FAVORITE PHOTOS

This is a collection of some favorite pics from the Trail. The highlighted text links to the hike, and you can click the photograph to enlarge it for a better look. To jump to a specific category, follow these links:

Top TenAppalachian Trail, Other Favorites, Southeastern U.S.

 

The Top Ten

 

bullet Bear Rock Falls – Appalachian Trail, Western Massachusetts – August 16, 1994.

Nomad, the Wisconsin Brothers, and I got up early for this sunrise at Bear Rock Falls along the Appalachian Trail in western Massachusetts. The valley floor was scattered with morning fog, and the resulting picture is one of my favorites from the 1994 thru-hike. Jive Turkey (the eldest of the Wisconsin Brothers) was so intent on catching the sunrise that he slept on a rocky outcrop that overlooked the valley throughout the night.

 

bullet Zone 28, Denali National Park – Central Alaska – June 30, 2000.

Day 3 wasn’t much easier than Day 2 in Denali (although much better than Day 1). This final bushwack down to the river was much harder than it looked from the ridge where we spotted the Denali Park Road where we planned to catch the bus outta here. The Joker and I took turns breaking trail in the thick vegetation and we expected to see a moose at any minute since their scat was everywhere, but all we saw were moseys and green thickets on the decent.

 

bullet Glenn’s Lake, Glacier National Park, Western Montana – July 16, 1996.

Mackie and I were on the trail at 9:15am this morning, and immediately had to ford a river at the edge of Glenn’s Lake. The water was numbing with the summer snowmelt underway, but the scene was epic. I snapped this photo from the opposite bank while Mackie clung to a guide line that the park service set to counter the river current. We hiked over 12 miles to return to our vehicle, but had completely run out of water when we reached it. Fortunately, warm Molson’s were in the cooler and we drank them in the afternoon sun to quench our thirst.

 

bullet Lakes Of The Clouds Hut, Central New Hampshire – September 14, 1994.

Thick clouds rolled across this hut in the White Mountains just before sunset. The shelter sits on the Appalachian Trail and is appropriately named the Lakes of the Clouds hut by the Appalachian Mountains Club (AMC). This photo was taken from a ridge above the hut after I completed an evening hike to the summit of Mount Washington with some fellow thru-hikers. We spent the night in an area called “the dungeon” and paid $5 for the accomodations rather than the $65 for access to the main facilities.

 

bullet Intermediate Lake, Isle Royale National Park, Northern Michigan – July 8, 1996.

Mackie and I were fishing one evening on Intermediate Lake in Isle Royale National Park when I spotted something that looked like the Lochness monster in the distance. It turned out to be a moose that was swimming across the lake in the summer twilight. As we got closer, we could hear the moose grunting his way across Intermediate Lake. I snapped this photo from the back of the boat just before the Moose reached the shore.

 

 

bullet Mount Washington Summit – Appalachian Trail, Central New Hampshire – September 15, 1994.

Flare and Bohemian posed for this photo on the summit of Mt. Washington (which is marked by the sign to the left.) We met up with a large group of thru-hikers for lunch in the summit cafe, then hiked to the Madison Hut for the night. The place was packed with vacationers who had come to see the fall foilage, but the crew let the thru-hikers stay for free (in exchange for a few hours of work.) In the basement, I found $70 in a cardboard box during my work assignment and turned it over to the crew. Two months later, I got $15 in the mail. It seems the crew split $60 between themselves and sent me the extra $15.

 

bullet Mt. Hood, Mt. Hood National Forest – North Central Oregon – July 20, 1996.

The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) cuts through the Mt. Hood National Forest and it shares a name with the Timberline Trail #600 near Timberline Lodge. Slawdog, Mackie and I hiked this trail and camped near the base of Mount Hood next to the PCT. I shot this photo in a meadow just off the Pacific Crest Trail and we camped nearby and caught a great sunset from a rock outcropping in the area.

 

bullet Alkalai Flats, White Sands National Monument, South Central New Mexico – July 28, 1996.

Mackie and I rolled into the White Sands National Monument in the late afternoon during our cross-country road trip and we hiked and climbed the sand dunes for a few hours before sunset. Mackie appears to be “floating” in this photograph that I shot from a distance of about twenty feet, but he was actually jumping off the sand dune. He positioned his body so it didn’t look like he had a running start.

 

bullet Clarendon Gorge – Appalachian Trail, Southern Vermont – August 29, 1994.

