because to schlepp myself up a mountain and be there in time for sunrise, i have to leave the house at like 0200. and to get up onto a mountain for sunset and THEN COME DOWN means i get home at about 0200.
unless i go in winter, which represents other problems.
like the venture challenge deadline is in october, anyway.
so i was kind of thinking that one was out of my reach, but then two things happened: i started taking a medication that works, and i started playing ingress for fun and fitness.
(remember, boys and girls, you want to join the BLUE team. we're the RESISTANCE.)
so now i go marching up and down mountains like 30 years have been removed from me - okok, i'm slower than that, but my point is that i can DO it- and suddenly because of that and because i have some new lightweight camping gear i'm thinking that one-night backpacking excursions are no longer off limits to me.
so i pack up my stuff and head on up the long trail south from appalachian gap because i'm thinking stark's nest would be a dandy place to watch the sun set and rise from.
now, that is some rough terrain up thar. it's got a bunch of climbing and a whole mess o' staples and ladders and a couple places you WISH it had staples or something but instead it's got some sad-looking roots and a crack in the rock and you realize EXACTLY why you got turned back that one time you decided to try this hike on snowshoes last winter.
so i got up there in PLENTY of time to see the sunset (and read half a book) but that was anticlimactic because it had gotten cloudy in advance of the night's storm and it was filthy windy wet weather on the way down in the morning, so i decided to go around the long way and take the stark mountain trail down as far as the sunnyside chair before rejoining the long trail, which adds almost a mile to the trip but cuts out the worst of the difficult descent, and provided a welcome shelter at about lunchtime.
and of course there are pictures.
|cave bypass trail? no thanks.|
|view from theron dean shelter|
|view OF theron dean shelter|
|there was a lot of this nonsense.|
|no, no an elevated treehouse it's a sled shed. i|
n winter the ski patrol stores a sled there.
|sunset facing west|
|sunrise facing east|
|ready to go|
|mmm, slippery when wet.|
|it's very green here.|
often when i am in these fantastically green places i think of hundewanderer, whose lovely hiking photos are all taken in a landscape so different than mine.