Translation: Sunday will bring us our first true fall hiking of the season. So get done what you need to get done on Saturday and reserve Sunday for a day in the woods.
You could explore standup paddleboarding at Wrightsville Beach this weekend, you could take a yoga hike near Charlotte. Or, you could join us on a GetGoingNC/NCHikes-sponsored, day-long hike along the mile-high portion of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail through the Pisgah National Forest.
Traditionally in hiking circles (my hiking circle, at least), Labor Day marks the end of summer and the start of the fall hiking season. It may technically still be summer (fall doesn’t officially arrive until 5:05 a.m. on September 23) and the temperatures may not typically drop noticeably (though they will this week) but in our minds, it’s fall. School is in, football has started — lace up the Vasques and let’s go.
Yesterday, Sharon McCarthy stopped to look at the white dot on the tree trunk, the last of thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of such white dots she had seen over the past 22 months.
Robert Williams and I waited. Sharon, a k a Smoky Scout, was yards away from becoming the sixth person this year and only the 25th total to complete the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. She was staring down her last blaze, and the two of us, her escorts for her final day, were expecting a profound statement. Maybe not “One-small-step …” profound, but something worthy of completing a nearly 1,000-mile journey.