It is a truth universally acknowledged that when one has the opportunity to hike with wild ponies, one must make haste and go.
— Jane Austen/Stephanie Carney
Wild ponies. Need there be any other motivation to drive three hours from Knoxville, Tennessee up into the Grayson Highlands of Virginia? I think not. Wild ponies are practically
akin to unicorns, the appeal so great, the notion so magical.
The three-hour drive was forest beautiful, dotted with Christmas tree farms, but could also win the award for Drive Most Likely To Ensure Car Sickness For Every
Passenger. The day was gray and overcast, with spitting rain and wind. A large portion of the state park was closed for an active hunt. (Nothing like hiking with shots ringing in the distance.) Plus, we knew we were under-dressed. These conditions are not necessarily
a recipe for hiking success.
We had hiked an inconsequential distance when I sensed that this hike could go south rapidly. I looked over at my son next to me and said, “The goal is for everyone to be encouraged enough to make it to the top. We do this together.”