|Hike Name:||Nantahala National Forest - Snowbird Gap (via NC 1310)|
|Trip Date:||October 7, 2006|
|Trip Weather:||Sunny, Partly Sunny, Partly Cloudy, Cloudy, Fog|
|Trip Temperature:||High: 31-40, Low: 71-80 degrees Fahrenheit|
|Trip Report:||Saturday 10/7/2006: Spoke with the Helmet at 8am this morning regarding a rare nor'easter that was brewing off the coast of Virginia with it's outer arms scheduled to graze the western tip of N.C. by 4pm this afternoon. He was firmly on the fence regarding the Siler trip due to the inclement weather and need to paint/prime his house. The Helmet stepped up, however, and was in the car by 9am headed for Franklin. Black Crowe was running late since his wife trashed the directions, and we didn't get out of town until nearly 10am. The Franklin McDonalds was our rendevous point, and both the Camel and Helmet were there when we arrived. After shuttling a truck to Winding Stair Gap, we drove to Wayah Gap for the two mile hike to Siler. The trailhead was packed, so we knew there would be a lot of people on the A.T. to enjoy the fall colors and harvest moon.
By 2pm, we were on the trail and climbing steadily. BirdShooter backtracked to the car for a tennis ball, which caused the rest of the group to miss the A.T. and take the fire road to the summit. It is a shorter but much steeper route that winds along the northern face of the mountain. We all met back up on the summit, however, and took the lower campsite. Some Scouts from Sandy Springs were camped on the Bald and we joined them briefly for the sunset which went down at around 7pm this evening. Before that, The Helmet and BirdShooter made a trip to the shelter for some water, and the Camel and Black Crowe got some wood since it was forecast to be in the 30's tonight. Some hippies were living in the shelter but were pretty cool and it sounded like they had an interesting fall ahead of them wandering all over the southeast. The harvest moonrise was outstanding this evening with the clouds to the east. By midnight, we had finished off the wood, food, drinks, and doughboys and sacked out for the night.
Sunday 10/8/2006: The Helmet was up before sunrise (around 6:30am) to pack up and hike out in the dark. He had to get back to do some painting, but hiked out under a bright harvast moon that provided some early morning light. The rest of us didn't leave camp until around 10am, and the clouds continued to linger in the eastern skies. We made it back to the truck by 11am following the A.T. down for about 1000' The Black Crowe and his hound, Simon, lead the way. After a quick trip to Winding Stair Gap to retreive the Camel's pick-up, we stopped at the Huddle House in Franklin for some breakfast. The place was packed, but we scored seats at the counter and warmed up with some chili. It was still quite cool this morning in the mountains and hot food was a major plus.