Hey yeah … I am alive. Just been super busy with work and two trips that I had to work extra to make happen.
JR and I went backpacking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park over the last weekend of July. We started out at Clingman’s Done and hiked to the end of the Road to Nowhere outside of Bryson City via Forney Creek on the following trails: Forney Ridge Trail, Forney Creek Trail, Whiteoak Branch Trail, and the Lakeshore Trail. We hiked three days and camped two nights (at #68B and #71). It’s been a while since I have been backpacking and I had to buy a bunch of new gear (backpack, tent, etc.). I also had forgotten how tiring it is evening though I day hike as much as I can. It can be a challenge carrying 30+ lbs. on your back. Day two of the trip we especially challenging at points because we did six non-bridged crossings of Forney Creek. We emerged on Sunday tired but happy for the experience.
The starting point at Clingman’s Dome.
The trailhead for the Forney Creek Trail is 1.1 miles from Clingman’s Dome. From here we hiked another 2.4 miles of rough, steep, rocky, wet, poison ivy covered trail to Campsite 68B.
Relaxing at Campsite 68B.
Our tent set-up for the first night. We kept the tents close together in case bears attacked in the middle of the night. 😛
Hiking down the trail on day two …
This is one of the six Forney Creek crossings. They ranged from ankle deep to crotch deep. Ice cold water is always refreshing when it hits your balls.
All smiles despite the heavy packs and tough terrain.
Our setup for night two at Campsite 71.
We had some company in the campsite …. but thankfully it was not the venomous kind of company.
Here’s JR starting up the camp fire.
Almost done! The trail ends on the other side of the tunnel at the end of the Road to Nowhere.
And, this past weekend, David and I went down to Florida to visit Dr. Phibes and Co. The dive down and back were not too much fun, but it’s always great to see such good friends. We walked on the beach at sunrise, went bowling, kicked around Centre Street, drank too much and (definitely) ate way too much. The Pimento Cheese at Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen is fucking amazing. Yum. One thing I realized after we got back is that I took practically no photos of the trip. Oh well …
Sunrise-ish on Fernandina Beach …
And BOWLING SHOES … because bowling shoes are awesome.
Now, it’s back to a busy work week (blech!) as well as several social commitments and Godspeed You! Black Emperor at The Orange Peel on Friday night (yay!). Plus, my new glasses should arrive either today or tomorrow. I am looking forward to being able to see clearly again.