The advantage of living is not measured by length, but by use; some men have lived long, and lived little; attend to it while you are in it. It lies in your will, not in the number of years, for you to have lived enough. Montaigne
It's a gorgeous morning up top. The sky is on fire, the mountain is bright with promise. It almost feels like spring. The high yesterday reached 45 degrees. The low was 19 degrees. It was 44 degrees and clear at 7am observation. The trails are in pretty good shape. I headed down and up Alum yesterday and there were no significant obstacles. Most of the ice has melted and the remaining tricky spots are manageable. It looks as though we'll get some snow over the course of the next few evenings.
No matter how many times I nighthike, the novelty remains. There is something special about flying up your favorite trail under the cover of darkness. All of my favorite landmarks are adorned in mystery, a cool, lucid presence settles in the movie theatre of my mind. Everything is charged with an element of danger, knowing it is the time of the night creatures. Primordial functions take over. I am always pushing hard, almost running up the trail. It's become a bit of a tradition for me to crest the final turn at Alum and have my breath taken away because there are eyes in the woods! Many eyes in the woods and they are getting closer! Bobcats, bears, who are you? No, wait - that is just the lights of Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge sparkling in the distance. I never fail to frighten myself, then laugh my way to the lodge whooping and hollering. It never grows old.
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