The hurried clouds painted flat cold pastels against the sky. Soft purple streaks bled through the stretched canvas. Hard winds shook the evergreen forest behind me. It was the first sunrise I’d seen in three days. I felt the magnitude of what these mountains represented as I looked out at the hard Appalachian ridge-lines.
For me, the mountains represented an equal part risk and reward. These smoky mountains represented the freedom to explore with an unashamed uncertainty toward the outcome. You couldn’t wander into these woods without having some skin in the game. Maybe that’s why I love them so much - I had to have skin in the game. They kept me honest…
…these mountains kept me real.
This is the best day the world has ever seen. Tomorrow will be better.