The Proving Ground

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I survived Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It sounds like a slogan on a gift-shop t-shirt that a day-tripping tourist would buy. But I gave it some thought, and that’s the best way I can put it. Everyone told me the Smokies would be hard, but I still underestimated these mountains. I’ll come right out […]

5/4 The Power and the Glory

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Two days ago, I reckoned with my own death. Not in a hypothetical, philosophical sense, either. The most real, tangible sense imaginable. And it was one of the most holy, humbling, and exhilarating things I’ve ever experienced. Now today wasn’t the first time I’ve given mortality a good long look in the eye. I’ve had […]

Soul Food 

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I anticipate that by the time you’re reading this, I’ll be a mile up, approaching the summit of Wayah Bald, roughly 120 miles away from my starting point at Springer Mountain. But right now, I’m laying in a hammock on the front porch of Gooder Grove Hostel wearing nothing but a pair of sparkly red […]