Three weeks on trail, it’s not long by any objective standard but the days are starting to accumulate so that each one feels less distinct and more part of a whole something.

I has two quotes bouncing around my head this last section…

“But complete freedom, it turned out, is not what a trail offers. Quite the opposite – a trail is a tactful reduction of options. The freedom of the trail is riverine, not oceanic.” (Robert Moor, On Trails)

“Everyone is trudging along with as much dignity, courage, and style as they possibly can” (Hafiz, 1320-1389)

Sometimes I’m flowing with the river of the trail, content to see where it will take me; sometimes I’m trudging along trying to hold onto a bit of dignity. But I am remembering how it feels to just surrender to the trail, to the weather, to this body. Again and again.

We passed a couple of milestones as well. Clingman’s Dome is the highest elevation on the trail. It was mostly just a big expansive view of white cloud when we were there, which seemed somehow appropriate – a little reminder from the universe that the real landscape to explore on this trail is the inner one.

And the 200 mile mark!

And a few more images from the Smokies, because they have been so fabulous…

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