Wicked Ale is shown in the foreground, while Tired Dogs crosses the Mill River suspension bridge in Calrendon Gorge. We played in the gorge for an hour, then hitched to the Killington Ski Area for a late lunch.

 

bullet Little Rock Pond – Appalachian Trail, Southern Vermont – August 28, 1994.

Tired Dogs, Laid Back Sue, and I walked toward Little Rock Pond and heard some commotion ahead. Two loud screams erupted from the lake, followed by a huge splash. Once we got to the shore we realized that two people had jumped into the lake from a rock outcropping about 30 feet up the ridge. It was hot, and this seemed like a good idea to me. So we hiked to the other side of the lake, and I jumped. The water was icy cold though, and I scrambled back to shore rather quickly. Laid Back Sue and Tired Dogs couldn’t be persuaded to follow suit, so we hiked higher on the ridge and snapped this final picture of the lake before continuing along on the Appalachian Trail.

 

Appalachian Trail

 

Springer Mountain – Appalachian Trail, North Georgia – April 11, 1994.

The 8.1 mile climb from Amicalola Falls State Park to Springer Mountain is a brutal introduction to long distance hiking, especially with an overloaded pack. The Approach Trail (as it is called) is blazed in blue, and I followed it all day with two other hikers – Bull and the Red Rainman. When we finally saw the first white blaze that marked the start of the Appalachian Trail, it was a liberating moment for all of us. Not only had we finished the difficult climb, but a six month adventure had begun. The sunset that night was perfect, and this photo captured the first (and undoubtedly one of the most memorable) evenings of the thru-hike.

 

Max’s Patch – Appalachian Trail, Western North Carolina – May 16, 1994.

I walked over the summit of Max’s Patch on the Appalachian Trail, and noticed a large group of thru-hiker’s sitting in the meadow on the north side of the mountain. This picture was taken right before the entire group did a massive pile-on and buried me under 9 people.

 

Near Dismal Creek Falls – Appalachian Trail, Southwestern Virginia – June 7, 1994.

It was hot and humid today, and none of us were motivated to hike. Around noon, The Weight, Black Sunshine and I crossed a suspension bridge over the river next to VA 606. We noticed two guys from a utility company swimming on their lunch break and walked over to join them on a rope swing that hung out over the river. They were nice enough to take us to a small store nearby where we loaded up on deli sandwiches, ice cream, and sodas. After a lengthy break, we discovered that Dismal Creek Falls was nearby and hiked to it to camp for the night.

 

Dismal Creek Falls – Appalachian Trail, Southwestern Virginia – June 7, 1994.

We arrived at Dismal Creek Falls in the late afternoon and hung out on top of the waterfalls while Marathon Man tried his luck at fishing. He eventually succeeded and cooked up a trout for dinner. It tasted better than I expected, and we washed it down with a few brews we got at the grocery. Unfortunately, the rain came before sunset and we all spent the rest of the evening in our tents.

 

High Rock – Appalachian Trail, Western Maryland – July 12, 1994.

Laid Back Sue and I arrived at High Rock on the Maryland/Pennsylvania border just as the sun was setting. The place was packed with locals who were drinking beers and watching the sunset. One guy offered Sue and I a ride to Pen Mar, and we camped there for the night under the pavillion. The bugs were so bad that I ended up pitching my tent for some insect relief. Sue decided to tough it out, slept under the stars, and woke the following morning with over 25 bites on her right arm.

 

Near Delaware Water Gap – Appalachian Trail, Central Pennsylvania – July 28, 1994.

My only encounter with a rattlesnake before the thru-hike was in New Mexico in 1983. In Pennsylvania, however, they seemed to be everywhere. Laid Back Sue and I spotted six within a four day period and most of them were either on the trail, or within a foot of it. I stopped listening to my Walkman in Pennsylvania after nearly stepping on one that I didn’t hear since my tunes blaring. Without contacts (which I had quit wearing) they were even harder to spot. Fortunately, I never saw another once I left Pennsylvania, but I did get this choice shot right before we entered New Jersey.

 

Bear Rock Falls Sunrise – Appalachian Trail, Western Massachusetts – August 16, 1994.

Nomad, the Wisconsin Brothers, and I got up early for this sunrise at Bear Rock Falls along the Appalachian Trail in western Massachusetts. The valley floor was scattered with morning fog, and the resulting picture is one of my favorites from the 1994 thru-hike. Jive Turkey (the eldest of the Wisconsin Brothers) was so intent on catching the sunrise that he slept on a rocky outcrop that overlooked the valley throughout the night.

