Sunday, July 13, 2008
Tragedy on the Trail
I recently went for some mid-week hiking in the Smokies with an old Girl Scout leader friend, Carol. Carol is beginning research for an Appalachian Trail thru-hike in 2011 and I was thrilled at the opportunity for a new hiking partner. We had camped and backpacked a bit as troop leaders with other people's children and the idea of being responsible only for ourselves was very appealing. Carol is very active and fit and was ready to put in some trail miles. We headed up to Balsam Mountain Campground, the highest campground within the Park, leaving behind the humid temps of Charlotte for some downright chilly mountain air. On the drive I mentally inventoried all the things I had forgotten: contacts, microfleece jacket, sole inserts for my boots. But the biggest gasp of all came after we set up our tent on the ridge in this small campground and headed to an overlook to take in the sunset... My camera did not work.