This was one of my shining moments today. Thank you, Scott, for the super sharp knife you outfitted me with; it came in handy. My achilles tendon has been continuing to bother me since the day I rolled into the campground. However, finding that it hurts less when I'm in my crocs, have taken to hiking in those on and off the last few days. The problem with hiking in crocs, is that you then end up with blisters from them not fitting very well and sore soles and knees (not enough cushioning). So today, as the trail laid out before me, a track of beautiful flowers, chirping birds, gentle ups and downs and gorgeous views with the sun actually shining, and the only thing holding me back were the darned things on my feet, I said, "to hell with it!" So I pulled out my trusty knife at the top of an overlook and dug in. My feet haven't felt so good in days and the last 4 miles just cruised on by.
So, yes, I am only about 18m from Tunnel Rd right now, and surely camped out somewhere I shouldn't be. I couldn't locate a proper campsite, and was exhausted after hiking even further than I had expected (about 15m) and so said again, "to hell with it!" and here I now sit in my tent on the edge of the parkway somewhere in the Bent Creek Experimental Forest.
But really, exasperated as I may sound, I had an amazing breakfast at the Pisgah Inn and the day was astoundingly beautiful. I feel like I have traveled fast forward through spring. In the Smokies, the spring beauties were still vibrant and the trees were just beginning to leaf out. Now, about 4000ft lower, I'm spying Spiderwort, Showy Skullcap, and blueberry bells (in fact many already on their way to being berries).
|Spider Wort (Tradescantia virginiana) - flowers and leaves edible|
When I arrive in Asheville I will be taking a few days off and am looking forward to not only recouping but putting up lots of plant info for y'all to enjoy. If you're cruising down the parkway tomorrow, be sure to say hi if you see a girl with a big ol' pack on her back mowing on some trail mix or wildflowers!