 

The Appalachian Trail at I-90, Western Massachusetts – August 18, 1994.

It’s always strange to spend the day in the remote backcountry of the Appalachian Trail and suddenly stumble out of the wilderness and across a major interstate. I snapped this picture of Babbles and Tired Dogs after we crossed I-90 near Lee, Massachusettes. We had just spent two days at the Upper Goose Pond cabin where we celebrated the caretakers birthday with a large thru-hiker crowd.

 

Little Rock Pond – Appalachian Trail, Southern Vermont – August 28, 1994.

Tired Dogs, Laid Back Sue, and I walked toward Little Rock Pond and heard some commotion ahead. Two loud screams erupted from the lake, followed by a huge splash. Once we got to the shore we realized that two people had jumped into the lake from a rock outcropping about 30 feet up the ridge. It was hot, and this seemed like a good idea to me. So we hiked to the other side of the lake, and I jumped. The water was icy cold though, and I scrambled back to shore rather quickly. Laid Back Sue and Tired Dogs couldn’t be persuaded to follow suit, so we hiked higher on the ridge and snapped this final picture of the lake before continuing along on the Appalachian Trail.

 

Clarendon Gorge – Appalachian Trail, Southern Vermont – August 29, 1994.

Laid Back Sue is seen here crossing the Mill River suspension bridge in Calrendon Gorge just outside of Killington, Vermont. The area is popular as a swimming hole with the locals, but today we mostly had it to ourselves and played around here for a solid hour before hitching to the Killington Ski Area.

 

Clarendon Gorge – Appalachian Trail, Southern Vermont – August 29, 1994.

Wicked Ale is shown in the foreground, while Tired Dogs crosses the Mill River suspension bridge in Calrendon Gorge. We played in the gorge for an hour, then hitched to the Killington Ski Area for a late lunch.

 

Lakes Of The Clouds Hut, Central New Hampshire – September 14, 1994.

Thick clouds rolled across this hut in the White Mountains just before sunset. The shelter sits on the Appalachian Trail and is appropriately named the Lakes of the Clouds hut by the Appalachian Mountains Club (AMC). This photo was taken from a ridge above the hut after I completed an evening hike to the summit of Mount Washington with some fellow thru-hikers. We spent the night in an area called “the dungeon” and paid $5 for the accomodations rather than the $65 for access to the main facilities.

 

Mount Washington – Appalachian Trail, Central New Hampshire – September 15, 1994.

The radio towers of Mt. Washington are in the upper left hand corner of this picture taken from the Lakes of the Clouds Hut. It was a perfect fall day when I took this photo. Temperatures were in the 60′s, and the 90 mile visibility exposed five states: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. A group of hikers left the hut about 15 minutes ahead of me and can be seen on the ridge climbing toward the summit.

 

Mount Washington Summit – Appalachian Trail, Central New Hampshire – September 15, 1994.

Flare and Bohemian posed for this photo on the summit of Mt. Washington (which is marked by the sign to the left.) We met up with a large group of thru-hikers for lunch in the summit cafe, then hiked to the Madison Hut for the night. The place was packed with vacationers who had come to see the fall foilage, but the crew let the thru-hikers stay for free (in exchange for a few hours of work.) In the basement, I found $70 in a cardboard box during my work assignment and turned it over to the crew. Two months later, I got $15 in the mail. It seems the crew split $60 between themselves and sent me the extra $15.

 

Winding Stair Gap – Appalachian Trail, Western North Carolina – October 19, 1996.

This photo was shot at the conclusion of a weekend trip on the Appalachian Trail in western North Carolina. We had great fall weather during the day, but evening temps were chilly to say the least – 20 degrees. The Joker and The Rookie tried to sleep on the summit overnight but abandoned the attempt at 3am and headed back to the tents.

 

Other Favorites

 

bullet Mt. Hood, Mt. Hood National Forest – North Central Oregon – July 20, 1996.

The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) cuts through the Mt. Hood National Forest and it shares a name with the Timberline Trail #600 near Timberline Lodge. Slawdog, Mackie and I hiked this trail and camped near the base of Mount Hood next to the PCT. I shot this photo in a meadow just off the Pacific Crest Trail and we camped nearby and caught a great sunset from a rock outcropping in the area.

 

bullet Glacier Bay, Glacier Bay National Park – Southwest Alaska – July 5, 2001.

