Personal Narrative: The Lakes Mountain Trail

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Having had the foresight to properly test and adjust her loaded backpack before we left the motel, Julie appeared to be doing well in the backpack department, While still in the early planning stage, I envisioned a high country hike and campout on a scenic mountain summit or high grassy bald, meeting and exchanging stories with other hikers on the trail. As our gear arsenal expanded, I realized that, not being born a mule, I was neither prepared or willing to climb any long slope with a fully loaded backpack, no matter how rewarding the prize at the trails end. With a reputation of isolation and proximity to water, my daughter favoured the Lakeshore Trail alongside Fontana Lake, a place we 've only seen looking down from nearby mountain summits. The guide book illustrated the Lakeshore Trail to campsite 98 as a horizontal traverse for the most part, with a series of smallish undulating valleys and crests, the largest having an elevation change of only 500 feet. Compared to the long and strenuous hikes of the past week, a 500 foot hill, even with a loaded backpack, was just a bump, or so I presumed. While the prospect of venturing ten miles into a forest that had no spectacular views or features did not particularly excite me, I believed that we could…show more content…
Long and straight with an attractive stonework facade, it appeared to be a typical Appalachian mountain tunnel, except that it has been sitting there for half a century, completed but unused, just marking a point in time. We used headlamps to light the way through its quarter-mile length, not that we were afraid of the dark or couldn 't walk a straight line to its exit, but to observe years of layered graffiti on the tunnel wall. The entire length was decorated with it, some quite artistic and original but most of it just plain
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