Spring Hiking On The Benton MacKaye …

After a unseasonably cool winter, the weather finally broke and we decided to take the kids out for an overnight hike.    We did this one on a Friday night to avoid conflicts with spring sports and with spring break.  Here we are at the parking area at Three Forks on the Appalachian Trail. The dog is more excited than anyone and is hauling his own food, water, sleeping bag and sleeping pad.  All in - the dog's pack weighs about 8 lbs - nearly the same weight as my empty (and aging) Dana Design backpack! Here we are climbing to Long Creek Falls along the A.T. and headed northbound.  The trail is nice and wide in this area and it is a pleasant walk to the waterfall and junction with the Benton MacKaye Trail. There is … [Read more...]

Spring Has Sprung, Time For A Hike On The Benton MacKaye …

After a unseasonably cool winter, the weather finally broke and we decided to take the kids out for an overnight hike.    We did this one on a Friday night to aviod conflicts with spring sports and with spring break.  Here we are at the parking area at Three Forks on the Appalachian Trail.The dog is more excited than anyone and is hauling his own food, water, sleeping bag and sleeping pad.  All in - the dog's pack weighs about 8 lbs - nearly the same weight as my empty (and aging) Dana Design backpack!  Here we are climbing to Long Creek Falls along the A.T. and headed northbound.  The trail is nice and wide in this area and it is a pleasant walk to the waterfall and junction with the … [Read more...]

Panthertown Valley Photos – June 9, 2012

via n2backpacking.com Can someone tell me what the orange flowers are in this slide show? They always seem to bloom in late May and early June in Western N.C. … [Read more...]

Letting Rebel Go: Saying Goodbye To Man’s Best Friend

I miss my dog – not that I don’t have a new one, but I can’t forget my old one.  It was 18 months ago, when Rebel sat outside the door watching me pack for a hike to The Perch in North Georgia.  He died within ten days of that trip, and I vividly recall (and photographed) him sitting by my shop door – barking as if to join me.  Arthritis kept him from the trail in his later years, but he never gave up hope that I might take him along. I have a new dog now, and he too has taken to the trail - as all dogs do.  Boone made the hike to the Perch last fall much as Rebel did five years earlier.  He had a great time, and I enjoyed having Boone with me.  But Rebel is never far from my mind.  He’s still with me in spirit.  He … [Read more...]

Whitley Gap Shelter Photos – March 23, 2012

Here's some photos from the Whitley Gap Shelter on the evening of  March 23, 2012.  There were lots of thru-hikers in the house - and the weather cleared in time for a great sunset.  Best wishes Class of 2012! BirdShooter A stormy start to the day.  It rained all morning and in to the afternoon.  The forecast was for it to continue in to the night - but fortunately that didn't pan out. Zip and WalkAndEats at the Whitley Gap Shelter.  Zip is joined by his two dogs Skye and Mojo.  So I guess there really is Mojo on the trail (as I wrote in a previous article).  KC (aka 30 Pack) watching the sun set over Cow Rock Mountain and the Appalachian Trail.  He hiked this … [Read more...]

There Is Magic On The Appalachian Trail

Spring is a special time on the Appalachian Trail.   Every year, 2000+ people show up at Springer Mountain (the official start of the A.T. in Georgia) to head north.  In 1994, I was one of those people - and ever since I pause for a moment to think about the next group to head North.     This year, I had a friend making the annual pilgrimage and drove across town to meet Scott "Zip" Willits on 3/16/12.  We met up at his sister's house in metro-Atlanta, and it was a beautiful spring day - the kind that makes you want to skip work.  We had some beers, worked on reducing his pack weight, then talked of the adventures to come.  The Mojo was strong, so I met him five days later at Whitley Gap … [Read more...]