The Highlands are famous for the ponies but the views are spectacular as well and are a great change of pace from the dense growth typical of the lower elevations of the Appalachians.
|Great views constantly along the AT connector, AT & Crest Trail|
|A rocky outlook at the AT - Crest Trail connection|
The trails in the area aren't marked that well so we eventually found our way to the Crest Trail and our first night's camp after 10 miles or so. I learned that I'm not a big fan of walking trails that are dual purpose horse trails. The flies, pies and lack of sleep had me ready to sit down and relax.
It wasn't long before we were greeted by the famous ponies. They were fun to watch and VERY curious thanks to all those before us that gave them snacks. We had to politely invite them to find another camp several times.
|Prancing along... this is my meadow!|
|The ponies were certain that dad had pony snacks in his bag|
|Home Sweet Home|
We woke up early the next day, took care of breakfast and hit the trail in hopes of missing possible storms. The walk from our camp to Wise Shelter on the AT was very short (~5-7 miles). After getting there it was exactly as expected - a little dirty, lots of flies and almost as many people. We decided to find a more comfortable camp site. After a short search we found a great spot in hardy grass under a tree. There were still a lot of flies but the pesky hikers were nowhere to be found.
|My MLD Grace Solo & Caldera / Trapper combo|
|Dad prefers the Shires Tarptent Contrail|
|Smiling because we ALMOST missed this connector with rain threatening|
|We did run into some NORMAL wildlife on this trip|
|There isn't a trail in the area that isn't littered with stones|
We were back to the trail head by 8am (I told you it was an early start) and the 4 hour drive home went quickly. All things said, it was a great trip. I did a lot of new gear testing on this trip so keep a watch for those reports later this week.