Posts tagged hiking

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Found along a new section of the Pinhoti Trail. Too bad he didn’t have lots of friends with him (about 5lbs would be a good start). #hiking #pinhoti

Found along a new section of the Pinhoti Trail. Too bad he didn’t have lots of friends with him (about 5lbs would be a good start). #hiking #pinhoti

Filed under pinhoti hiking

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A.T. - Springer Mt. to Woody Gap

This weekend, I was joined by Chris, Dereck and Seth from work for 20 mile hike on the Appalachian Trail. The trip started Friday afternoon with a couple hour drive to USFS 42 near the southern terminus of the A.T.

Because it was getting late and we wanted to be to Stover Creek Shelter before dark, we elected to not hike the 1.8 mile roundtrip to Springer and back. Instead, we quickly gathered our gear and headed 1.8 miles north towards Stover Creek Shelter. Trying to outrun the sunset, we were moving quickly. We covered the 1.8 miles in about 30 minutes, making it before dark.

Dereck and Seth set up the tent they were sharing as Chris and I scouted for the best place to hang our hammocks. Because dark was quickly approaching, we chose a setup that wasn’t optimal, but that would work for the night. Chris and I actually shared one tree for our setup. Because we were so close, our tarps actually overhung each other. It wasn’t the best choice for trees, but it worked.

The next morning, we headed north. We hiked through an area of old growth hemlocks. The sun was shining down through the fog, so we had to stop a few times for pictures. We made the short detour to Long Creek Falls. It’s always worth the short side-trail to see those falls.

We made it to Hawk Mt. Shelter before noon and stopped for lunch and to fill up our water bladders. Pushing on, we knew it would be a hot afternoon. As expected, Sassafras Mountain was quite the challenge. Knowing there wasn’t a place to resupply water for miles, we were packing extra. That didn’t matter, because we were all out before reaching Justus Creek. That creek was a welcome sight. We took a break here and re-hydrated.

Did I mention it was HOT? Leaving Justus Creek, the trail had recently been relocated. The trail used to follow the creek in a Rhododendron tunnel. Not anymore. Now, it climbs to a ridge with no shade. The sun was beating us down pretty bad at this point. After 12.3 miles, we were happy to reach our stopping point for the day, Gooch Mountain Shelter.

Dereck and Seth set up their tent down the hill behind the shelter while Chris and I set up our hammocks in some trees to the left of the shelter. After gathering water at the spring, we cooked supper and retired for the night. I slept much better this night than the first; I always have a hard time sleeping the first night on the trail.

The next morning, after eating breakfast and breaking camp, we had a short 5 mile hike to Woody Gap. We reached Woody Gap before noon and waited for Chris’ wife and parents to pick us up. They arrived with Gatorade and snacks, both greatly appreciated.

We were shuttled back to where I had parked my truck near Springer Mountain. The plan had been to hike the 1.8 miles up Springer and back before heading home. However, due to blisters and some chafing, no one else wanted to make the hike. I wasn’t ready to get off the trail yet. Dereck and Seth were riding with me, so they sat in the air conditioning while I took a run up Springer Mountain and back. Once I had pushed myself to the limit, it was time to head home.

It was a hot trip, but much fun was had by all (minus the chafing some experienced).

Filed under hiking backpacking appalachian trail appalachiantrail

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Bushwhack around the Berry College Reservoir

Where: Berry College Reservoir When: April 20, 2009 Who: Jason & Becki

Becki and I took a stroll today up to the reservoir at Berry College, then decided to bushwhack our way all the way around it. It was a nice walk and fun to see a part of the reservoir away from the road where everyone visits.

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Pinhoti Trail - March 22, 2009

Where: Pinhoti Trail (High Point Trailhead) / west of Rome, GA When: March 22, 2009 Who: Jason, Becki, Braden, Peyton & Mojo

This was a last minute hike. We quickly grabbed some snacks and a couple of hammocks and headed up the Pinhoti Trail for a relaxing afternoon. We had no agenda, except to find a spot on top of the mountain to hang out and relax.

Filed under hiking Pinhoti Trail

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Blood Mountain - March 14, 2009

Who: Jason, Chris, Dereck, Chad Where: Blood Mountain (Appalachian Trail) Conditions: COLD!, Freezing Rain

We met Bruce and Shari on their attempt at an AT thru-hike. Bruce is from New Orleans and is 67 years old. This is his first hike EVER! Update on Bruce: He started March 10, 2009 and finished his AT thru-hike January 2, 2010! He took his time, but he did it!

More photos at Flickr

Filed under hiking appalachiantrail

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Springer Mountain - March 15, 2009

Where: Appalachian Trail (Springer Mountain) Who: Jason When: March 15, 2009 Weather: Cold and foggy

I had planned to hike to Springer Mountain, then do a loop hike on the Benton Mackaye Trail. However, plans changed. When I was sitting on top of Springer Mountain, a man on his first day of his attempt at an AT thru-hike came stumbling up the trail. He had hurt his back fairly bad on the approach trail. As soon as he reached the start of the AT, he was done. He just needed help getting off the mountain. There were others there, but they were all starting their thru-hikes. I volunteered to change my plans and help the guy down the mountain. I couldn’t believe I was helping a guy quit his thru-hike attempt before it really started, but it had to be done.

Filed under hiking appalachiantrail

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Cloudland Canyon - February 7, 2009

Where: Cloudland Canyon West Rim Loop Trail Who: Jason, Becki, David, Rex, Donna

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Black Mountain, NC

Braden and I took a hike today near Black Mountain, NC.

We hiked to uncharted territory…literally:

Becki got mad at me when she saw how I admired the view from a cliff:

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Rabun Bald - August 7-8, 2004

Rabun Bald is the 2nd highest mountain in Georgia, slightly behind Brasstown Bald. Jackson and I parked in North Carolina and hiked the Bartram Trail south into Georgia.

The fire tower on Rabun Bald has long since been converted to a viewing platform, giving you a 360 degree view of the surrounding mountains. And what a view it is!

Since it was such a nice day and the night was supposed to be equally as nice, we opted to “cowboy camp” on top of the tower. Little did we know the scare we would get, or how cold it would get in early August.

First, the weather…we were shocked to wake up to find the weather up on the mountain in the upper 30’s. That’s not what we were expecting, so it made for a chilly night.

Now…what scared us? Well, just before midnight, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. We could see more stars than I can ever remember being able to see. We saw a couple of shooting stars and even a satellite fly over. And then it happened. Being just before midnight, it was very dark. All of a sudden, we saw this light approaching us from the north. It was as if there was a HUGE light shining down on the mountain. Soon, the light was directly on top of us. It was so bright we couldn’t look towards it. We had no clue where this light came from. It lasted only a few seconds, then continued south down the mountain. As it reached the valley below us to the south, it disappeared. It just vanished. There was no sound, no helicopters above us, nothing. It took us a few minutes to process what we had seen, but we eventually realized what it was. We had experienced a very rare event, an Iridium Flare.

The satellite high above us turned at just the right time to reflect the sunlight directly down on us. What are the chances? I’m sure I’ll never experience such an event again. It was a little scary at first, then quite exciting to think that we were in just the right place at the right time to see it.

The next morning, clouds moved in, causing the valley to look like an ocean. Just another cool event on a great trip up Rabun Bald.

Filed under hiking backpacking