We were fishing for King Salmon in a small bay not far from Juneau, Alaska when the captain chucked some dead bait fish overboard. Some eagles were perched up in the trees and this one came down for the free meal. I snapped this shot right after he hit the water and grabbed the dead bait fish. We didn’t catch any King Salmon that day, but we caught a few Chum Salmon so it wasn’t a total bust on the water.

 

bullet Intermediate Lake Isle Royale National Park, Northern Michigan – July 8, 1996.

Mackie and I were fishing one evening on Intermediate Lake in Isle Royale National Park when I spotted something that looked like the Lochness monster in the distance. It turned out to be a moose that was swimming across the lake in the summer twilight. As we got closer, we could hear the moose grunting his way across Intermediate Lake. I snapped this photo from the back of the boat just before the Moose reached the shore.

 

bullet Zone 28, Denali National Park – Central Alaska – June 30, 2000.

We hiked for eight hours along the Teklankia River and covered only two miles on our first day in Zone 28. This was the brutal ascent that awaited us on Day 2 when we decided to flee the canyon we dubbed Hells Canyon after The Camel nearly lost his life getting water for his morning coffee. The climb out of here was no picnic and Smoky was offering huge sums of money for someone to haul his pack the last 1000 feet.

 

bullet Vail Backcountry, White River National Forest – Central Colorado – July 21, 2000.

ALE and I decided to do an overnight backpacking trip near the Vail ski resort to explore the White River National Forest in Summit County. Vail has a gondola that is open in the summer months and it’s much easier to access the higher elevations by catching a ride. We rode the gondola, then hiked a few miles into the Vail backcountry to set-up camp at 10,700 feet. The views from a large meadow near an exposed ridge were outstanding, especially at sunset.

 

bullet Zone 28, Denali National Park – Central Alaska – June 30, 2000.

Day 3 wasn’t much easier than Day 2 in Denali (although much better than Day 1). This final bushwack down to the river was much harder than it looked from the ridge where we spotted the Denali Park Road where we planned to catch the bus outta here. The Joker and I took turns breaking trail in the thick vegetation and we expected to see a moose at any minute since their scat was everywhere, but all we saw were moseys and green thickets on the decent.

 

bullet Redwood Creek, Redwood National Park, North Western California – July 23, 1996.

This National Park has some of the largest trees in the world along Redwood Creek not far from the Pacific Coast in Northern California. The trees are so big, you can actually drive a car through one at a tourist stop not far from the park. I shot this photo from the base of a giant Redwood along the Creek.

 

bullet Summerland Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, North Central Colorado – October 1, 1993.

I hiked this section with The Cowboy in the southwestern corner of Rocky Mountain National Park near Grand Lake. We spent three days hiking past meadows and trout streams along the North Inlet Trail to the Porcupine backcountry campsite. Overnight temperatures were well into the 20′s during our hike in October and I snapped this sunset picture our first night on the trail from a small meadow not far from our designated campsite.

 

bullet Glenn’s Lake, Gacier National Park, Western Montana – July 16, 1996.

Mackie and I were on the trail at 9:15am this morning, and immediately had to ford a river at the edge of Glenn’s Lake. The water was numbing with the summer snowmelt underway, but the scene was epic. I snapped this photo from the opposite bank while Mackie clung to a guide line that the park service set to counter the river current. We hiked over 12 miles to return to our vehicle, but had completely run out of water when we reached it. Fortunately, warm Molson’s were in the cooler and we drank them in the afternoon sun to quench our thirst.

 

bullet Alkalai Flats, White Sands National Monument, South Central New Mexico – July 28, 1996.

Mackie and I rolled into the White Sands National Monument in the late afternoon during our cross-country road trip and we hiked and climbed the sand dunes for a few hours before sunset. Mackie appears to be “floating” in this photograph that I shot from a distance of about twenty feet, but he was actually jumping off the sand dune. He positioned his body so it didn’t look like he had a running start.

 

bullet Bradley Lake, Grand Teton National Park – Northwestern Wyoming – June 28, 1998.

Bradley Lake (7,022 feet) has mature forests of lodgepole pine, Engelmann spruce, and alpine fir. One morning, The Ox and I discovered that this is prime moose habitat as we hiked back to the trailhead. This large bull moose was walking directly toward us on the Bradley Lake Trail as we rounded the lake on the eastern shore. We backed up and got out of his way, but he kept coming. This gave me enough time to snap a photo as we retreated deeper into the woods.

 

 

Southeast

 

bullet Rabun Bald, Bartram Trail – Northeast Georgia – December 7, 1997.

