In Episode 6, Kirk (aka SoulGlo) and John (aka Hawkeye) talk about their introduction to backpacking in the early 1990’s. In the show, we discuss trips to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and hikes from Newfound Gap to Ice Water Springs Shelter, Charlie’s Bunion, Peck’s Corner Shelter, Mt. LeConte, and Kephart Shelter. Kirk’s fear of bears is quickly diverted to fear off the aggressive Smoky Mountain shelter mouse and he offers some strategies for dealing with them.
From the Smokies, we migrate the discussion to the nearly 11,000 mile Linville Gorge Wilderness which has multiple trails (including the Bynum Bluff, Conley Cove, and Pinch In Trails) that drop roughly 2000 feet to the Linville River where there are some outstanding campsites in the Gorge. John discusses route finding at dusk, backtracking to the trailhead, and nearly suffocating in his sleeping bag at night.
And finally, we finish with one of the most scenic backcountry destinations in the southeast at Mount Rogers National Recreation Area (and more specifically the Grayson Highlands State Park). We talk about Mt. Rogers, which at 5729′ is the highest point in Virginia, and the wild ponies that roam the open meadows of near Massie’s Gap along the Appalachian Trail (which may, on occasion, poke their head in your tent at dawn).
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