If you have been out in Pisgah in the last week you might have noticed signs of the government shut down: campgrounds are closed, Sycamore Flats is taped off, a few protesters have been spotted outside of the Pisgah Inn, and all sorts of other small things that add up to a really big thing. Regardless of your political leanings it is clear something about our government is not working.
What you wouldn't have necessarily noticed if you have been out in Pisgah this week is a much bigger symptom of our government's failure: Pisgah District Ranger Derek Ibarguen has signed off on the Courthouse Creek Logging Project and, as anticipated, Summey Cove trail is being closed. A whole lot of other really bad stuff that makes absolutely no rational sense is going to happen in one of the most pristine and lightly traveled areas of the forest. With this decision the US Forest Service is essentially saying NO to Recreation, History and the Environment but yet YES to Industry. Their logic is baffling, deceitful, flawed and quite simply wrong.
And this isn't the first time. The trucks will be rolling into North Mills River soon and a whole other part of the forest is going to be lost to recreation as well. If the paradigm doesn't change soon really bad things are to come.
In an attempt to celebrate fall and this wonderful world we live in Jon C. and I got out on last Saturday for what I guarantee is the best loop in Pisgah. Starting from the Fish Hatchery:
475 > 475B > 225 > Sienard Ridge > Blue Ridge Parkway > 816 > Flat Laurel Creek > 215 > Summey Cove > 140 > 5031 > Farlow Gap > Daniel Ridge > 475 > Davidson River > 475
Except Jon didn't feel like Farlow so we didn't do the full Best Loop Ever and instead came down Longbranch to finish (lame). The leaves were at peak color up on the Parkway and Summey Cove was but a beautiful dream. I jumped in for a swim at the waterfall and even managed to get a picture of a fish!