I left my mittens in the Smokies.
It was that night at Maddron Bald on the ridge
after we'd hiked from Davenport Gap --
12 miles, 4,000 feet.
The girl gave us icicles.
Dazed and breathless, we pitched the tent
and scrambled into our sleeping bags.
The morning sun felt good -- Sterling Ridge
on our left, Cosby far below to the right;
Mt. Guyot with its spruces and firs;
lunch at Tri-Corner Knob; then down through
the rhododendrons and mud to McGhee Springs.
Raven Fork -- the beech tree, the icy water,
the boulders, the sunlight.
Cabin Flats and Smokemont -- the rain,
the people with pancakes.
Campfires, backpacks, flapjacks, barley;
sunshine, lichens, blisters, . . . wood-smoke.
Keywords: Great Smoky Mountains, backpacking, hiking, wilderness, beauty