Late night, a few hours after sunset. Jeff and Joe are already asleep in this cramped little tent we share for the next few nights (we took the smallest tent to save space in our packs).
Through the usual silence of a wilderness forest, I hear the sound of distant water rushing: Laurel Fork Falls. It is, by all accounts, an impressive water fall that we have not seen yet, since it is still a ways down the trail, drawing closer and louder with each step.
We hiked all day today with full packs, up mountains, down mountains, accross mountains, around mountains. My shoulders are sore, my feet ache, but my spirit is soaring. I’m on the Appalachian Trail, the “AT,” at last. And Ramen noodles with fire-roasted hot dogs and tortillas never tasted better in my life.