Mountain Top

David, Polly Pocket, and I had a great time on the hiking trip. We went to Pisgah National Forest, and started on the far side, from the Daniel Boone Boyscout camp. Of course, we got a late start; wouldn’t be being with David if we hadn’t, and as usual there was no real cause for it. After packing our packs, eating lunch, finding a place that sold maps, and driving to the start point it was getting close to 5pm. We hiked for a couple of hours and just as I was sure we were going to get caught doing everything in the dark we came around the side of the mountain to a part that was still being bathed in sunshine; shortly there after we found a place to setup camp. We got most everything done before dark, with the exception of hanging the food, which proved to be a challenging task.

The first night I learned not to cook beans in the can. I’m not sure if there was some coating on the can or what, but the beans tasted like ass. I buried them, and cooked up some more this time in the pan, they were much better, but they still sucked — they needed ketchup. So I found that beans were not a good food choice for hiking, they were heavy to carry, and they weren’t enjoyable to eat for the effort. I ended up carrying another can around the entire mountain un-eaten.

The second day we went far. We finished our ascent to the ridge. We were then faced with a choice to summit Cold Mountain, or go the opposite direction, which sent us on our way to make a circuit back to the boyscout camp. We wanted to do Cold mountain, but we didn’t know if we’d have enough time, so we opt’d not to do it; turns out we finished half a day early. We hiked from 10:30am until around 5pm the second day with a couple of stops for lunch, snacks, and foot care.

We ran into a couple that was doing a day hike and had gotten confused about where they were (there were no markers on the trails to speak of). Fortunately, we stopped and talked to them and got them turned around — they would have been in for a rude awakening had they continue on the path they were on.

We had plenty of time to setup camp, eat, hang the food, etc. the second night. I got a bit chilly that night as the wind was blowing steady all night, and the temperature dropped down to around 50. The next morning we left the packs and camp and hiked back the way we had come the previous day to look for something called Shining Rock. We’re still not sure if we ever found it, but there was a place with a lot of quartz that may have qualified. We got back to camp around 1pm and had lunch, and then we proceeded to head on down the trail. We ended up hiking all the way out. We had planned on staying until Monday, but alas we finished early. We took a Wet Ones bath at the car and put on fresh clothes; we were headed for Don Pablos and wanted to do our best not to offend too many people.

David found that he really enjoyed the jerky bits he brought. In general we learned that we brought more food than we actually needed; we just weren’t that hungry. GPS is good — we didn’t get lost. Trekking poles rock! and are a must have for this sort of thing. The pump water filter worked well — we didn’t get sick. It’s cold at 5,800 in September and knit hammocks provide no insulation, but do allow the wind to attack from every conceivable direction. Blister kit is good (I needed it, David didn’t; I had new boots, David didn’t). Wet ones work pretty good for a sponge bath on the mountain, but they are COLD in the morning.

We ended up doing about 20 miles and ascended around 2,500 feet. Not bad for a couple of guys who’d never tried this before, and until a few days previous didn’t own any of the necessary equipment to pull it off.

We enjoyed it so much we were already talking about doing it again, hopefully next time Will will be able to make it.

View the photo albums for this trip.

3 responses to “Mountain Top”

  1. David says:

    What a wonderful time! I need to scan in the map and send it to you. I miss you, friend. WILL! Next time!

  2. karen says:

    Glad you had a great time. Hope you missed the torrential downpours & mudslides in the area from Frances.

  3. Will says:

    Will hopes he will be there next time!