Bradley's View

Bradley's View

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Foothills Trail Fastpack

    Adventures don't always end up as planned.  If they did, I would likely refer to them as activities.  I once heard someone say that adventure doesn't begin until something goes awry.

    Luna and I reached the Casa de Kirk and decided to layover a few days in celebration of Lily's birthday.  We played board games, harvested ramps, and spent a day paddling on the French Broad; time well spent by any measure!  After the paddling trip, we elected to hitch a ride with Eliot and Ashley to their house in Jones Gap State Park (SC).  This allowed us to shave about 14 miles of roadwalking that would have been less than enjoyable, especially with the four-legged one.
Luna and Uwharrie conked out.

    So the story begins at Jones Gap State Park, the eastern terminus of the blue-blaze spur of the Foothills Trail.  What follows are my journal entries, so forgive any lack of eloquence, I was typically tired when I wrote them.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Hiking Trip/Tracking The Trek

    A couple of days ago Luna and I set off from Asheville bound for Brevard.  The first day of hiking was beautiful and enjoyable as we rode the Mountains-To-Sea trail across Asheville.  We hiked for about 8.5 hours, covered about 30 miles, and camped atop Ferrin Knob.
    On the second day we started with the sun and continued climbing the remainder of the Shut-In Trail en route to the Pisgah Inn.  We relaxed at the inn for a couple of hours and enjoyed a hearty breakfast and began our descent through the Pisgah Ranger District at about 11:30.  The water was really flowing due to all the recent rain, and creeks were turned into cascades.  We trudged down the MST to the Barnett Branch trail, crossed the South Fork Mills River, and climbed up to the Black Mountain Trail.  At about 3:00 we arrived at the Buckhorn Gap Shelter with intentions of settling in there for the night.  By 4:00 I had woken up from a siesta, realized that there were still 4+ hours of daylight, and elected to continue hiking.  Quick climbs up Clawhammer and Black Mountain led to a lengthy descent down to the Davidson River.  The Brevard Bike Path then took us into town where Matt met us and directed us to a crucial side trail linking us to the Oscar Blues Brewery.
    A run up Bracken Mountain, the celebration of Lily's birthday, and all around good company have led to a good couple of days of R&R here at the Casa de Kirk.

Sunrise from Ferrin Knob

Morning light near Big Ridge Overlook

Near the Pisgah Inn

A bee pollinating Trillium

Clouds coming in seen  from the saddle of Clawhammer and Black Mountain

Refreshing in the Davidson near the day's end.

    Monday morning we will take to the woods once more.  Our final destination on this 450 mile journey will be Roan Mountain, and we must be there by May 30th (for the RAM). Below is a map on which our progress will be recorded, if you find yourself interested in following along.