There is something special about hiking alone. No distractions, but on the flip side nobody to share the fun. Hiking alone brings a lot out of you that you don't normally get. If you're pushing your limits and going beyond your comfort zone then you learn a lot more of what your capable of, but thats not what I'm getting into right now. On the other side of the solo trip you're doing a trail that maybe you've done before (or a million times before) or a well maintained and blazed trail and you're not distracted with conversation or navigation. You're not worrying about mileage or where the next water source will be. You get into that rhythm of the hike, the quietness of the high altitude or the mountain nights. You're moving to the rhythm of the mountain at the same pace the winds are pushing the grass, the pines and the rhododendron around you. Its all very meditative and you get into your head. Its time to think and enjoy. Hiking helps me focus, work things out, and it re-energizes me. There is a lot to be said about hiking with yourself.
I love the mornings in the mountains of North Carolina with the ocean of fog turn the mountains into islands.
I fell asleep counting the shooting stars. I often feel an urgency to enjoy the rare clear nights in the highest of elevation around here where its usually full of clouds.
I could see my breath as I hiked in that night and woke up to some ice and frost on the trail, but the first warmth of the sunrise does a lot to energize you for the day ahead.
Jane and Round bald off the the left leading trail south on the AT towards Roan High Knob on the far left.