The Forbidding Gate

When I first hiked Hump Mountain in Tennessee, back in early December 2000, it was below freezing, and a fierce wind blew--so fierce that I was forced to lean into the wind at a 60-degree angle while I hiked. The gate that led to the bald was encased in ice, and forbidding-looking icicles hung from the horizontal bars of it. Visibility was maybe ten feet, and the ground was covered with a mix of slick ice and snow.

Here's what the gate looks like in spring, and behind me is what the beginning of the bald looks like when there's a view.


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