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Topic: Panthertown, The Jump off & Mingus Mill, 3 Day Variety Hike< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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HikerDude73 Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 06 2013, 10:09 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

In my constant pursuit of life simplicity and escaping the relentless insanity of modern life stresses and societal idiocy me & my wife took a 3-day trip to the mountains over Thanksgiving.

I've been wanting to get in a winter hike in the Smoky Mountains this year and Tue/Wed of last week the higher elevations got some snow. But hwy 441 between Cherokee, NC & Gatlinburg, TN was closed for two straight days because of snow/ice. I also figured there wouldn't be as many venturing out so perhaps we would have some solitude on the trail. So on Thursday we did some hiking in Panthertown Valley outside of Cashiers, NC instead. We did about 7 miles of hiking and visited 3 waterfalls. As always when your out in nature for the day (at least for me) life seems so much more simple...they way it should be. Its just you, the forest, the trail, the elements, the fresh air....simple.

After a awesome day of hiking with the wife and a good nights rest and our own T-Day feast, we headed up to Cherokee after an early breakfast to see if 441 was open Friday morning. We got there around 8:30am and the barricade was still up. But there was one car waiting. After knocking on their car window and asking what they knew, they said they heard it would actually be open in the next 20min or so. We waited as well. Sure enough 15-20 min. later the GSMNP folks showed up and opened the hwy. We were the second car to make it up to Newfound gap at 5,000' elev where we parked and promptly hit the A.T. heading east.

I wanted to hike to "The Jump Off" overlook at 6,200' elev with it's views of about 40+ miles looking north / east about 5,000' above the sprawling flat lands of TN down in the distance. There was snow & ice everywhere on the trail which just added the winter hiking experience...especially for a couple from Georgia. After the Jump Off we continued east to "Charlies Bunion Overlook" with it's 360 degree panoramic views of the Smoky's. We only passed a handful of Thru-hikers on multi-day backpacking trips along the way and had the entire trail practically to ourselves. We took about 20 min each at both overlooks just listening & looking. We heard nothing except the wind, no people talking, no sounds of motorcycles, no planes flying overhead....you almost forget what true "quiet" sounds like when we're constantly bombarded with man made sounds 24/7. It was wonderful!

We had a little packed lunch on Charlies Bunion overlook and enjoyed that as well. We hiked another 7-8 miles or so that day as well before we made it back to the Gap parking area. On the way back down to Cherokee we made a final stop at "Mingus Mill" which was built in 1886 and is a still working Grist mill. Working in the sense that the GSMNP service people show demo's during operating hours of it working and you can still watch & then purchase their stone ground flour if you like for a piece of real history.

We ended our trip with a hike down to Glen Falls on the way back home. For the most part we did in fact escape society in general for 3 days...I can't wait to do it again!

Panthertown Valley - Frolictown & Granny Burrells Falls. (We also hiked "Deep Gap", "Great Wall", "Big Green" Trails here)







GSMNP Pano from the A.T. headed towards the Bunion.

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HikerDude73 Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 06 2013, 10:10 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Typical view of the A.T. from last Friday. I was really surprised that the 5 or 6 multi-day backpackers we passed, none of them had Trekking poles! With the snow, ice, incline/decline and heavy packs, I couldn't imagine doing it with out poles even on a day hike with a light daypack. Only a few had microspikes as well.









"The Jump Off" overlook...awesome!



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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 06 2013, 10:13 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Our lunch spot at The Bunion overlook by ourselves...which is rare!





Heading back down to Cherokee with stops along the Oconaluftee River & Mingus Mill.





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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 06 2013, 10:16 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Then finally a hike down to Glen Falls outside of Highlands, NC.





Thank God for Hiking / Backpacking!!!  :)
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 06 2013, 10:40 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

nice.....sounds like a nice trip and plenty of nice photos...

panthertown is on my long list of places to go.........i really want to hit up that area and knock out a bunch of stuff...


QUOTE
king in the sense that the GSMNP service people show demo's during operating hours of it working and you can still watch & then purchase their stone ground flour if you like for a piece of real history.
[QUOTE]


interesting enough---the flour that they sell, is not the flour they grind.......they cant sell the flour they grind in house due to health restrictions.....
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 06 2013, 12:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(kevinumberger @ Dec. 06 2013, 10:40 am)
QUOTE
nice.....sounds like a nice trip and plenty of nice photos...

panthertown is on my long list of places to go.........i really want to hit up that area and knock out a bunch of stuff...


QUOTE
king in the sense that the GSMNP service people show demo's during operating hours of it working and you can still watch & then purchase their stone ground flour if you like for a piece of real history.
[QUOTE]


interesting enough---the flour that they sell, is not the flour they grind.......they cant sell the flour they grind in house due to health restrictions.....

I think the corn meal is ground and sold there.  I have a bag in the freezer down south.

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HikerDude73 Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 06 2013, 1:49 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Wow...had I realized flour & cornmeal where such hot topics I would have just posted pictures of that & skipped everything else. LOL!
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 06 2013, 2:58 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

QUOTE
I think the corn meal is ground and sold there




check the label and i think you'll be surprised to find that it is ground by a third party.....

and yes, hikerdude---here in the south corn meal is a huge deal......
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 06 2013, 7:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(kevinumberger @ Dec. 06 2013, 2:58 pm)
QUOTE
QUOTE
I think the corn meal is ground and sold there




check the label and i think you'll be surprised to find that it is ground by a third party.....

and yes, hikerdude---here in the south corn meal is a huge deal......

Well thanks Kev, for ruining everything!  And yes corn meal rocks!!!  Corn bread.  Corn splatters.  Corn fritters. Corn stew. Corn chowder. Corn scampi?  What were we talking about?

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 07 2013, 8:43 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(HikerDude73 @ Dec. 06 2013, 1:49 pm)
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Wow...had I realized flour & cornmeal where such hot topics I would have just posted pictures of that & skipped everything else. LOL!

LOL. Thanks for sharing man.  :)
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 07 2013, 9:27 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(HikerDude73 @ Dec. 06 2013, 1:49 pm)
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Wow...had I realized flour & cornmeal where such hot topics I would have just posted pictures of that & skipped everything else. LOL!

Just playing.  Great pics.  Wish I could get down there.  Maine is boring at the moment.

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Drift Woody Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 07 2013, 6:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Excellent TR & pics, HD!

The last time I hiked to CB was late October 2012. The trail was a winter wonderland on the way there, and we (my hiking buddy and I) had the overlook to ourselves for a good 15 minutes before others started showing up. On the way back to NG the sun came out, the day warmed up, and we hiked thru a drizzle of melting snow with a kaleidoscope of sunlight knifing through the trees.

I'd visit the mountains more often if they weren't a 10 hour drive from Chicagoland. My wife and I are planning a June trip to the Brevard area, which will be our first vacation together since 2011. That was the last year our yellow lab Hunny was still fit for travel & hiking. She'd been to more states than most people, and passed away this August a few months shy of her 17th birthday. Now we have Winnie, a terrier/black lab mix not yet 2. This will be her first trip. Life goes on.


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