Im new here but not new to backpacking. Figured I would share a recent trip since I am starting to get back into packing, and trecking.
Anyway I took one of my friends who had never been backpacking or primitive camping for that matter and made a jaunt up to Mount Mitchell, NC to tackle the Black Mountain Crest Trail. We arrived at the Bowlens Creek trail head friday afternoon about 2:30 to a steady rain and 47 degrees. Great intro to backpacking for her. I didnt take any pictures up until saturday morningabout 10am when the rain slacked off some to a fine mist.
We hiked up from Bowlens Creek to Deep Gap and arrived in Deep Gap very late as I decided to make a side venture on another trail I had always wanted to hike. So about 10pm we arrived at Deep Gap to set up camp to find a boy scout troop in the spot I wanted to camp. We hiked on down the trail a ways and found a suitable spot to pitch our tents. I quickly remembered why I hated my Kelty Dart 1, the thing is little more than a bivy sack and sweats profusely with the top vents covered by its meager fly. My friend on teh other hand bought a very cheap backpacking tent that was suprisingly decent. Think it was a Wenzel 2 man tent. Very lightweight.
Anyway saturday morning we woke up to a fine mist that changed to freezing rain and sleet then back to a fine mist before it stopped. We headed out of Deep Gap towards Mount Mitchell forgetting to hit up the spring for water at the deep gap campsite. We ate lunch at the top of Big Tom where i realized my second and thiird water bottles were both empty. Looking at my trail map i notice a short half mile trail right in front of us will take us to a stream we should be able to get water from. Failing to read the topo lines that were VERY close together sent us on a trail down over 1000ft in half a mile to get water. Then coming back up. This little trail was like a mud slide with boulders littered in it. NOT FUN.
After our side journey we proceeded on to Mount Mitchell where I was very dissapointed to find the summit in dissarray with no tower anymore and a big disc observation tower being built. I am very very dissapointed with the direction they have gone in the development of the summit. Looks like there could be a 4 lane hiway right up to the tower.
Anyway the hike back was fairly uneventful and we made the treck across the entire trail by midnight.
NOW FOR THE PICTURES.
The weather clearing
sunlight poking through
the rocky mudslide of a trail called Big Tom Trail
great watersource huh?
night hiking can be sppoky when you walk up on something like this
Shannon and my really old pack
top of Mount Craig