Sunrise on Blood Mountain
The pitch black morning stung my nose with freezing air as I picked my way across crunching frozen mud underfoot. The headlamp turned the frosty dirty ground into glittering jewels decking out fresh bear tracks. When my dusty trekking pole touched the claw indent I quickly looked back over my shoulder to the short trail I just huffed up from the slumbering shelter. It was 3:30 in the morning and I just knew my tramily heard me packing so early. If I slumped back now, too chicken to carry out with my mission, the guys would never let me hear the end of it. I squared my worn shoulders and started banging my trekking poles. I prayed the dull thudding was enough to warn the bear I just pushed off. Time was critical if I was to celebrate the success of my first section of the AT at the top of Blood Mountain. Determination and bears be damned, I was going to watch the sunrise and record God’s splendor as I drank a cup of instant coffee.
During the first four days of my thru-hike, I had endured slipping on black ice three times, three days of rain, a creepy shelter bum, and running over a mountain to avoid a huge squall. All left me very little time to let my new environment and reality sink in. I wanted a brief respite to offer my thanks to the hiking gods for an incredible tramily, trail magic from the legendary Fresh Ground, and a family willing to let me live my dream… one stinky ramen noodle mile at a time. It was a sunrise I will never forget.
Am I ready for a week of rain? Find out and see more about my morning on Blood Mountain on my YouTube Channel, Artemis on Trail
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