Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Independence Day

Colleen Gentry
Blacksburg, Virginia
Falling Branch Elementary
TTEC 2015 Cohort

The Appalachian Trail is a symbol of freedom.  On July 4th, 2015 my husband, yellow lab, Toby, and I spent that great remembrance of our independence overlooking the hills and valleys of West Virginia from a mountain top meadow. From our spectacular vantage point in the Rice Fields on the Virginia-West Virginia border, we witnessed an illuminated landscape of flashes, sparkles, streamers and blasts as Americans celebrated the nation’s birthday.  Adding to the chorus, a pack of coyotes barked, yelped, and howled from beyond the tree line.  American is wild and wonderful.
We began our July 4th adventure from our home in Blacksburg, Virginia and concocted the idea of an evening on the trail. After a short car ride and a 1.5 hour hike, we arrived in almost heaven, a view of West Virginia.
Much to our surprise and delight, we were not alone on the mountain top.  At the close by Star Haven shelter, we met two north bound thru-hikers.  We met three hikers from Sweden, whom were in the United States for their first time.  Joining us, along with the hikers, was a seven person crew of Konnarock trail workers.  Several women had traveled to Virginia from the Ozarks to build trail and learn new techniques for their own trail projects back home.
We marveled at how the trail had brought us and a nation together in shaping America the beautiful.

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North Carolina NCCAT participants

North Carolina NCCAT participants
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Mary Jane

Mary Jane
On top of Silers Bald