The Last Few Miles
In 2016, the length of the Appalachian Trail (A.T) stretched 2189.1 miles from Springer Mountain GA to Mount Katahdin Maine. Although each state along the entire A.T is beautiful in its own way, there are few other places that capture the sheer, immense beauty that the last few miles in New Hampshire and Maine can provide.
Hiking northbound from Springer Mountain GA nearly 1800 miles away made these last few moments even more precious. It's an extraordinary feeling reaching the summit knowing the miles and struggles you endured to get there. Struggle accentuates the beauty at the top.
The last few miles will give you more experiences above tree-line. Located in the White Mountains, Mt. Moosilauke is one of your first tastes of hiking above the tree-line in the alpine zone. You would not want to get caught in a strong storm up here, but on a good day -- it's love at first sight.
The last few miles, you'll find that the best hour to hike for stunning landscapes is during golden hour. Generally one hour before sunset and one hour after sunrise; this time period brings out the best colors.
The last few miles, you'll often have 360 degree views as far as the eye can see. Franconia Ridge as seen from Little Haystack Mountain -- this entire range will leave you breathless.
The last few miles, remember to take the time to notice the beauty that surrounds you. Most people can see, but not everyone notices.
The last few miles, you'll most likely have a trail family. Bonded in blood, sweat, and sometimes tears from the day to day struggles of life on the trail -- you'll happily share experiences with others but can also enjoy the peace and solitude the trail can provide.
The last few miles, long after the honeymoon period of starting the A.T, couples will discover that hiking the A.T together is a true test of the relationship. Those that make it to the last few miles will be hard pressed to find any mountain in life that will separate them.
The last few miles will renew your respect for Mother Nature. You will be hiking along some of the most exposed terrain the A.T has to offer. Mt. Washington is notorious for having some of the worst weather in the world. Nearly 150 people have died on this mountain. Looking towards Lakes of the Clouds Hut from near the top of Mt. Washington, having a clear view is like hitting the lottery; there are only a handful of truly clear skies each year.
The last few miles are where you have the chance to carry out tradition. A.T hikers know what to do when the Cog train rolls by them.
The last few miles are long, and rugged -- but the constant, sheer beauty the surrounds you pushes you forward.
The last few miles will take you to big places where you feel small.
The last few miles, you'll be hiking into and above the clouds.
The last few miles, southbounders will constantly warn you of the amazing places that lie ahead for you.
The last few miles, you'll often end up in beautiful places that you have all to yourself.
The last few miles are where you can find lots of smiles.
The last few miles will give you unforgettable views when you make it to the summit just in time for the perfect light.
The last few miles will break your heart knowing the journey is soon coming to an end and you realize that every moment is beautiful and precious.
The Last Mile
To see more photos from my 2016 A.T Hike and current adventures, you can visit my Instagram account.
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