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2018 Hiking Log

My 2018 Hiking Goal is 450 miles! Most of my hikes are in and near western North Carolina with a few iconic hikes while traveling. Follow my progress.

Pisgah Inn Hitching Post

April 9, 2017

We were staying at the Inn and wanted to do a small little walk after breakfast. We weren’t in the market for a strenuous hike, and this trail gives the advantage of being able to bite off little bits without and a really big commitment. We started at the hitching post and walked nearly a mile down Buck Springs trail …

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Little Sweet Betsy 030817 3

First Blooms at Rumbling Bald

The past 3 weeks has been unusually warm for February and March.  I have been traveling, so this was the first day I’ve been outside in over a week. The trail at Rumbling Bald in Lake Lure, NC is under 3000′ above sea level, when flowers sprout in western North Carolina, this is where they start. Parts of the trail where …

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Frying Pan Fire Tower

Frying Pan Mtn. Fire Tower

This is a very simple hike. I parked on the parkway by the road that leads to the fire tower. There is a barricade there that keeps unauthorized vehicles on this road. For this hike, you just walk up the road to the fire tower and back down. It is a gentle rise of only 387 feet in .8 miles. …

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Buck Springs Trail

Buck Springs Trail

I parked in the first parking lot for Pisgah Mountain off the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Buck Springs trail is easily marked and is very easy for beginners. The overlook is only about 500 feet from the beginning of the trailhead. There are benches there and it is a nice place to sit and read. If you keep going all …

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Buck's T-4

Valentine’s Dinner 2017

While in Big Sky, we reserved a table at Buck’s T-4 Ranch for our Valentine’s dinner. It was awesome, as always. Phil seems to never order anything except Bison tenderloin and he did not disappoint. He ordered Bison tenderloin. 🙂 I, however, stepped out and ordered a wild game pot pie with rabbit and pheasant. It was unusual and very …

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Big Sky Montana

Big Sky 2017

We took a few days and flew to Montana to ski Big Sky to celebrate my 60th birthday. Big Sky Ski Resort has had a lot of snow year and their base was in the neighborhood of 8 feet. As it happened, the weather gave us a bit of a warm up while we were there.  The daily highs were in …

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JohnRock 1 1

February 15, 2017

Park at the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education and the State Fish Hatchery near Brevard. The John Rock trail can be accessed  from either direction from the parking lot. Counterclockwise isn’t quite as steep going up on the rock and the hike along the creek going in is beautiful and serene. The elevation gain is gradual and note too strenuous. …

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Chimney Rock

February 10, 2017

It was a sunny day in the upper 30’s to lower 40’s, my favorite hiking weather.  I parked in the upper parking lot and started my hike in the middle.  First, I  climbed the stairs to the Chimney and then onto the Devil’s Head and up to Exclamation Point. It isn’t very far, but almost every step is on stairs. …

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Table Rock Trail

Table Rock Trail to Governor’s Rock

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Hickory Nut Falls

Four Seasons Trail to Hickory Nut Falls

 

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Mt. LeConte 2016

November 12, 2016

This year, it was just me and Phil. We left Thursday morning around 8:45 and drove through Maggie Valley, cut the corner on the parkway to the Oconoluftee Ranger Station going into the GSMNP. Wildfires were burning all around, but most of the s moke stayed below and south of us. You can see the smoke from the Newfound Gap …

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2016 11 7 Crsp 3

Personal Best Week of Hiking

This past week, I hiked more miles than ever in a single week.  Of course, it was LeConte week, so the 16.2 miles going in and out to LeConte helped to rack it up. My total miles hiked this week: 36.1 Total elevation gain this week: 7961′ MT. LECONTE TO NEWFOUND GAP Via The Boulevard Trail and the Appalachian Trail …

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Chimney Rock

Fires in Western NC

Our area is experiencing a severe drought. Over the past 10 years, our hemlock trees have fallen to the hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae). The dry carcasses of the hemlocks litter the forest floor giving a lot of fuel to any fire danger. There are dead leaves laying in piles and piles everywhere. And, not least, the temperatures are running 10-15 degrees above …