I’ve been chased off the summit of Rabun Bald by a thunderstorm just about every time I’ve camped on it. On this winter trip, however, we had perfect weather and I snapped this shot of the tower from the Bartram Trail.

 

bullet King Creek Falls, Chattooga National Wild And Scenic River – Northeast Georgia – June 10, 2000.

The hike to King Creek Falls is an easy one that follows the river southbound from the Burrells Ford Parking Area and picks up a spur trail that leads about 0.3 miles to the falls. It drops 60-70 feet into a U-shaped cove that has a small beach at the base. We hiked here in the summer of 2000 and took a long break at the falls to cool off.

 

bullet Stafford Beach, Cumberland Island National Park, Southeast Georgia – December 26, 1997.

The Pixie and I were hiking back to the Cumberland Island Visitor’s Center from Stafford Beach when we passed a herd of wild horses grazing along the Atlantic Ocean. It made for a great picture, although the horses weren’t exactly skiddish of hikers and backpackers. Cumberland Island is a popular destination in Southern Georgia and most of the animals on the island are accustomed people and unafraid in their presence.

 

bullet Sauratown Ridge, Hanging Rock State Park, Northwestern North Carolina – September 1989.

I caught a lot of great sunsets from this ridge near Hanging Rock State Park. On this occasion, I happened to have a camera and caught the sun dropping below the horizon just west of Pilot Mountain (and Pilot Mountain State Park.)

 

bullet Big Tom, Mount Mitchell State Park – Northwestern North Carolina – October 20, 2000.

Mt. Mitchell at 6684 feet is the highest peak in North Carolina and it is named for Dr. Elisha Mitchell, a professor of sciences at UNC-Chapel Hill. He correctly deduced that the peak was the highest in the Black Mountain range. There are spectacular views from a lookout tower at the summit of Mt. Mitchell and along the ridgeline which includes Mt. Craig (6647′) and Big Tom (6580′). I shot this picture below the summit not far from Big Tom. The Camel and I had just set up camp when the sunset and the sky took on a purple tint.

 

bullet Conasauga River, Cohutta Wilderness, Chattahooche National Forest – Northeast Georgia – July 28, 1997.

Summer can be brutally hot in North Georgia, but the Conasauga delivers some nice swimmin’ and fishin’ holes (as does the nearby Jacks River). I shot this photo of Memphis, Deacon’s dog, as it surfed a small waterfall along the Conasauga. The Joker cheers on Memphis in the picture and I honestly think the dog had more fun on this trip than we did.

 

bullet Hangover, Joyce Kilmer Slickrock Creek National Forest, North Carolina – November 19, 2002.

The first time I witnessed a sunset and a moonrise occur simultaneously was on a backpacking trip in the Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Creek National Forest. The Operator and I had just reached the rocky outcrop of Hangover when the sun fell behind the horizon at Stratton Bald. Directly behind us was a full moon rising in the east. There was low laying fog in the valley below us and the scene was epic.

 

bullet Looking Glass Rock, Pisgah National Forest – Western North Carolina – September 18, 1999.

Looking Glass Rock is named for the appearance of the mountain when water freezes on the exposed granite surface and reflects the sun like a mirror. This shot doesn’t show the dramatic cliffs that cover it’s eastern face, but it is still one of my favorites.

 

bullet Chattooga River, Chattooga National Wild And Scenic River – Northeast Georgia – January 15, 2000.

I hiked this section of the Chattooga River in the middle of winter with CC, Sikle, and Smoky. We had unseasonably warm temperatures on this trip when I snapped this shot of Sikle looking out at the river. There were a surprising number of people on the trail this weekend, but we still managed to find a secluded spot along the Chattooga only a few miles from the trailhead.

 

bullet Sauratown Ridge, Hanging Rock State Park, Northwestern North Carolina – March 23, 1996.

Sauratown Ridge is located about 20 miles north of Winston-Salem, North Carolina by Hanging Rock State Park. It has excellent views of both Pilot and Sauratown Mountain and I snapped this shot of The Seeker on a rock outcrop facing Pilot Mountain to the west.

 

bullet Congaree Swamp, Congaree Swamp National Monument – Central South Carolina – April 13, 2002.

Congaree Swamp rests on a floodplain of the Congaree River and is not a true swamp, but it is the largest intact tract of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest in the United States.

I paddled it with Sikle and The Camel and shot this photo before we launched at Cedar Creek Landing. If you like snakes, you’ll like this place. They’re everywhere.


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