"The climbing begins immediately," said our guidebook about the Mt. Mitchell trail. It should also have said, "it doesn't stop climbing for 5.7 miles." This is what much of the trial looks like near the trailhead at Black Mountain Campground.
Things got cooler and less humid after we climbed past the hardwood zone. This little area in a Spruce forest was a great spot for a picnic.
I don't know what insect made this, but it looks pretty cool. Click on the image to see the detailed weaving.
I like lichens.
Much of the trail looked like this, when it wasn't covered with loose stones. It's a challenge not only because it's relentlessly uphill (then downhill), but because you have to pay attention to every foot placement.
This meadow is about 1000 vertical feet below the summit, and is a great spot for campers.
Though most of the trail is heavily forested, the switchbacks across a cut for power lines gave us nice vistas. Almost to the top!
Obviously, they didn't hike to the summit.
But they were nice. We thought about asking them to give us a ride to the bottom, since we were already footsore from the ascent. But we slogged back down on foot, with Sam setting us a very brisk pace.