Sunday, July 7, 2013

A Wet Night in North Carolina

Monday-Tuesday, July 2-3, 2013.  Pisgah National Forest. Black Balsam, through Graveyard Fields, to the Skinny-dip Falls Trailhead. 

The Beginning: Heading Out

We stayed a week in North Carolina with the regular crew at S’s parents’ place. The plan was take an overnight “somewhere”, most likely in the Pisgah. Lee has some tendonitis in her foot that is mostly healed… Given what is still hurting her, we decided a mostly-downhill route would be easiest.
Monday morning G dropped us off at the trailhead. She took our picture, we stepped off the road, and she left. 

 S, Lee, Birch
J, Boo
Photo courtesy Gwyn Krause
We followed the obvious trail off the road… and found a huge pine-needle covered area with no obvious trail out. S pulled out his map, and we heard the truck pull away. Well… 

A few minutes of mapping and poking yielded the trail. Narrow and rocky, with well-built bridges across the many rivulets and waterfalls. It had been raining more than usual, so the water was noisy enough it was hard to hear. Since this was a new trail to all of us and noisy, we kept the kids in the middle and an adult leading and tailing. We are so mean.

Less than 5 minutes down the trail, the water was using the trail as a streambed. It was the last time my shoes were dry all week. 

Wet Rock

There was more uphill in the morning than had been indicted on the map. The kids were troopers, enjoying the brief glimpses of various peaks and knobs out of the rhododendron maze. I was enjoying the pretty rocks in the trail. Lots of mica. The trail was wet. We spent a lot of time slipping, and everyone fell at least once. The water ran along the trail a lot. Even though we tried to keep our feet out of the water, we had soggy shoes early in the day, and never really dried out. 

Stream Bed or Trail?

Because of all the rain, there were a lot of brightly colored fungi, and the kids and I had fun taking pictures. We also saw several big snails and a huge slug. 

Big Slug

Boo requested lunch before the rest of us were really ready. So we had a break at a 5-way junction about 1.5 miles from our starting point. Boo ate her entire PB&J (we were only expecting her to eat half!). Lee and I had Earnest Eats bars, which were very good. 

We came across a big tree and the kids were amazed it was so big even both of them couldn’t get their arms around it. 

Very Big Tree
Lee and I had crackers and tuna for lunch. Turns out Boo likes tuna now, when she didn’t last year at least. 

At one break, she tied the end of my hat cord to my sunglasses so I don’t lose them.

Sunglasses Retention Strap

It was awesome.

Have you hiked Graveyard Fields? 

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