1. Sunrise doesn't come until late in the morning. Be out hiking as the sun rises.
|Climbing out of Stecoah Gap with fog in the valley.|
2. Without flamboyantly dazzling fall color all around for distraction, small bursts of red stand out. Investigate the detail of each leaf and the texture of bark and branching patterns of trees.
3. Notice how each milkweed pod bursts open in a slightly different manner. Each one beautiful sparkling in the sunlight. Each one dispersing its seeds to the wind. Yet all different forms, arrangements, and (I'd swear) personalities.
4. Climb high up onto the backbone of ancient mountain ranges. Hike along ridgelines that offer continuous view in both directions. With such a remarkably clear perspective, discover where you are and where you are heading.
|View from Cheoah Bald|
Day 1: Stecoah to the Nantahala Outdoor Center.
Zero other people.
One piliated woodpecker.
Day 2. Fontana Marina to Stecoah.
At least 12 milkweed pods.