Jim Schmid’s Trail Quote of the Day #592 – May 27, 2017



Modern Girls – Dedicated with profound admiration to “The Three Musketeers”
Away on the Trail at dawn of day,
Away to the North in the murky gray!
Our packs are heavy, our hearts are light,
We’ll stand the gaff from morn till night.
The cry is “North!” The die is cast,
We’ve nailed our colors to the mast.
We’re full of fight, no room for fears.
Make way, make way for the Musketeers!
Three modern girls of ancient blood,
Each with a heavy pack,
March bravely out from Blackinton
On the winding forest track.
Ancestral pride in every stride,
Strong hearts that will not fail,
Fighting Pine Cobble’s steep ascent
At the start of the old Long Trail.

Three modern girls of Viking heart
In the teeth of a mountain gale,
Singing a song as they trudge along,
Defiant of rain and hail;
True of purpose and strong of will,
Nor seeking the sheltering vale,
Fighting their way up the rugged slopes
To conquer the old Long Trail.

Three modern girls,–let the scornful rave
That the race has gone to seed;
Offspring these of a Nordic race,
Babes of the Pilgrim breed;
Along the “Skyline,”—over the “Hump,”
And down the Winooski Vale;
Replenish the grub and heave ahead
To conquer the old Long Trail.
Three modern girls,–and weary ones;
Undaunted they face the height
Where Mansfield pierces the vaulted blue,
Grim in his rugged might;
Up the “Ladder”—over the “Chin,”
Down to the Notch they sail.
Old Whiteface rumbles: “On to the North,
My Queens of the old Long Trail!”
Three modern girls,–on Belvidere;
But the Storm King cries; “Not yet!”
He bars the way but they reach the Notch;
By a cheering crowd they’re met.
They fight their way to the peak of Jay,
And gazing o’er hill and dale,
They see at last their long-sought goal,
The end of the old Long Trail.
Away on the Trail at dawn of day,
Away—three hundred miles away—
Where Jay Peak guards the Northern gate!
Away—‘tis day, they must not wait.
The cry is, “North,” their belts hauled tight,
They’re facing Stratton, and full of fight
We raise our voices in three big cheers:
“Hip, Hip, Hurrah, for the Musketeers!”

—IRVING D. APPLEBY, Completed the first thru-hike of the Vermont Long Trail in 1926, The Three Musketeers were a group of three women (Kathleen Norris, Hilda Kurth, and Catherine Robbins) who thru-hiked the Long Trail in 1927. Appleby enclosed poem in a letter he wrote to Marion Urie (part of the third party of women to thru-hike the Trail) dated June 9, 1933.

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