Pride and Tradition: Appalachian Trail style

Thomas Mabry - Honey Badger ImagesOur Town Arts

Instilled in the “Essence of my Being” were lessons learned in my youth. Life deals its blows both inflicted by others and by self and mistakes remain part of the human condition, and my own.

Fortunately for me, “Pride and Tradition” were also instilled in me as a Knoxville native and Central High School Bobcat.

That WILL to succeed in spite of the failures also enabled my passion for the outdoors as a sexagenarian. Sunday’s two-and-a-half-hour hike on the Appalachian Trail in subzero conditions including knee deep snow and chest high drifts reminded me of who and what I really am. Desire met opportunity and an epic adventure ensued. Nature also blessed us with the rarest of sights: an Alpenglow which lit the trees with a stunning pink hue.

This experience was God’s signal that despite the difficulty and fear of going forward, the reward was a view that lit the soul. As I told my friend Timm: “These moments are earned, and we live for them.”

This hike was on the Appalachian Trail on the Tennessee/North Carolina State line. 1.21.2024

Thomas Mabry – Honey Badger Images.  Many of the HoneyBadgerImages are on display at


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