Working Off Thanksgiving Dinner – An Overnight In Panthertown Valley

After fattening up on Thanksgiving dinner, The Camel meets us in North Carolina for a hike in to Panthertown Valley.  No one is more excited than the Boone Dawg who is craving some time in the backcountry.  And we are blessed with sunshine as you can see from the the shadows in this photo. The weather has been cool this week so snow showers and ice still lingering in the valley.  Here is a giant piece floating near Schoohouse Falls. Our preferred campsite is taken.  So we … [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...]

Hiking The Dry Sluice Trail – Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Last weekend, we hiked ~9 miles from Ice Water Springs shelter down to Smokemont Campground in Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Here's some video from the Dry Sluice Trail as it crosses the bridge over Bradley Fork. By the time we hit the valley, temps had climbed from the teens to the 50's which made for great hiking this winter afternoon. … [Read more...]

Great Smoky Mountain Snow & Sunrise From Ice Water Springs Shelter

After two days of rain, a cold front pushes through and delivers a dusting of snow at Ice Water Springs Shelter. A bobcat leaves fresh tracks just below this rising January sun and we are slow to crawl from the sleeping bags with temps in the teens at 5800 feet this morning. … [Read more...]

THE KLONDIKE 2013 (AKA THE SEARCH FOR LONG BRANCH SHELTER)

This is a video slide show of our hike to Long Branch Shelter from Standing Indian Campground. It was sunny when we left Atlanta and the forecast was for temperatures in the 50's in nearby Franklin, N.C. Yet as we drive the 2 1/2 hours north to the Appalachian Trail, there is a line of clouds and a cold front moving in from the Northwest.  Mobile checks at the Weather Channel has the forecast in constant flux -- and deteriorating quickly. By morning, there would be 8 1/2 inches of snow … [Read more...]

When The Weatherman Blows The Forecast (aka Our Epic Venture To Long Branch Shelter)

It is sunny when we leave Atlanta and the forecast is for temperatures in the 50's in nearby Franklin, N.C. But as we drive the 2 1/2 hours north to the Appalachian Trail we spot a line of clouds and a cold front pushing in from the Northwest. Mobile checks at the Weather Channel has the forecast in constant flux - and deteriorating quickly. The light rain projected to hit in the late afternoon arrives as snow and a winter advisory is issued for North Georgia and Western N.C. But we … [Read more...]

50 Degrees & Sunny?

  Well ... the weather forecaster blew this one. Here we are on Day 2 and it's still snowing. When we left Atlanta, the forecast was for temps in the 50's in nearby Franklin, N.C. But on the Appalachian Trail (and at 4000+ feet) .... it was a bit cooler!! I wonder if the Boyz will make it out of Standing Indian Campground with two-wheel drive?? … [Read more...]

Boone Dawg’s First Snow Hike

By daybreak we had 8 1/2 inches of snow on the ground and Boone Dawg got to partake in his first snow hike. Here we are on the Long Branch Trail descending from the Appalachian Trail to Standing Indian Campground. That's a happy dog. … [Read more...]

Warm-Up With A Cold Beer!!!

Roger "aka" the Camel warms up with a cold beer after we get pelted with a snowstorm all afternoon. It eventually dumps 8 1/2 inches on us.  … [Read more...]

Arriving At Long Branch Shelter In A Driving Snowstorm

The Crew arrives at the newly constructed Long Branch Shelter as a driving snow storm pelts us with what turns out to be 8 1/2 inches of snow. When we leave Atlanta, the forecast is for temperatures in the 50's in nearby Franklin, N.C. but as we drive the 2 1/2 hours north to the Appalachian Trail we spot a line of clouds and a cold front pushing in from the Northwest. Mobile checks at the Weather Channel has the forecast in constant flux - and deteriorating quickly. The light rain projected … [Read more...]