"The longest journey begins with the first step," a Chinese proverb says.
A question the Captain likes to ask, "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time."
The first failure is always intention not acted upon.
Sayings, yes. Puns and irony, true. They are however relevant to goals, to struggle, and to this journey we are about to venure out on.
Now, I'll never eat an elephant. I hope no one else does either. The intention simply is, an elephant is so big it's gona take a while to consume.
Intention is next. Many people intend to do something big, even, small and simple. Someone intends to call but never does and misses out on benefits when they are needed the most. Another intends to call and misses out speaking with a loved one before a fateful moment. Intentions need to be acted on if not for the benefit of trying but also to see if it can be done.
The first step in a long journey is acting on the intention to go. A long journey takes planning, building of experience, and trust of advisors.
In Union (1300 east and 7700 south) there's foundations of high rise condos. The stairwell towers over the road, it's an eyesore in another wise nice area. The developer intended for them to be finished years ago. I'm not here to judge, I can say others missed out. This location has clear unobstructed views of the valley and the mountains like no other spot.
I'm coming to the place where I need to post my notice of the intention to build. Here are the goal points to watch for as this journey progresses. The Sailor says this journey of mine will be a success even with just one night on the trail. I'm saying, I've already carved into my proverbial elephant, here are the pieces. Here is what the building will look like as we progress.
I've broken down these for simplicity into three catagories. Major goals are points that help break the over all distance into manageble chunks. They are also places I've read about or visited previously. Secondary goals further divide the distances into more reasonable chunks. I've thrown in a couple of reasons too.
All of my hikes include these. When I took a group up to Mount Raymond, I set similar goals that the group could achieve. If a consensus came to be that the summit was out of reach then the secondaries were good points. Only one person that day chose to stop short. The knife edge presented a challenge to much for her. With her permission the rest continued to the summit. She enjoyed the view she had.
I am also including a few weigh points to keep in mind like views to see and the challenges prevously presented.
# Springer Mountain. Mile 0. Goal type, Major. The starting point.
# Blood Mountain Shelter. Mile 29. Goal type, Secondary. The first major mountain.
# GA/NC Stateline. Mile 78.5. Secondary. The first of 13 State border crossings.
# Franklin TN. Mile 109.8. Goal type, Challenge. Fast food!
# Nantahala Outdoor Center. Mile 134. Major.
# Fontana Dam. Mile 166. Major. Entry into the first National Park, the Smokies.
# Clingmans Dome. Mile 199. Secondary. Sunrise.
# Charley's Bunion. Mile 207?. Secondary.
# Max Patch. Mile 254. Secondary. Cowboy camping.
# Damascus VA. Mile 467. Major. Trail Days.
# Audie Murphy Memorial. Mile 686. Historical note: Audie Murphy is the most decoreated soldier from WWII, European Theatre.
# Dragons Tooth VA. Mile 695 Secondary. Just sounds awesome.
# MacAfee Knob. Mile 707.9. Major. The most photographed place on the AT.
# Shendandoah NP. Mile 858.8. Secondary. My last park of my Parkie days.
# Little Stoney Man Cliffs Mile 929.3 Major. A place I use to visit frequently.
# The Roller Coaster. Mile 989.4 to 1003. MUDS. I'd like to hike this in 1 day.
# Harper's Ferry, WV. Mile 1019.6. ATC hq & psychological half way point.
# 4 State Challenge. Mile 1002 to 1060.5. Challenge, I am not planning on hiking this challenge.
# AT mid point official for 2014. Mile 1092. Major. I'm closer to the end then the beginning.
# Pine Grove Furnace State Park. Mile 109.9. Major. Ice cream half gallon challenge. I'll be game.
# The Lemon Squeezer. Mile 1382. Major. The trail goes through a boulder field where the pack needs to be taken off at times to pass through.
# Nuclear Lake south shore. Mile 1438. Secondary. Site of a nuke accident in the '70s.
# CT State Challenge. Mile 1457 -1502.3. Secondary. Another distance challenge that I'll be passing up.
# Mount Greylock. Mile 1582.4. Major. Highest point in MA.
# Mount Moosilauke. Mile 1792. Secondary. Views.
# Mount Washington. Mile 1852. Major. Know for views and infamous bad weather.
# Kennebec River crossing. Mile 2033. Major. The canoe ride is the white blaze way. The end is within reach.
# Abol Bridge. Mile 2170. Secondary. One final point to ponder.
# Mount Katahdin. Mile 2185. Major. It's over. This is it. The Big K. Time to
|Fog over the Shenandoah Valley from Skyland Lodge area in '92|