Well…it took two attempts but I got to the summit! My first mountain on the AT over 4000 feet.
A few days ago, my friend John P. and I hiked up to the first view.
That’s me in my lucky Delaware shirt, and John in a full relax position. Truth is, he got there about 30 minutes before I did! I was shot.
2/3 of the way, I got a call from South Africa. My wife had been involved in a car accident. Fortunately, she wasn’t hurt severely, but she was pretty shaken. I’m glad we could talk but it took all the momentum I had, away.
On the way up a climb, a hikers mood is 80%of the battle. The fatigue in the legs goes straight to the “why am I doing this” section of the brain.
We got a late start; couldn’t find the correct parking area.
John was fine. I like to start at dawn and be finished my hiking just after lunch.
This is where we ended up:
It is a pretty tough climb. Over 4 miles up.
We decided to turn back, went down the mountain, and drove home to PA.
We drove home to Pennsylvania with a two thirds completed hike. It is IMPOSSIBLE for me not to finish a physical challenge. Others kinds, you know, like the bills, cleaning the bathroom, washing the car, I can leave unfinished for a while. This climb was working on my mind.
I rested one day and got into my car to drive the 6 hours back to the mountain. Expensive hike.
I stayed overnight in a cheap motel and started my hike at 8am. It was a better day. Cooler. Not good for a view, but I don’t really hike for the views. I like them, but the challenge and accomplishment is what motivates me.
This is where John and I stopped. I still had another third of the climb left, about 1.4 miles to the summit.
It was tougher and steeper than the first section. I didn’t check my Guthook App to check on my progress. I’ve learned to just hike. One foot in front of the other. I didn’t want to know how far I had left. 😊
So up I went. And up. And up. And when I reached the top, there was nothing there but a fire pit!
I checked the App. There was a view about .2 ahead. I went on.
I’m so glad I did!!!
I got my tripod out and had a bit of fun. Put the shutter on a 30 second delay and CAREFULLY positioned myself.
So many people have terrible accidents taking selfies. This was a little different, but I was cognizant of the risk and took my time.
This spot is called “Ledges.”
Well, I was up and I felt good. Except that I had to go the 4+ miles downhill to my car! Downhill can be really tough on the knees and dangerous. Catching a toe can be a disaster. I’ve had a few of those. Just to Remind myself…
Been there. Done that.
Down I went carefully. It was 3 hours up and took 2 hours to get down. I was tired. A pretty tough 8+ miles. My first real hike in months.
I shot a bunch of the Virginia Spring showing itself. I had that lovely feeling of well being, all the rest of that day, and today as well.
Can’t wait to get back out there.
693 miles completed.