It wasn’t an easy day by any means. A lot of up, a lot of down, more up, and then the cliffs – the AT no wider than a foot in places, dropping down a sheer thousand feet, or so it seemed. I was terrified at one rock hop, and took a leap of faith. Made it! And felt abashed, moments later, at my fear, as a couple fathers with young sons dashed downhill past us.
“Your feet know where to go,” John noticed, and when we got to the sheer rock climb of Albert Mountain I realized what he meant. I grew up among giant glacial boulders in New Jersey. My feet remembered. It wasn’t easy, but they found the right crevices and hauled me up steep inclines pitched towards open space. I couldn’t help John up the cliffs, and that terrified me. I waited, relieved, as he made the final summit.
A panorama from a mile high filled the horizon. We ducked through a tunnel of mountain laurel to find Gutsy stretched out under the fire tower, reading a book. A fence here kept folks from tottering off the cliff, unlike where we’d climbed. It felt good to walk upon the rocks and survey the mountains we’d crossed, the days of hiking behind us.