Monday, October 8, 2012
First Yards on the Appalachian Trail
It’s the day after the Jonesborough Storytelling and, after three days of highly charged emotional pinball, we need to sleep in a little. It is, however, Bethy’s last few hours in town, so we saddled up to see some of the surrounding mountains (and listen to some of our new John McCutcheon CDs enroute). We headed to the prettiest place we knew -- Carvers Gap on the Appalachian Trail. (LINK TO 2011 VISIT)
It was a foggy, drizzly day –- driving conditions that THRILL my sister, who has inexplicably attained adulthood without an IFR rating. As we climbed from Roan Mountain Park through yellow tinged forests, along rivulets swelling with the rain, we pointed out viewpoints and described what she might have seen IF the clouds had not enveloped the valley of the Doe River and seeped “with little cat feet” across our path.
At the Gap, I was ready to abandon the hike and stay warm and dry, but this was Bethy’s first glimpse of the trail she has heard so much about. Besides, BOTH HER TITANIUM knees had been performing well all week… so the adventure began.
OK, so we didn’t make the 5+ miles to the famous Overmountain Shelter (Where Pizza delivery was once available), but we DID see a variety of Appalachian topography, suffered discomforts which will worsen exponentially in the retelling, and kept upright. We celebrated as true AT hikers –- we ATE, at a cozy Italian bistro and returned to introduce Bethy to Lotti the Airstream.
EPILOGUE: Next day, Lotti, not to be outdone, also did 200 yards on the AT. In the Pisgah Mountain Picnic Grounds on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the trail runs through the parking lot….
Titanium – Aluminum It’s all in the Spirit.