Saturday, August 24, 2013


After a fairly minimal hiking schedule this spring/summer, I decided Friday, August 23rd, was the day to get back ‘in the saddle’ so to speak. Since I had committed to a 14 mile hike next week I thought it was a good idea to get my lungs/legs acclimated so I don’t have to be carried back to the car! I drove through heavy fog through Blairsville to Hwy 180 (where I saw a black bundle of fur cross the road and scramble up an embankment –baby bear) and stopped at Lake Winfield Scott. By now, the fog had lifted and blue sky overhead promised a great hiking day. 

Across the lake, I found the Slaughter Creek Trail and hiked the moderate climb of 2.7 miles through a damp forest up to the intersection of the AT.
The climb on up to Blood Mtn Shelter was a bit steeper but so worth it. When I crawled up on to the big rock I met a couple who lingered a few minutes and then left.
For the first time I was able to be on that big rock with that gorgeous view by myself!  The stunning view gave me pause to thank God for his Creation.  Then, a couple of young ladies joined me and we had a good visit before I took off back down the AT in the southern direction.
I passed the Slaughter Creek Trail intersection and continued a couple of miles to Jarrard Gap where I turned right on the old road bed. Another mile and I was back at Lake Winfield Scott. I had not met a soul on the trail except for up at the rock. There are times when I long for a companion and there are times when I appreciate the aloneness. Today, I appreciated the time by myself: hearing the crack of a limb from a squirrel moving about in a tree, the sing-song of a bird, or seeing the beauty of rain glistening on wet leaves. It was a good day to be on a trail. (about 8 miles round trip)