AT Happiness: My First Blue Blaze
Along the Appalachian Trail, the trail is marked with white blazes to mark the trail.
There are also blue blazes that mark some side trails. Often these side trails avoid a peak or hard climb on the trail.
Purists hiking the trail are folks dedicated to seeing all 180,000 plus white blazes on the trail. We all start the trail hoping to be purists. We all also acknowledge that for a lot of reasons we may need to do a blue blaze at some point.
My first one came this week, I’m a bad descender and while nursing a bad knee, I blue blazed Albert Mountain. On the profile the descent looked particularly gnarly. Turned out, as I would hear from others, that the descent was actually not bad. However, not knowing that in advance, it was the call I made.
I’ll admit there is the tiniest bit of shame in this admission and the purists will look down on me. All I can say is hike your own hike. If I make it all the way to Maine, I’ll still be pretty damn proud of what I’ve accomplished, regardless of the blue blazes along the way. – Rev Kane
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