It was a long and windy trail…a reaaaallly long and windy trail. In fact, for those with the gumption to do it, the Appalachian Trail is an impressive 2,179 miles (3,507 km) long and follows the rim of the Appalachian mountains from Georgia to Maine. More than just a day-stroll, it usually takes an average of 6 months to through-hike. It’s one of the “great three” walks in the US, the other two being the Pacific Crest Trail (spanning 2,650 miles (4,260 km) from Mexico to Canada over the Western Sierra Nevada Mountains), and the Continental Divide Trail (covering 3,100 miles (5,000 km) along the Rockies). The people who do all three call it the “Triple Crown” and can claim my life-long worship of their hardiness.
It always been one of my dreams to hike one of these greats. In fact, for many years I researched the Pacific Crest Trail with the idea that I would take off work for a year to go do it. Then I met Paul, we got the cats, took off to Asia and fate pulled me on a different path. I love my life, but the trails are still on my mind so getting the chance to hike them, even for just a moment, is a very exciting experience indeed. In the Smokies the Appalachian is easily accessible and we got a taste of it’s greatness on Roan Mountain in TN.
So there we went…A sunny fall afternoon, the chill of the mountains bursting in our lungs and the wild wind of the ridges rushing to meet its destiny on the horizon. We hiked to the first bald at ~6,200 feet and sat in awe of the view. Amidst the rolling hills, the deep blue of the Smokies and a whole lotta nature, I can totally see how people get addicted to it.
Maybe one day I’ll come back and do the whole thing.