Showers Bring Waterfalls And Flowers For Our Summer Backpacking Trip To Panthertown Valley

Panthertown Valley is one of my favorite hiking spots in North Carolina. It is located near Cashiers, NC in the western section of the State and was purchased by the Nature Conservancy from Duke Power in 1989. Panthertown is now part of the Nantahala National Forest and has been growing rapidly in popularity - especially over the last ten years. Schoolhouse Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls in Panthertown. When we first visited Panthertown in 2001, there was only the occasional … [Read more...]

100% Chance Of Rain? Backpacking To Plum Orchard Shelter

The weatherman said there was a 100% chance of rain today, and he was 100% right!  It rained all morning, and all afternoon.  I confess that  I'm still not sure how I was talked in to this trip, or how we got away with it at all.  Despite the gloomy weather (and our ventures in to Panthertown Valley just last weekend), the wives reluctantly gave the OK - and here we are climbing "As Knob" on the Appalachian Trail about an hour before dark. Our destination is Plum Orchard Shelter. … [Read more...]

And the monsoons came. A tale from Good Friday…

The kids were out of school for Good Friday recently, so we took them backpacking on the Appalachian Trail near Tray Mountain.  Here they are at Tray Gap about a mile from the summit. Even the dog was having a great time at Tray Gap and went straight for a mega muddle puddle at the cross-roads.  Three 4x4 Jeeps did the same and entertained the kids before we hit the Trail.  All got a good smattering of mud as you can see below...  Uh, I gotta sleep with that? We considered … [Read more...]

And The Lackies Return To The Smokies…

We have a long tradition of backpacking the Smokies in the winter, but Brunn and I sit out the tough stuff this year and hike less than half of the ~35 mile route.   While the rest of the crew gets pounded by rain - I fly home from Vegas and Brunn hits the Allman Brothers Tribute show at the Fox in Midtown Atlanta (a worthy choice).  Needless to say, we get a late start on the trip.  Here's Brunn packing at noon on Saturday after the show.       But everything comes with a price and … [Read more...]

We weathered rain, slippery rocks, bears, and put Rebel to rest this weekend

Just returned from a loop hike at Blood Mountain via the Reece Memorial, Freeman, and Appalachian Trails. We were aware that bears were a problem in this area and reminded immediately by a sign at the trailhead. Here's two of our crew at the junction of the three trails. The 1.8 mile hike along the Freeman Trail was wet and slippery and much harder than I remembered it. There's not a lot of elevation change, but it's really rocky in sections. We arrive to an empty Woods Hole Shelter around … [Read more...]