My ascent began through quiet, rain-soaked birch woods, where golden leaves were strewn all over the ground. I was alone in the wet woods as I focused on climbing higher, walking quickly to warm myself – and for the shear fun of exertion. I climbed through thick fog, feeling myself enveloped in mist, and then, just as I cleared treeline, I rose though the fog, too.
According to Pine Nut, there’s an accomplished mountaineer who often asserts during his presentations that a hike is only half done when the hiker reaches the summit. I learned that lesson at the end of my Appalachian Trail thru-hike on Mount Katahdin, and it was reinforced a couple days ago,
As I’m writing this, I’m stretched out under my quilt, in my tent, at the base of the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States. With any luck, by lunchtime tomorrow I’ll be atop it. Words can’t express my incredulity at being here. In March, I doubted whether I’d ever