Thursday, January 29, 2009

Slaughter Creek to Hogpen Gap: Mile 27 - 37

Trees coated in ice on the way up Blood Mountain

Cold...Cold...Cold...Slaughter Creek was a great camping site but there was a minor problem--no water nearby. The water source was dry and the aforementioned creek was nowhere to be found. Fortunately we had enough water to make dinner and breakfast...unfortunately we had to hike up Blood Mountain with what water we had left--and did I mention that it was cold.

Straight Leg at the Blood Mountain Shelter

Normally I enjoy camping in the cold weather but that is with my 5 degree bag--I was using my 25 degree was 27 degrees.

Straight Leg was using a 25 degree bag also, but he was smart and brought along a silk bag liner (according to the manufacture silk liners add about +5 degrees to your bags warmth).

When we woke up in the morning there were ice crystals on the inside of our tent.
Atop Blood Mountain

I also discovered that a squirrel had decided my boots were a nice warm place to deposit acorns, and I don't mean just one or two, he put five to six in each shoe...must have been a busy night.

In addition to the acorns in my shoe I learned another valuable lesson; when we went to bed we put our packs under the tent vestibule so I did not find it necessary cinch my pack all the way tight. In the morning the peanut butter sandwich down at the bottom of my bag had little squirrel teeth marks on it...the silly thing crawled all the way down in my pack to get to the sandwich. My pack could not have been more than a foot from my head...brave little sucker, but at least he did not run off with my phone, or watch, or the whole pack.

Walasi-Yi Center @ Neels Gap

We hiked up Blood Mountain in the sleet and ice, it was beautiful! Down the other side at the Walasi-Yi Center in Neels Gap we met up with Bike for a resupply and to get a weather report--the next night was supposed to be even colder, a balmy 24 degrees.

Atop Cowrock Mountain

We decided to hike to Hogpen Gap and hop off the trail in favor of Bike's cabin at Vogel State Park. Straight Leg's leg (say that 10 times fast) was beginning to bother him and the cold forecast was all the incentive we needed. It was really nice to do a wash, take a shower, and sleep in a real bed.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Lunch and a rest atop Tray Mountain, GA

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Total Filler

So it is snowing here and I just needed something to fill today's post, so it will be a short one. One of the things that I enjoy most about hiking is the unique trees, rock formations, and landscapes that you can witness while you are where most people do not walk.

Georgia was fun for several reasons but in large part because it was new terrain, different short it was a novel experience for my senses.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sassafrass Mt to Slaughter Creek: Mile 11 - 27

Ok, so I am back...yes I know that I took off almost a month and it has been almost two months since I blogged about the hike so to refresh the first day check out Mile 0 - 11.

During the night on top of Sassafrass Mt. the winds began to pick I don't mean the "this is a refreshing breeze", I mean the "holy cow are we going to be blown off this mountain" type of wind.

Does Straight Leg look Cold? Did I mention that it turned really cold?

When we broke camp it was cold and blowing so hard it felt like the tent was about to take flight, so we decided to pack up and head down the trail to find a more sheltered place to eat breakfast. Once we wrestled our kite tent into the pack we hot footed it to Justus Creek for breakfast.

Into the Blood Mountain Wilderness, after a quick rest at Woody Gap.

The day's hike was fairly uneventful although there were plenty of nice views, we met Bike at Woody Gap (he brought us Dr. Peppers), and hiked pretty hard and fast...too hard and fast.

When we made it to Slaughter Creek it was about 36 degrees and the wind still felt like a tornado in a trailer park. We cooked dinner, watched the sunset, and went to bed.