This past weekend was one for the record books. We ended up forging a stream and then heading down a forestry service road to the place where the Appalachian Trail crosses over Tray Mountain.

It was an absolutely beautiful day. It was still early spring in the mountains—sun streaming through the thinly, leafed trees and deeply jeweled blue sky. White blazes mark the AT.

“If you’re heading to the Appalachian Trail this spring,” writes a Thru Hiker, “and you plan to camp between Jarrard Gap and Neels Gap add a bear canister to your gear list.” The trail in this photo is the one the hiker was writing about— Neels Gap one way and the other way leads to Jarrard Gap.

Absolutely beautiful.