Charlie’s Bunion, Appalachian Trail, TN

As the thunder cracked and echoed across the ridges we knew there was only a few minutes left before the heart of the storm would be upon us. We had already spent the better part of the day up on the bald, 5 hours or so, but I found it difficult to pull myself away and head back to camp. There’s something religious about seeing the sky and the earth collide like that. Smelling the change in the air as the storm arrives, feeling a steep drop in the temperature as the cold wind whips around sounding like a freight train passing by, witnessing the power of the storm as it weaves the clouds through the peaks of each mountain and then throws them down into the valleys, the colors of a sunset dancing across the sky behind all of this. In a moment like that you feel insignificant to the power surrounding you but you feel blessed to be part of such a system. You stop thank god for the simple things like a rock to sit on, a flat place on the ground to lay, a cloud giving you shade, a friendly bird that flutters by, the silence that comes with being miles away and spending time alone, or maybe the joy of a small conversation and the company of a good friend. Moments like these are meant to be cherished. Moments that instead of causing you to lose track of time they cause you to lose the concept of time, content with the moment lasting forever. Eventually though the clouds engulfed us and seeing nothing but white we were forced to head back to camp. Enriched with another mountain top experience and tired from a day of hiking it wasn’t long before the rain put us to sleep.