Thursday, September 27, 2012

Small pleasures

Thursday, September 20, 2012:

Today's ten miles of Appalachian Trail ( Cornelius Creek Shelter to Petite's Gap - pronounced 'pet its') provided a wonderful variety of little joyful moments.  I found my first apple tree dropping its ripe apples not far from the summit of some oddly named mountain (*grin*), and devoured one - perfect balance of sweet and tart, crunchy and juicy and free of worms.  These heirloom apples are never very large, but their flavor and body (juicy crunchiness) exceed most of the bloated store-bought varieties.  I harvested this bunch and left them at the Thunder Hill Shelter.

Stopping to 'smell the roses' was a must today, as the grand views that were available were all a bit hazy.  Here's one of the latest blooming fall flowers - the 'Bottle Gentian', set off by the red berries of a low growing herbaceous plant that I couldn't identify in a quick Google search.

The best panoramic view of the day came in the afternoon from the Thunder Ridge Overlook:

And I'm happy to report that I passed through 'The Guillotine' twice without losing my head.  The AT dares you to pass under this suspended rock.  It looks like it could drop at any moment - a static yet dynamic little treat for the hiker.

Okay, I see faces in everything  (maybe it's too many drugs back in college?).  To me, the huge boulder at right looks like a guy's head - bowl haircut, frowning, weary of the game, none too happy to have that stone squashing against his nose for what seems an eternity.  Do you see it?

Eleven hours of hiking in cool refreshing autumn weather.  Ten miles of new trail.  Sometimes I feel like I need to pinch myself - am I really this blessed that I can be here all day every day?  How did I deserve this?

On second thought, maybe I better not pinch myself.  If this is a dream, I don't want it to end :-)


Here's today's map showing the route of the hike, with a link to many more photos:

AT Day 234 - Apple Orchard Mt and The Guillotine at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in West Virginia

No comments:

Post a Comment