quick hike and overnight camp-out
07.31.2009 - 08.01.2009
Will and Anthony and I drove over to North Carolina to the Blue Ridge Parkway and parked in the Black Balsam Parking lot (at end of Black Balsam Road, just past milepost 420 on parkway...hmm coincidence that hiking with Will & Ant takes us to milepost 420? I think not
We've done this hike several times and everytime it's either rained or been very cold. Thank goodness this time broke the mold and we had great weather. Will's been there on his own and claims to have had perfect weather, but without witnesses.....? Storm clouds were all around Friday night when we got up there (and the forecast was thunderstorms and lightening) but they rolled on by. Saturday was gorgeous and warm. The sunrise was beautiful. I didn't take a camera since I thought we'd be soaking wet but did manage to take some pictures with my cell phone (unfortunately, didn't get any of the sunrise though). Below pictures of this trip are pictures from previous times we've made this hike. Figured I'd just put them all here instead of doing separate trip reports for all our hikes up there.
June 21, 2008 - The first time Will & I went up, it rained just as we got to the top. Will quickly set up one of the tents but got drenched in the process. The rain stopped, but we had packed light for summer weather and being wet made him chill so we hiked back down and didn't stay overnight.
June 28, 2008 - The next weekend, we went up with Jason, Anthony, Justin, and Arnes (what was I thinking?!?). Will and I were the only ones who brought sleeping bags and tents - the other boys thought since it was summer that they'd just sleep out under the stars. But, that night there was a hurricane/monsoon/torrential downpour! At first they tried to make a shelter with a tarp they'd brought and some disposable ponchos. But the wind was way to strong for that to work. So Arnes and Ant got in tents with me & Will and poor Justin and Jason did their best out in the storm covered with whatever they could find. The rain would stop, we'd all get out and try to light a fire, then rain came back and so on - this went on for hours. The fog and rain were so bad, we had to tough it out because it would have been too dangerous to hike out at night in those conditions. First light the next morning, we were able to get off the mountain. Whew, it was almost like a Lifetime TV survival movie-of-the-week
October 17, 2008 - The next time it didn't rain but it was winter so it got cold. My friend Judy came with us, and if you ask her, it was about 40 below zero! She still talks about how much she didn't enjoy the camping that night and I think is still traumatized. The only picture I got that day was with with my cell phone of Judy at the signpost at the bottom of the mountain.