Adventures in Pisgah

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Bonas Defeat Again

Accessing Bonas Defeat from the upstream side can be difficult. The easiest way in is on private property that has very clear warnings to anyone who might be tempted to go that way. There is a social trail that leads into the gorge from Panthertown but you have to know the trail and it adds substantial mileage. Or there is a lake you can cross that takes you right there. For this year's trip we opted for the lake option and decided to boat in and camp the night before so we could get an early start for an out and back trip through Bonas Defeat.  Camping Friday night was nothing short of amazing. The moon and stars and lake were all just too much to handle and made me very appreciative of how lucky I am to live the life I do.

Saturday morning and six of us were up early and after a very short paddle started hiking down Bonas Defeat. I was surprised that after four trips through the gorge it still seemed different and was still a mind blowing landscape. It is a very unforgiving place with high consequences and two in our group turned around after a short way down the gorge and opted to explore Dismal Falls in the Big Pisgah tract instead. The rest of us made our way down the gorge and then back up again. This trip was highlighted by lots of stemming and several very tight hole squeezes and then of course the big boulder problem. It took us hours to go the two miles down to the confluence and as we were making our way back up storm clouds appeared in front of us and we did our best to hustle as Bonas Defeat is not the best place to be in a storm. But the trail isn't like other trails and hustle is a relative word but the return trip was much faster but not fast enough to beat the storm. We made it through the worst of it before the heavens opened and the brief storm did little more than cool us off.

After almost six hours of very challenging boulder hopping, stemming, squeezing, climbing, swimming and crawling it was a relief to see our boats still waiting for us on the shore. The mile long paddle back to the put in provided the perfect opportunity to reflect on another excellent adventure.
















Sunday, July 31, 2016

Bonas Defeat Prologue

For a warm up to our Bonas Defeat tripfour of us met at Paradise Falls Friday evening and did a quick trip down that waterfall.







Saturday, July 16, 2016


It is hard to remember that just a few months ago I was busy riding bikes and running across mountains as now I seem to be spending my time floating across lakes and sliding down ropes on waterfalls. But summer is here and the time is right for playing in the water.

Last weekend's adventure found me in an exotic land where Edmund and I paddled an impossible distance across an enormous lake to a hidden cove where a pristine mountain stream tumbled into the lake. I parked my kayak on a stone and we spent the next few hours rappelling the waterfall and playing in the lake. The rappel was actually really good with a tight and technical top section and then a second pitch down into the lake that we determined could safely be jumped. After getting our fill we were faced with the impossible paddle back to the boat launch and were quite exhausted by the time the journey was over.








Sunday morning coming down and I find myself at yet another lake with Terri and not wanting to do much but lay back and enjoy the ride.


Friday, July 8, 2016

Saturday, June 18, 2016

mosquitos on the river

Last weekend was the Pisgah Nation Wilson Creek SWEaTfest but before the Saturday run I made a quick stop in Charlotte for the Dead and Co. concert. I had a drink or two in the parking lot but then had to limit myself to nothing but kool aide for the concert itself. The tour opening show was surprisingly good and much fun was had. After the show I was greeted by a huge traffic jam and wasn't going anywhere fast. The gentleman parked next to me kept trying to get me to keep drinking from his handle of whiskey but I had to decline as I had a two hour drive before my 8am run...


It was 1am before I left the parking lot and 3am before I was turning onto Brown Mountain Beach Road. Driving through the Wilson Creek Gorge at that hour was a surreal experience and when I got to the Harper Creek trail head I almost wanted to just tap the horn, shake the tambourine and keep driving. Instead I pulled in and managed to get a few hours of sleep before I woke to the sound of cars pulling in and knew the run would be starting soon. I got my stuff together and we all chatted for a few minutes before starting the run.

A steep climb up Yellow Buck Mtn. started the run and with the previous night's concert still ringing in my head I wondered what I was in for. The first half of the run would be mainly up hill with a few rollers thrown in for good measure and the first big highlight came on Little Lost Cove Cliffs where big views of Grandfather Mtn. abounded.


From there it was a little more trail and then a short stretch on a gravel road before starting down North Harper Creek trail.


From there I would be following the creek back to the finish where along the way I would pass by several waterfalls and the trail would go back and forth between nice and gentle single track to  very rocky stream side terrain as I crossed my way back and forth across the creek. I had stopped for awhile on Little Lost Cove Cliffs and then stopped to explore several of the waterfalls and figured I had to be the last runner out and tried to just keep moving. The previous day's festivities had me a little tired and as I started to get a little chaffing I felt like Black Peter and that the run might never end. I stopped to swim at a few of the waterfalls and let the rejuvenative powers of nature wash over me. The biggest waterfall came just a mile from the finish and was the perfect place for an extended break.

After the run we all sat in Wilson Creek drinking cold beer for a couple of hours. It was the perfect start to what is sure to be a long crazy summer. One Nation Under Pisgah!