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View of Cold Mountain

Mt. Pisgah

Distance: 3 Miles RT Elevation Change: 750 feet Difficulty: Moderate I got to the trailhead early (before 9 am). It was a cool crisp day and I didn’t see anyone on the trail until I was on my way down.  It was quiet and calm. The fall color is just now showing up. I think the peak of the color …

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Cedar Rock Summit

Cedar Rock Hike

CEDAR ROCK VIA CAT GAP LOOP Distance: 7.1 Miles RT Elevation Gain: 1843′ Difficulty: Moderate Check out more about this hike by clicking here. We began this hike clockwise from the parking lot. The wind was fierce but we didn’t feel the effects of it while we were down in the cove.  The temperature was cooler and it was great …

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CollegeM 1

July 5, 2016

The view of Bozeman is breathtaking and it is well worth the hike. Note to self: make sure to carry water. The trail is almost totally exposed and it can get really hot in the summer. I set off with heavy boots and my feet were HOT. The sun is daunting and although this is a really short hike, the …

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Mt. Hardy

May 30, 2016

Mt. Hardy We parked at the Rough Butt Bald overlook and walked across the parkway to the trail. Note to self:  It was really weedy.  Put this hike on the rotation for Labor Day Through Mother’s Day. Another note to self: watch for yellow jacket nests in the trail.

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2016 04 30 Flat Laurel Creek 11

Flat Laurel Creek Loop Hike

Total Distance: 5.3 Miles RT Total Elevation Gain: 679 ft. Highest Point: 5935 ft. We parked at the Black Balsam Trailhead parking lot and walked down the road to the Sam Knob Trail to start the loop. For more about the trail click here.  

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2016 04 30 Flat Laurel Creek 12

April 30, 2016

Total Distance: 5.3 Miles RT Total Elevation Gain: 679 ft. Highest Point: 5935 ft. We parked at the Black Balsam Trailhead parking lot and walked down the road to the Sam Knob Trail to start the loop.  

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Bluet Cluster

March 28, 2016

We caught the timing right to see the bluets! Their seeds wash into rock crevices and the sides of the trail where they are caught by brush and plants.  They are one of my very favorite wildflowers. Their blooms are no larger than a dime and look like little blue stars.

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MTS StonyBaldOverlook

March 28, 2016

Stoney Bald Overlook to Elk Pasture Gap This segment of the Mountain to the Sea Trail is fairly easy walk in the woods. This particular day, there were more trillium blooming than I’ve ever seen on a trail. It took longer because I kept stopping to take pictures.

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2016 03 26 Avery Creek Feature 1

Avery Creek Ridge Loop

Today Phil and I hiked the Avery Creek Loop … 10.8 miles, with 3162′ of elevation gain. It was our second time to hike this particular loop. It is a hard hike. We took a couple of PBJ’s for lunch and lots of water. We didn’t really make good time because we had to keep stopping for mountain bikers to go by. It …

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2016 03 26 Avery Creek Loop 28

March 26, 2016

This is a very hard hike.  What makes it hard is the elevation gain … going down hill … and having to re-climb the same 500 feet … over and over. In my opinion, it is easier to hike counter-clockwise. You climb a lot of the elevation early in the hike while you are still fresh. We’ve hiked it clockwise, …

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2016 03 24 CRSP Chimney 3

March 24, 2016

It was another great day at Chimney Rock. I feel so fortunate that this is practically in my backyard. I keep taking the same pictures each time I go.  I guess I keep thinking that each view is prettier than it was the day before. I thought I’d at least get pictures of the birdhouses that document some of the species …

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2016 03 24 CRSP Birdhouses 6

March 24, 2016

BIRDWATCHING I’ve walked by these birdhouses for years and not really paid much attention to them. Today, I thought I’d take a picture of each one. Each birdhouse highlights a species common on the state park property. Last year, there was a nesting pair of Peregrine Falcons up on the cliff ledges. The local bird societies were keeping track of …

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"If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else." --- Yogi Berra