Tuesday, June 19, 2018

AT in TN: Roan Highlands Ramble

AT in TN – Roan Highlands Ramble – 6/17/17 – 6 Miles

My training for our AT hiking in Maine next month was behind schedule when a friend told me about her own plans to hike on an upcoming trip to England.  Where’s a good local trek with great views to keep you motivated?  Well, I know just the place (not local) but...it’s a long drive there and a long drive back, but you’ll be so glad you made the trip!  Trish, her sister-in-law D’Lane, and I made a day of it.

June is a popular month at Roan Mountain, when the azaleas and rhododendrons bloom profusely at every turn – in fact, the day we chose was the town’s annual Rhododendron Festival and traffic was bumper to bumper.  After that slowdown we were definitely ready to get our legs moving.

The Appalachian Trail crosses the road at Carver’s Gap and heads northbound across grassy wildflower-covered fields and over the summits of Round Bald and Jane Bald. Then a teensy side detour to Grassy Ridge Bald is the third summit in this triple crown.  Our out-and-back hike started in sunshine, then we watched storm clouds gather, felt the wind pick up and blow the clouds through the gap, depositing a misty rain, and then the sun shone once again.  Some folks might have been uncomfortable being exposed to all that, but my trooper friends appreciated the front row seat to Mother Nature.  What a grand show!    Photos below, no captions needed.

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares drop off like autumn leaves.”  ~John Muir