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Topic: Loop in Joyce Kilmer, this past weekend< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
kevinumberger Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 10 2012, 3:40 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

howdy.....

wellllllll.......

done forgot the camera again, so no pictures...........this time it made it outta house, it just didnt make it outta car....

anyways.......

here's the route i took---big fat gap parking lot>windy gap trail>nichols cove trail>slickrock creek trail>campsite......sunday was campsite>slickrock creek trail>ike branch trail>hangover lead north trail.......


was in a hurry to get outta car and on trail, and that's how i forgot camera..........didnt notice it til about half mile down, but didnt want to turn around......

when i left the gap, it was windy as i headed on windy gap trail........right at the entrance, i had noticed someone leaving an  arrow pointer with sticks.......this would prove key later.......

windy gap trail follows an old roadbed for a little bit, while heading out on a ridge.........cruising along, there's an old pullout overlook area, that has now become a little campsite.....

campsite and another arrow on ground would again be key....

the walk down windy gap is fairly easy for the first bit, and wonderful views going across to the other ridgeline of hangover, haeo, naked ground, and stratton bald area........

oh, yeah, blue skies and tshirt and shorts kinda hiking.......

after a nice cruise along the old roadbed, windy gap takes a turn and begins the downhill.......on this turn, i now had views of hangover lead north trail, and that ridge.......it gave me a good perspective of what i would have to do the next day.....

windy gap trail ends at nichols cove trail, where i was met by another arrow on ground...........

nichols cove trail descents into nichols cove, and an old home site..........a rock fence wall comes into view........and at the intersection with yellowhammer, an old cemetery with a set of infant twins buried there.....

and another set of arrows on ground, indicating to make the turn down nichols cove trail....

hmmmm.......wonder where the arrows would lead?

and soon found out---led into a campsite where i recognized the tent, and once a head popped out, recognized the feller.....

it was tipi.....

he was on night 6 of a 15 night trip.......we introcduced ourselves and talked for a bit, before i headed down nichols cove to slickrock creek and the trail there.....

more artifacts of various sources were along the trail---a bunch of railroad items....

slickrock creek trail fords the creek and took me over to the intersection with stiffknee trail.......where there was a nice campsite, and i had toyed with staying there but i wanted to get further down to ike branch....

also, there was a piece of spam right in a primo tent spot, so i moved on....

trail parallels the creek for a bit, before making another crossing.........after this crossing came a beautiful campsite.....

still wonderin how far i was from ike branch, i had mixed feelings about staying here........til i saw the fire ring had some rock "stools" next to it, and one nice rock chair that someone had fashioned....

looks like this would be the spot....

got my camp set up.......

and prepared for what would end up being a 12 hour fire....

tons of firewood in the area, and my fire lasted from 530 pm until shortly after i crawled into my tent at 5 am......

did a steak for dinner and read and just hung out by fire all night...

nice and warm, with me being in shorts til after 1 am.........tons of stars came out, but clouds would pass every now and then.........

next morning---packed up and prepared for the climb out.....

more campsites along slickrock creek right before intersection and up ike branch i went......

ike branch to me to yellowhammer gap area, and an intersection with belding trail, which one part i had passe don the road going up to big fat gap......

at yellowhammer gap, hangover lead north trail makes a straight up climb up a hill.........which would prove a theme of this trail......

just one climb after another......trail would flatten out for a touch before the next uphill........

took me a while but once up on cold mountain, i got view of hangover and naked ground ridgeline.....

up on one of the climbs---a flock of turkeys was scared off by me passing by them....

a final descent and into the parking lot.......

turned on some grateful dead as i packed up the car and prepared for the trip home....

on the trip home, i passed the belding trail and checked it out for a minute and then decided to take the side road up to the deer hunter camp..........a rocky bumpy road goes up hill, passing another intersection with belding trail.......further up the road, was the hunter shelter......

turned around a called it a day to make the drive home....

along the tail of the dragon, near mile marker 6---saw a motorcycle on ground, with rider on ground, and then saw him get run over by the biker behind him, who flew over his handlebars and down the hill....

checked them out to make sure they were alright (they said they were), and more motorcycle riders came by to help so i figured i could continue on......

this may be the last trip for me this year----i have the xmas jam to go to this weekend, and then i have to work the weekend after ( i may do a short easy trip this weekend) , and then its time for the New years eve weekend..........
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ashepabst Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 10 2012, 3:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

hey man, what do you cook yer steaks on out of curiousity? do you carry a metal grate or something? do they have to be like partially frozen to make the trek?

the views you mention... any big views? or are they all through-the-trees kinda views?


