I think this is what my blog should be – the recounting of amazing adventures, because these are the posts I love to write more than the rest! If you missed the details of the first day, you can read about our camping experience the night before our hike.
If you read about camping, you will know that we started the day without a decent night’s sleep. The ground isn’t that comfortable and the continually dropping temperature kept my deep-sleep at bay. But regardless, we woke up and immediately started breaking down camp.
The tent went down first. Everything was wet with dew, so we wanted to fold our tent so that it would dry why we packed the rest. I cut fresh fruit for breakfast while The Boyfriend went to the camp store and brought back java. (straight to my heart)
We drove the few short miles to the start of the trail, and went into the visitor’s store to purchase a map. I imagine this map would have been useful, had it not been left on the seat of the car during the hike. Oops. It depends who you ask as to why it was forgotten. If you ask me I’ll be sure to let you know that I put it on his seat while he was packing his bag, and said something along the lines of “Here is the map!” as in, “PACK THIS!” But, if you ask him, he’ll let you know that since I purchased it, and I brought it back to the car, I was supposed to make sure it came with us.
This is the loop we took:
We started the hike with big smiles on our faces
The first 2 or so miles was in very dense tree coverage. It was cool, yet humid, and very green. The first mile was relatively flat, but at mile 2 the incline steepened sharply.
During the first 2 miles, there were 3 beautiful waterfalls
But apparently I only edited pictures of two of them.
Toward the end of the second mile and into the third, the trees slowly thinned and we caught tiny glimpses of the land below and the skylines
Finally, as we neared the summit, the trees really cleared and we got better, wider views
We were getting so high at that point!!
Reaching the top was an amazing, overwhelming and BEAUTIFUL experience. We were sooo happy to get up there
We only took a couple pictures before plopping down and eating our sandwiches. After we ate we took lots of pictures though
We then started to traverse the ridge. The ridge is part of the Appalachian Trail. The first summit of the mountain we reached was Little Haystack, then we walked along the top of the mountain to Mount Lincoln, and finally down (then back up!) to Mount Lafayette. The ride was such a different and amazing route. The weather could not have been more perfect, and it allowed for a neat change in scenery from the tree-cover.
The panoramic views across the sky were just aboslutey breathtaking. We had to take more pictures.
Finally, we reached the top of Mount Lafayette and took the Greenleaf Trail (to the Greenleaf hut!)
This is the path down from the top, which had a lot more exposed rocky terrain than the Little Haystack we climbed up
See that little house-looking thing toward the top of the picture in the center? That’s GreenLeaf Hut – it has a full staff in the summer, a kitchen, water, and bunk beds that you can rent.
About 2.5 miles down, we had turned parallel to the Ridge trail and I snapped this picture. Mt Lincoln is on the right, and Lafayette is on the left
Making it down the last 3 miles after the Hut was definitely a challenge, and we were wiped out by the time we got back to the car. I was so infinitely overjoyed by the whole experience. I found out later that Mt Lafayette is nearly exactly the name height as Mt Katahdin in Maine, which I climbed two summers ago. That climb was life-changing, and so was this one. But amazingly, I was in such better shape for this one, and the overall hike was longer – my working out has absolutely paid off!
As we entered the treeline, I knew that this is why I belong in New England. While I love boating, beaching, and all the other South Florida fun – these are the sights that give me peace.