Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Deep Gap Backpacking Trip

Dad & I hiked the Deep Gap Trail at Mt. Mitchell this past weekend (7-19 & 20, 2008). Mt. Mitchell is the highest peak east of the Mississippi River at 6,684 ft. The Deep Gap Trail starts at Mt. Mitchell and tracks the ridge line of several 6,000ft peaks before reaching a grassy knoll named Commissary Ridge. The trail is steep and rugged and there was almost no water to filter but we were prepared and all ended well.

Dad & me on Mt. Craig.

A nice view of the Black Mountains (part of the Smokey Mountain Range).

Yours truly - the trail follows the ridgeline in the background.

Sections of the trail are STEEP.

Another great vista.

Wild irises at Commissary Ridge.

Sunrise at 6,000 ft.

Watch that last step...

Nice photo of a weathered tree and the Smokies in the background.

Me relaxing - almost done.

King of the hill!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Foothills Trail - Bad Creek Access to Oconee State Park

Dad & I were back on the FHT this weekend. I took Friday off so we could squeeze in 30 miles between Bad Creek Access & Oconee State Park. This finishes the FHT for me - dad reminds me AFTER he finished the FHT. I'm only 34 so the way I see it he's had a lot more time to get it done. We had good weather for most of the trip. To avoid some severe thunderstorms Sunday morning we woke up at 11PM Saturday and hiked the remaining 8.3 miles out in the pitch dark. That's an interesting way to experience the trail - just be careful!

Trillium - these were in bloom all along the entire hike.

Whitewater River - this is where we had lunch on the first day

Nice view of the sky near the Whitewater River.

Steps - lots and lots of steps - then a few more.

Upper Whitewater Falls

View of Lake Jocassee from the Grassy Knob escarpment near the Upper Whitewater Falls.

Blaze azaleas on the trail near Round Mountain.

Foothills trail - close to Sloan Bridge (SC107).

Kings Mountain Falls

Small wildflowers by the side of the Chatooga River.

Dad & me at the Whitewater Falls overlook on the first day.

This is a photo of me finishing the FHT. 5-10-2008