This is a winter hike to the Len Foote Hike Inn that we did with a group of dads and sons from St. Jude Catholic Church. Kudos to the staff at the Inn - who provided outstanding customer service during our visit. What a great place.... … [Read more...]

Bly Gap, North Carolina – January 31, 2015

  This is a video of a January 31, 2015 backpacking trip to Bly Gap, North Carolina which is located just past the Georgia-North Carolina State line on the Appalachian Trail.  It was the first time I'd been here in 20 years and it was great to be back.  Northbound thru-hikers love this place because it marks the completion of the first of fourteen States on the A.T. … [Read more...]

Leaving Las Vegas ….

There is nothing better than escaping a trade show in Las Vegas for the backcountry and fresh air of Zion National Park. After a 3 hour drive Fuller and I arrive in Springdale, UT and stay a short distance from the park. Our first mission is to hike the Hidden Canyon Trail. We climb 850 feet and link up with a steel chain that guides us around a cliff with an insanely sharp drop off.  It is at this point that I remember that I might have a slight fear of heights. And to make … [Read more...]

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...]


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...]