One might assume that after 38 miles of hiking through the Smokies we might have had our fill of the woods for a while.

Apparently not.

The weekend after we got home, the day after I returned from a speaking engagement in Madison, Wi., we headed back out to the Appalachian Trail to climb what is know as the Stairway to Heaven.

The Appalachian Trail

It’s a popular trail, so we went on the early side and found parking along the side of the street near the trailhead.

When all are one and one is all / To be a rock and not to roll

The first part of the hike is fairly moderate but definitely not boring! There’s a boardwalk through marshy fields, wildflowers, a large suspension bridge, train tracks, a cow pasture and even crossing a busy highway until you hit the bottom of the mountain.

After looking both ways and crossing Route 94, it gets slightly more difficult – the Stairway to Heaven is actually a very loosely defined stairway of rocks, which you climb for about a mile or so before hitting pay dirt – an incredible lookout point called Pinwheel Vista.

Pano view from Pinwheel Vista lookout

We sat at the top for a while and ate our traditional Quickchek wraps and apples, enjoying the beautiful late summer day, before making our way back down and saying hi to the cows on the way back to the car.

Β And she’s buying a stairway to heaven

Look, ma! Cows!

House update:Β I promise more home posts are coming! We spent labor day redoing the master closet and we are so close! We just need to get the new door up and it’ll be ready for it’s debut.

Until then, enjoy this early Fall weather!

Savoring the end of the summer on Long Beach Island.




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