Last weekend, I took a group of Boy Scouts backpacking up the Appalachian Trail to The Priest, which is one of the higher summits in Virginia, topping out just over 4000 ft.  The elevation gain over the five mile ascent was about 3200 ft, so it was fairly steep with lots of switchbacks and ravines.  A real nice climb, but I am no spring chicken, so I was huffing and puffing at times with 40 pounds on my back, barely able to see the hiking boots of the boys ahead of me.  But, I had a steady, if a bit slow, pace that suited me, and it was an absolutely beautiful day to be in the wilderness.

The payoff, off course, was the view from the summit, which was breathtaking.

View West from The Priest. ©Jeff Saxman

We had just a great group of boys on the trip, and my thanks to them for making the trip so enjoyable.  Thanks also to the other dad’s the went along and helped.  It was definitely one for the memory book, and each time I spend time in the mountains, I feel more and more that is where I belong.