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kevinumberger Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 10 2012, 5:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I do steaks the easy way-----in a ziplock bag i mix spices and marinade........then in morning of hike----get a filet from the meat counter of kroger.......throw steak in ziplock and then just put it in food bag......ive found it keeps it cool enough by being buried.....

At camp-----get a nice fire going.....then cook just using a stick and poking it thru steak.........easy enough.....

Views are through the trees except for the view from the pulloff campsite.......not much of a view and just above trees and its a view of hangover lead north ridgleine (not the hangover though)....

Up on cold mountain, looking towards the knob of hangover,  its pretty much through trees as well......
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bad knees Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 10 2012, 8:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ya know what they say Kev, a thousand pics is worth one word.  Don't ya hate forgettin the camera?

On a side note,  ya ever see the little owls diving out of the trees to snatch up the worms?  Or is it just me?


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kevinumberger Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 10 2012, 9:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

QUOTE
On a side note, ya ever see the little owls diving out of the trees to snatch up the worms? Or is it just me?



Sadly, i did not have any hallucinations saturday night......

I was in the mood for some but just didnt happen.......
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pastywhite Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 11 2012, 7:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

How do you like Joyce Kilmer compared to the Smokies? I've been meaning to get over there but it seems like I am always short on time and I can be on the trail on about 15 minutes here. It's probably just shy of a 2 hour drive to Joyce Kilmer.  I've seen some places up in Pisgah I want to visit too.
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kevinumberger Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 12 2012, 10:55 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

it's kinda tough to compare, to be honest......it's two different worlds of hiking........

this was only my 3rd overnighter in joyce kilmer area----and i've done one dayhike there (up to hangover) so everything is fresh for me.....

but, here's what i've noticed so far.......

basically the only similarities that i can really find are in the landscape.....as in, since there are mountains in both---both have views and streams and things like that........

the differences are in the hiking......

for the trails that i have done so far in joyce kilmer are basically equivalent to manways in the Park........

for the most part, one has to be constantly aware of where they are heading.........the trails arent as worn down as in the smokies....sometimes the path can get confusing and one could potentially get side tracked......

which leads me to why they are worn down------so far, the only people ive run into in Joyce Kilmer are hunters.......no hikers...........i have run into people that have set up a campsite but even that is below a handful of people.......

also, trails are not necessarily signed as much as smokies trails.......this really applies to the trailheads, but once on the trail, major intersections are signed.........

at trailheads, it can take a minute or two to figure out where the trail is..........such is the case at big fat gap parking lot.........not one of the 4 trails are marked and it would be real easy to get on the wrong trail thinking one was on a different trail......

campsites----since in Joyce Kilmer one can camp most anywhere---these campsites dont appear on a map........

i do kinda like to know where a camping space is just for planning purposes......as in, how many miles/hours i wanna pull before i call it a day at a campsite........for the smokies, this was easy to plan........for joyce kilmer---one sorta has to wing it...........

oh, another similarity i have found is trash at campsites......in both areas, i have found trash at campsites..........

one last thing about people in joyce kilmer area----since there is less traffic flow----i think it would be kinda tough to pull a hitchhike to get places.......

think that is it so far..........if i think of more, i'll post later.....
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ashepabst Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 12 2012, 10:58 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

i'd say the whole area is just as good as the Smokies -- better when you consider that the roads aren't clogged with gawking tourists and the trails are generally empty... most of my on-trail days here i haven't seen a single other hiker.

obviously the area's a lot smaller than the Smokies but most of the major ridges and valleys have trails to explore.


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kevinumberger Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 12 2012, 2:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

oh.......its a great area to hike/backpack in.....it's virtually the same kinda terrain.........

the smokies, in all honesty, are much "easier" to hike in......

and by that........i don't mean elevation change and all that.....
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Tipi Walter Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 22 2012, 10:41 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hey Kevin, I just got back from my trip and want to share this fotog of you on the Nichols Cove trail.



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http://trailjournals.com/TipiWalter11

http://tipiwalter.smugmug.com/
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