And so, almost twenty years later (holy shit!), I whistled that tune this very morning as I pounded down the Shining Creek trail, my knapsack on my back. Having satisfied the "temporary" part of my latest temp job, I believe I made the right decision in setting aside the whole "work" thing (so overrated) for a day or two and loading up my backpack (I'd never call it a knapsack) for a jaunt in the woods.
Of course I took pictures. Lots of 'em. Here are a few.
I gained around 3,000 feet going up and actually hiked from summer backwards to early spring. The trailhead was dense and green, further up the trees were just leafing out (seen here) and the trees near the top were still bare.
Your happy wanderer at the top of Shining Rock in the heart of the Shining Rock Wilderness. By the way, the "wilderness" designation also apparently means no signs or other trail markings, making it much easier to get lost and stay that way. Cool.
A few hours later atop Cold Mountain looking back toward Shining Rock. Yup, that Cold Mountain. I had set up camp near the high point just right of my right sleeve.
The ridge I followed between Shining Rock and Cold Mountain, from the latter.
Looks like a pointing finger, right?
The sun setting over the forbidding wall of clouds advancing from the west. I was sure it was going to rain during the night, but it never did.
I was glad I picked a spot in the trees because it was really windy all night. Campsites with views are nice, but not getting blown off the mountain is better.
Did I take too many pictures of myself?
Cozied up in the tent. It didn't get very cold, but it was still a sleeping bag night.
I carried a pad of paper all the way up there and figured I should write something in it before I turned out the light. You know, in case I died.
The trail through a tangle of rhododendron. It wasn't actually that dark.
There's just no way to end a lengthy photo-post other than with a pile of poop and his best friend, the snail. Seriously, anybody know what it came from? I'm thinking some sort of large cat. Like maybe a liger. A wild North Carolina Liger.