(This post was written two days ago, but is a little belated because of issues getting photos uploaded from various places.)
Today’s theme is perspective. And no, not as in art perspective. I can’t draw to save my life, so you would have no good reason to listen to me anyway.
The first perspective is that of actual sight perspective. Days 3-4 of this journey through the Smokies were rainy. No hikes or exotic locations, though we did eat at Cracker Barrel, which is always a treat.
Today, though, was only partly cloudy with a sun to drive away any chill in the air. We took the drive up into the Smokies toward the North Carolina border and hiked 9 miles round trip on a stretch of the Appalachian Trail. Once again, the forests crowded most of our sights lines, but they were cool enough as it is, and their selfishness only made those snatches of unobstructed mountain skyline all the more breathtaking.
Also very interested in hogging all the attention: mist. These are the Smokies, after all, what did you expect?
To be honest, I was actually very pleased at the density of the cloud cover. For one, the half-obscured, forested peaks were surreally beautiful. Of course, the fact that the mist did tend to soften the effect of the larger drops didn’t hurt either.
We met a few very interesting people while on the trail. There was a very charming English couple from London, a photographer and a frequent visitor of the park who likes his 70s folk music…. And then there was the “southbounder”.
We encountered him just as we were starting to feel the first effects of the steep, climbing trail. He was decked out in full hiking outfit, complete with worn boots, dual walking sticks, a massive backpack, and a beard and mustache combo that made him look like a young Jeb Stuart. He’d been hiking the Appalachian Trail straight south from Maine. Yes, Maine. He’d been averaging 20-30 miles a day for the last 3 and a half months.
Talk about the experience of a lifetime! His beard probably has more interesting stories than me!
Let’s just say we felt a little less tired after meeting him.
Of course, by far the most startling and wonderful dose of perspective came when my sister gave birth to beautiful baby Katelyn.
She’s already almost as beautiful as her mother, though everyone thinks she looks just like her daddy. And of course, she’s cute enough to make a Sith smile.
I have two little nephews already, so the having a baby in the family isn’t exactly a new feeling. That doesn’t make it any less special this time around. As much fun as I have with my nephews, I’ve got to say I’m looking forward to the novel experience of having a niece. I’m dying to meet her, and to see what life brings her and her two amazing parents.