Adventures in Pisgah

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Montreat

Two of my favorite things to do in the outdoors are exploring new trails and go on adventures. The more trails I explore and the more adventures I have the harder it becomes to do either. Over the years I have steadily scratched more trails off the list and find myself looking at more maps and driving further and further on my outings. That makes it hard to always be checking out new trails and most often these days I find myself doing trails I have done many times due to their proximity to my house. In an effort to mix things up a little, two weeks ago I decided to do the Seven Sisters route for the first time since the race last spring.

I've done the route several times and should know it but I ended up making a few navigational errors that resulted in both an adventure as well as seeing two new to me trails. Things started out just fine but then when I found myself on top of the Rainbow Mountain Summit that seemed a little wrong but was an easy enough mistake to fix.


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Back out on the East Ridge Trail, everything was going great and I was following the directions and soaking in the views on this very warm fall day.


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Then I noticed the blaze switched colors but I hadn't seen an intersection so I thought I was still on course. As I continued the trail got less and less familiar and I was certain I was off course but figured I would pop out somewhere on the old rail grade that goes up to Greybeard. Then I found myself descending a very steep trail and by the time I realized I was losing too much elevation I saw a building and found myself at the campground right by the Greybeard trailhead.  You can't get much more wrong than that but the mistake also meant that I had done the Rocky Head trail for the first time.

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Going back up and completing the route would have taken too much time so instead, I headed across the road and headed up Big Piney. I had been down Big Piney before but had never been past there on West Ridge so once at the top I went left and then down Stomping Ground and Little Piney - both of which I had never been on before. So, in the end, a few navigational errors lead me to explore three new to me trails and made for a perfect mini adventure.
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Monday, December 10, 2018

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Snook's Nose

I got out for a good out and back run on Snook's Nose two weekends ago. It was a perfect fall day with the foilage at peak color and the Green Knob firetowermade for the perfect destination. At just over four miles to the top with almost 3500' of climbing the trail is steep but quite managable.

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Stratton Bald to Naked Ground

My explorations in Joyce Kilmer Slickrock Wilderness continued earlier last month with a nice two-day backpacking trip with Dennis. After my adventure on Slickrock Creek trail, I decided I had better pick something reasonable so as to not lose a friend and settled on the Stratton Bald to Naked Ground loop. I had done Naked Ground earlier in the year and knew it was clear and in good shape and had been told that Stratton Bald trail was also clear so it seemed like there would not be the tangles of deadfall that had tortured me over Labor Day weekend.

Stratton Bald would end up being the crux of this trip with the first day starting with hard hiking on a seldom traveled trail. The beta I had been given ended up not quite being true with the first half of the trail being very overgrown and covered with plenty of deadfalls. I had been up late at the GReensky Bluegrass concert the night before and the trail seemed exceptionally hard to me. Water was at a premium and after losing the trail for a little while due to a rattlesnake when we finally arrived at Obediah Gap where we would make the first camp we had little water left and were rather concerned about what the next day would entail.

Luckily once we got to the Swan Cabin area the trail was indeed clear and there was water to be had. Naked Ground is in phenomenal shape thanks to all the hard work done by SAWs and was quite pleasant hiking down to the bottom where we set up our last camp and had a very relaxing evening before making the leisurely hike out the next morning.



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Sunday, November 4, 2018

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Tsali

I really like Tsali. It is a great place to go camp for a night or two. You can bike or hike or run or swim or paddle or whatever you want. It is a  quite pleasant place.

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