|Hike Name:||Kings Mountain National Park - Kings Mountain Trail|
|Trip Date:||April 22, 2006|
|Trip Weather:||Partly Sunny, Partly Cloudy, Cloudy|
|Trip Precipitation:||None, Showers|
|Trip Temperature:||High: 81-90, Low: 61-70 degrees Fahrenheit|
|Trip Report:||I woke at 7:30am and had plans to hit the road for Blacksburg within thirty minutes, but a quick look at the Weather Channel had two bands of rain hammering the Charlotte/Blacksburg area this morning. After a conference call with The Camel, we decided to delay our meeting time to 1pm which gave Country Club enough time to recover from a late night on the town. We all met up at the Kings Mountain National Park Visitor's Center and checked in with the ranger to book the backcountry campsite on the Kings Mountain Trail. Some Boy Scouts had reserved it, but the ranger didn't expect them to show since it had rained really hard overnight and she expected them to backtrack out from their campsite in the State Park. So we were given clearance to hike on, and hit the trail by 2pm.
The 3.6 mile hike to the Garner Branch Campsite was fairly easy with some moderate climbs through a forest of rolling hills. We considered doing the Browns Mountain spur hike this afternoon, but decided to move on to the campsite since it was booked on a first-come, first-serve basis. When we arrived, a group of 15-20 Scouts were sitting by the campfire and we assumed this was the group the ranger had told us about. So we crossed into the State Park and set-up a stealth camp rather than backtrack out. Steve C. called from the trailhead about the time we pitched camp, and we left word with the Scouts to send him ahead. After collecting some firewood, we enjoyed a frosty pop, and were surprised to see another group of Scouts approaching from the southeast. It was the group the ranger had mentioned earlier, and they were not happy to hear their site was taken by another group of Scouts. We offered up some information on the area, and sat back down to wait on Steve C. He showed around 6:15pm and we spent the rest of the night cooking some dinner and hanging around the campfire until about 12:30am. It was warm tonight - especially with the scorching inferno created by The Camel.