… climbing McAfee Knob along the Appalachian Trail in Virginia today!
On that day (in 2014) I had set out that morning with my friend Brendle and we had hiked a leisurely hike till noon. Then we picked up the pace and made the knob around one-thirty! It truly was one of the best days of my life! My dream is to do it again …. someday!
My Dad had done this hike the month after he had returned from WWII in the European theater. He had seen a photo of McAfee Knob in Life Magazine when he got home and decided to climb it on his way home from visiting his cousin in Michigan. In a happy turn of events, his cousin, C.A. decided to make the climb with him! My Grandma Hamilton had the only photo of them on the knob … Dad sitting like I am, and C.A. standing behind him with his arms crossed.
It was that photo that inspired me to go … do a hike my Dad had done … cross the same rocks and streams that he had so many years ago! As I hiked I looked around and wondered how much different the forest around me must have looked back then!
I’d give anything to have that photo now!
I’d Rather Be…
… and I looked down into the treetops and was shocked to see clouds gathering around my feet!
Puddles are magical things. My brother and I were walking my mothers two dogs, Sasha and Roxie, down the old mountain road after a cold winter rain during Christmas several years back. I had stopped to re-lace my hiking boot and sat there in wonder. There at my feet, clouds were gathering. The tops of trees were gently swaying in an icy winter gust as leaves fluttered past me. It was as if I were frozen … afraid to move … not wanting to break the spell.
Then my brother saw it too.
The two of us silently gazed into it as if it were another world. I slowly took out my camera (as if not wanting to frighten it away) and captured a photo of that magical puddle to another place. We vowed the next day we would bring our aging Mom down the mountain to see it. During the night, though, the doorway was closed. Nothing but mud remained where the beautiful window to the treetops had been.
To this day after a heavy winter rain I will often ramble down the mountain to the place where the puddle once was. There is no sign it was ever even there except for this photo.
My brother and I laugh that maybe that puddle wasn’t a reflection at all. What if it really WERE a … … … but no …
… that would be unimaginable.
Out of This World