It is said that a journey of 1,000 miles begins with one step. What they forgot to mention is that it also begins with a properly fitted backpack, lots of planning and permission from your wife. My personal journey along the 2,175 mile long Appalachian Trail began in 2010 and will likely continue for many years to come as I attempt to section hike the entire trail before my time here on earth is up. Happy trails!
Saturday, January 19, 2013
"King" Albert Mountain and The Fire Tower
When I arrived at the base of Albert Mountain I knew there wasn't much daylight left. Nothing motivates you better than having no other option to consider. Unless I wanted to hike in the dark or make camp in the middle of the woods with no one around, I needed to get up and over this mountain. What I didn't expect was the strenuous rocks that I had to climb as I began my ascent. I found myself saying a small prayer and giving myself a mini pep-talk in order to muster up the determination to pull myself and my 30 lb. pack up these rock formations. Failure was not an option. I finally made it over the rock ledges and headed up the steep trail that would take me to the summit of Albert Mountain. When I finally arrived at the top I saw the infamous fire tower that so many others had written about.
This was an old steel fire tower that rose about 150 feet up towards the sky. I didn't have much daylight left, but I was determined to climb the stairs of the fire tower for what would be an incredible view.
About half way up the rusty stairs I suddenly remembered that I was kind of afraid of heights. I clutched the railing as if I were about to plunge to my death and inched myself up until I got to the top. While hanging on to the railing I looked down at the marker on the ground and wondered if my ashes would be joining those of Mary Jo Blake. I'm not sure if her ashes were scattered here because this is where she spent her last moments on earth or if it were just because of how beautiful it is once you get to the top.
The view was worth it but I was disappointed that I couldn't rest any longer and enjoy the sights. I had to move forward and get to Big Spring Shelter and set up camp for the night.