Our first week on the AT has been an adventure in itself. We were lucky to start hiking in the most beautiful weather you could wish for. Clear, blue sunny skies all day. Spring is evident. The trail is lined with tiny violets. Clumps of yellow and maroon trilliums add a lushness to the moutainside with their triads of variegated leaves. Orange columbines nod their little spurred heads from their delicate stalks. Ferns are starting to wake up, unfurling and yawning; stretching upward from the dark humus blanket that they curled under all winter.
The AT has wrapped me in it's beauty. Tiny cornflower blue butterflies flit ahead of me. Daily, I rock-hop across some clear rocky stream. The climbs are work, but the views are a reward. I try to capture the bigness of the mountains before me in photos but most of the time I just put the camera down, defeated by the vastness of the landscape and wish that my friends and family could stand beside me and experience it with me.
This first week has had it's challenges too. It has been a slower start than I imagined, but we are both loving the trail, and are ready to see what lies ahead.