and I can only show you pictures, because if we mix pictures and words, the words go away. I am hoping it will not eat this post too. The photos below, in order:
Wild blueberries - a bit late in the season, not as plump as the ones Boy and Friends picked in August.
The view from the Blue Ridge Parkway, at milepost whatever, I didn't keep score. It all looks like that, sort of, it's all too gorgeous to process.
And another shot of Graveyard Fields - there is no graveyard there, it's named for the lumpy way the meadow looks, or something. The color was so amazing, I nearly fell on my face several times on the trail.
Walking a trail like that was quite something - I haven't done it in 20 years, maybe more. I'm totally a Floridian at this point, I can walk miles in soft, hot sand without complaining, especially if there is beer at my destination, but the "moderate" trail conditions took a bit to get used to again. But my conditioning kicked in - I was raised on "walks in the woods," and hiked trails and climbed over rocks, and after about a half hour, my muscle memory woke the hell up and I quit struggling and just hiked. But it did take time to get there.
And the altitude is no joke if you are from sea level - I was seriously winded, and I never get winded. I can do the stairs in the office building at a good clip and hold a conversation all the way up, while the 20somethings puff. I will not claim to be in amazing shape, I pilot a desk and my attempts at exercise don't really counter the enormous time spent on my ever-widening ass, but I do work out a bit. I can walk for hours on flat ground, but damn, there were a couple of times that I felt like one of the trucks I saw struggling up the grade on I-26. I could have used a set of hazard lights blinking on my ass.