On a recent hike at Ragged Mountain in Southington, CT, I specifically mentioned to Justin how well the trails were marked with color blazes. I think I’ve missed the blazes in the midwest; although, I’m not sure if I just missed them, or if trail blazes are more of a northeastern thing. Thinking back to hikes around Wisconsin and other parts of the country, I feel like the trails were just cleared and frequented enough that blazes either weren’t needed or went unnoticed. (…or funding dwindled years ago, and blazing was cut.)
At Ragged Mountain they even have double blazes: blue sub yellow or blue sub orange. I imagine at some point in my life I’ve seen that before, but I can’t recall any places with them. They’re really quite helpful! While there aren’t memories of double blazes, there are certainly memories of single blue blazes. Growing up, my family would hike frequently near Moraine State Park in Western Pennsylvania, and blue blazes were along all the trails we hiked on. I remember it being referenced frequently - probably in case I wandered off and got lost - I would know to look for the blue blazes. Fortunately, that never happened!
Back on the trail with Justin, we began discussing the language of trail blazes. Thinking that in some ways it must be like lifeguards and how they can communicate between chairs. (Though likely less complex…or bikini focused.) Of course, Wikipedia provided some insight as well as HowToWilderness.com. (And yes, I this language is a less complex than lifeguarding, but still very helpful!)
…and to add to the fun around trail blazes, the next day, we stumbled upon a trail blazed t-shirt at a local screen printing/art shop, Cinder + Salt, in Middletown, CT. It was tough to pass up, but since I’m living out of a car, I was able to resist.
To the next blaze…