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you are now entering wilderness

I’m getting excited about going to the Smokies. We’re out Labor Day with plans to stop in Kentucky on the way. I’m thinking some dispersed camping in the Daniel Boone. Looking forward to hanging out in the woods, letting the dogs be dogs and pretty much do what they like, hiking, beating the heat.

Plus getting back in the Appalachians has an appeal. In 2000 i hiked the first 136 miles of the AT, all of Georgia and some north carolina. In related trips around that time I got another 20 miles in Tennessee, Virgina and Maine. The planning and then being there and it was such an emotionally charged time, newly married and my mom was dying. I was in a weird place, raw and open in someways and struck dumb in others that i still don’t understand. i did capture a sense of place. Wrote a number of poems and songs I ended up calling Appalachian Spring #1, #2, & #3. All of this and other stuff left me with a strong sense of place and i am anticipating my return.

We are going to start off at the Nantahala Outdoor Center where Amee and I had our backpacks stolen which I later saw as a miracle because I really needed to be home. I recall looking ahead that the next four miles of the trail is a long hard climb up. I am thinking John and I can walk the dogs up that mountain and i can add some new trail miles which I haven’t done since catching one in Shenandoah hiking with Jillian. There is a wilderness area there and i’ll never forget has a sign that says, ‘you are now entering wilderness, we cannot guarantee your safety or entertainment’.

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