Tag Archives: Cheoah Bald

Blue Devil’s Redemption on Cheoah

Still thinking of Cheoah Bald. Last week’s hike tickled memories of my first time in 1973. The trail in those days was rocky and eroded — shooting straight and steep up mountainsides, requiring climbers to grab trees to pull themselves up. Now Cheoah trails areImage graded forest service paths which slab around ridges and switchback to eliminate steep grades. We hikers should thank trail planners, builders and maintainers for such amazing feats. Maybe they should thank hikers for making it all necessary. When my character, Blue Devil, climbed Cheoah in THRU: An Appalachian Trail Love Story, he wrote in his journal: “I reached Cheoah peak and breathed deep, deeper than my lungs had ever held, pulling all the pure alpine air into my chest to nourish my heart and my brain and my soul, expunging my bad behavior and exhaling out all the dumb things I’ve ever done in one glorious moment of young black male fervor.”