|Hike Name:||Campsite #74|
|Trip Date:||May 22, 2010|
|Trip Weather:||Sunny, Partly Sunny, Partly Cloudy|
|Trip Temperature:||High: 61-70, Low: 81-90 degrees Fahrenheit|
|Trip Report:||Saturday (5/22/10) - (Atlanta) Clouds in the am, but clearing by afternoon. Temps to 85 H, 64 L. The Kidd and Mark were at the house today by 8:30am and followed me to Bryson City for a rendevuex with The Camel. Met him at the Burger King and used the iPhone map app to find our way to the trailhead – a major benefit. Two separate pairs of hikers were just finishing multi-day hikes in the Smokies and offered up a permit for Campsite #74 when we discovered there was no paperwork available at the trailhead. They had bailed early on their trip which ran a loop along Forney Creek.
Hiked the 3.3 miles to Fontana Lake in about 90 minutes. Campsite #74 had one camper present when we arrived but he cleared out within the hour. Spent the rest of the day pitching camp, and fishing in both Forney Creek and Fontana Lake. The total fish county was zero for us and for some boaters that crossed the lake to fish the creek. This place definitely gets a fair amount of traffic. Saw some horseback riders as well and shared our camp with another couple sporting backpacks.
There was plenty of downed wood in the area, and we spent the rest of the night building a fire, cooking dinner, and listening to some tunes. Did a latenight walk to the lake to check out the stars, saw many, and also scared up a nest of snakes that we discovered earlier in the afternoon. The Camel missed the foray having sacked out around 10am tonight which is unusual for him.
Sunday (5/23/10) - (Atlanta) Sunny and warm in Atlanta to 88 H, 63 L. We were all up by 8:15am this morning and took our time breaking camp. It was a 3.3 mile hike back to the trailhead and most of it was uphill. Broke a sweat quickly and welcomed the cool conditions in the tunnel. We passed three horses on the trail, and two more as we approached the trailhead. Apparently this is a popular horse trail – made difficult by a downed tree on the western side of the tunnel. Actually, this area is popular with everyone - we saw plenty of hikers, boaters, fisherman, and horseback riders along the trail and at Campsite #74. Despite having only one other couple at our site last night, there was no shortage of people through here this weekend.
Made it back to the trailhead around noon and snapped a few photos on the drive out of the park. The Camel headed home, but The Kidd, Mark, and I drove in to Bryson City and hunted down the Nantahala Brewery. It was unsigned and not easy to find – especially when some locals sent us in the wrong direction – but we found it inside an old TVA building across from the Train Depot. Had some lunch, home brew, and got the tour of the brewery from a guy named Chris. All said, it was a great stop. The Kidd stayed behind to fish in the Tsali area, while Mark and I headed back to Atlanta and arrived just after 4pm.