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Hiking, Smoky Mountains, Southeast / 10.02.2010

Itinerary: Smokemont on Bradley Creek Trail to Chasteen Fork Trail to Hughes Ridge Trail to Pecks Corner. Return down Hughes Ridge Trail to Bradley Creek Trail intersection back to Smokemont. February 6th, 2010, Saturday At 5:00 AM I am in my car headed toward Cherokee, NC.. Around Topton, NC where US 129 turns toward Robbinsville, NC I begin to see the remnants from last week’s snowstorm on the side of the road. Descending into Nantahala gorge, a little mixed freezing stuff hits the windshield. My hike begins in Smokemont campground and climbs on...

Hiking, Southeast / 03.01.2010

January 2, 2010 - 8 AM Condition: Temp at Trackrock: 16 degrees. Temp at  Lake Winfield Scott: Considerably Colder Winds: Blowing hard, maybe 20 mph gusts Out of the car, we see a couple of snowflakes. We didn't expect that. We quickly wrap up with the remainder of our jackets, hats, and gloves, but  too late for the quick chill of cold winds whipping across the lake. It is not too hard to get moving in order to beat off already numb hands and frozen ears. We move over the footbridge and on to...

Hiking, Slickrock Creek Wilderness, Southeast / 26.12.2009

Stiffknee In December Day 1 December 20th 2009 Why would I leave on a snowy December weekend to go on a solo hike in a seldom visited North Carolina mountain wilderness area? Could it be that withdrawal symptoms are taking hold? A return to the solitude of the mountains and the adventure of the hike seems the best cure. It is time to notch another new trail on my backpacking waist strap. At 4:30 AM on a Saturday morning I am pulling out of the neighborhood. Two and a half hours later, I am on the Tapoca Dam...

Hiking, Western US, Yosemite / 01.11.2009

I was in San Ramon, California on a business trip to meet the people who worked in the Voice Mail Tier I/II support center who I had just been assigned to manage. Since I was conviently close to Yosemite, I stayed over an extra week to backpack through the wilderness for 8 days. My first day of backpacking was on October 17th, a little late in the season with many facilities closed or cut back in an area famous for its heavy snowfalls. The positives was were vanished crowds and...