 1958. The point of trail mix is to get an energy boost while hiking or doing some other high energy activity.
Within the last few years several hiking books have made it onto the big screen. Cheryl Strayed’s book Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail starred Reese Witherspoon. Bill Bryson’s book A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail starred Robert Redford and Nick Nolte. Both books tell of unskilled people undertaking a long journey on a mountainous trail and the problems they encountered along the way. Bryson’s book had lots of humor which translated well onto the screen. Overweight Nolte literally fell, bare bottomed, into the tent after the first day of hiking. Then there is the bear incident. Hilarious! JPL has both titles in print, on audio books, and on DVD. Check them out while you eat your trail mix.
Hiking Through: One Man’s Journey to Peace and Freedom on the Appalachian Trail by Paul Stutzman, sounds more serious. Or maybe more like the Cheryl Strayed book. Both authors hiked to get over a death in the family. Strayed’s mother died; Stutzman’s wife had terminal breast cancer. Both authors/hikers found a new purpose in life and a new respect for nature and God’s world.
Trails of the Triad: Over 140 Hikes in the Winston Salem/Greensboro/High Point Area by Allen de Hart, is an information guide to trails in our areas. The book is twenty years old, so you may want to Google these trails before you hike them tomorrow. Piedmont Environmental Center has some excellent trails, both paved and dirt, short and longish.
If you want something lighter, try Sheep Take a Hike, by Nancy Shaw. In this children’s tale, the sheep get lost on a chaotic hike and find their way home by following the wool on the branches. Shaw’s series uses the same comical sheep to demonstrate life lessons for young children. Using rhyming words and repetitive language, this series is perfect for beginning readers.
Whether you hike, listen, watch, read or just eat, celebrate Trail Mix Day at Jamestown Library or just with some snacking at home.