Ambiguous Trip Report

6:13 p.m. on August 17, 2012 (EDT)
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The names have been changed to protect the guilty and for personal amusement. (A real trip but fanciful report as it were.)

I splurged on this trip and paid for a shuttle to pick me up at the end of the route (where I left my car) and drop me off at points beyond. The shuttle service had an official name but was really just a nice fellow and his Subaru. 

I drove over an hour to the pickup point after work on Friday. I do the Friday night thing a lot as it lets me squeeze in one extra night as well as get positioned for a particular route. I think of these after-work jaunts as “access hikes”.

 


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The nice fellow dropped me off after a 1.5 hour drive from my parked car and I began the evening’s access hike at dusk in a steady rain from stormy skies somewhere in the mountains of Alleghania. I started about 2600 feet and climbed to 4700 feet in 5 miles.

 

 

 

 

 


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I passed Don't Falls, a lovely spot even in the rain.

 

 

 

 


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After about 5 miles I made it to Doofuss Gap and a super secret campsite scouted on previous trips. It might have been more "super" had I not been socked in a thick fog and cloudy rain. It was nice however to have cooler temps and the rain lulled me to sleep in a windy gap.


When I awoke the next morning it was still raining. After a quick burst out into the rain to take care of biological business, I jumped back in the tent to wait for an opening in the downpour to pack-up. Those are the times when I really envy people that get to go on longer trips with more freedom. I had been dropped off 50 trail miles from my car and needed to make progress that day; otherwise I might have stayed put and pulled a zero.

 

 

 

 



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Eventually the rain subsided enough to jump out and do a quick pack of the tent with wet fly. However, packing the tent first compelled me to make breakfast under a drippy tree in the wet woods as I sat on a wet log rather than facing out of my vestibule as I prefer. Even so, it was better than the norm.

 

 

 

 


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Here I was hiking up the trail to first summit and then go past Fecal Mountain. It was a beautiful trail with many outstanding overlooks but unfortunately I was hiking in a dense fog most of the time.

 

 

 

 



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This was a nice spot on the way up.

 

 

 

 


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After four miles or so I had crossed over the summit and picked up the 5.4 mile Bleeding Wound Trail to connect with my main route.

 

 

 

 


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Again it was a shame about the fog since I passed many great views but in that weather they all looked the same.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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I had stopped at one of my favorite overlooks off-route from the main Trail and tried to take advantage of the wind to dry out that tent fly.

 

 

 

 


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As I logged my fourteenth mile of trekking in the fog that day I finally saw some signs of better weather! Woo-Hoo!


I wasn't sure where I was going to stay that night and so I cameled up nearly a gallon of water in my extra containers in case I needed to camp dry. I drink a lot.

 

 

 

 

 



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I wound up pulling about 18 miles that day (14 in the fog), and as it turned out I did camp dry at another super secret spot that was near the view pictured here.



 

 

 

 


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I believe that was the night of the meteor shower and I was just too exhausted to stay up; that was a pretty tiring 18 miles and I'm 40 now (hah, i gots me an excuse. lol).

 

 

 

 

 


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The morning of day 3 (full day 2 really though) and it was time to keep trekking.

 

 

 

 

 


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The weather was outstanding for the rest of trip and brought great views and good vibes throughout.

Funny note part 1: I met a couple guys at a rest stop and they left 30 minutes ahead of me. An hour later i see one of them coming back down the trail towards me. So I say " hey did you forget something?" and he replied "uh...., uh...., dammit! I'm going the wrong way!"  He and his partner had stopped for water and got confused about which way they were going. I pointed him back in the direction he should go (based on what they told me they still had over two hundred miles to their destination). I bet they have a long, long, long trip.

So I had considered staying at an established structure for hikers that night. But there was already a group of college students there who told me they were out getting "like leadership training and stuff, man". They had already built a big smoky fire and it was turning my stomach a bit so I decided to look for a more private camp even though I was ready to stop at that point.

 

 

 

 

 


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I wanted to stay at the place that offered these views.

But even though the scenery was fantastic I discovered that I could hear traffic from that spot (the first automotive noise in three days). It was killing my wilderness fantasy so I had to add another mile to the day to get out of there and find a more secluded spot.


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Mission accomplished.

Funny Note part 2: I had pitched my tent a good ways off trail but hung my food within sight of the trail to take advantage of good limbs. So about 10:30 that night I heard voices and saw lights coming down the trail. Guy 1 says: “Hey what's that?".....Guys 2 " You know what that is? That right there is TRAIL MAGIC!”. So at that point I hollered form my unseen tent spot in the gruffest voice I could muster "Hey, that's my food!" and "Are you stealing my food?” They quickly started apologizing with many "no sirs" and “sorry sir". And then I recognized them as the same two that got turned around earlier .  (They must have gotten turned around again for me to have been ahead of them anyway).

And that finished off another 18 mile day.


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The morning of my last day and it was time to lose all the elevation I had worked so hard to gain.

 

 

 

 

 


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This is a favorite spot o’ mine and I took a good long break there that morning.

 

 

 

 


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On the way down I passed these neato giant mushrooms.

 

 

 

 

 


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I also passed this "scary to photograph" giant wasp nest. (It was bigger than my head).

 

 

 

 


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I finished the trip with a cold, cold dip in the area swim hole.

 

 

It was a really nice three night excursion and 'good for me head'!

I hope you enjoyed the report!

Happy Trails!

Patrick

12:32 a.m. on August 18, 2012 (EDT)
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Ah, backpacking in the rain, reminds me of trips when I was a teenager, going to the Adirondacks.

I really like that swimming hole at the end, looks like my kind of spot.

2:04 p.m. on August 18, 2012 (EDT)
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Very cool trip.  Looks like you didn't run into the overgrown trails this time!

6:26 p.m. on August 19, 2012 (EDT)
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Nice report.  Enjoyed the photos. 

2:18 p.m. on August 20, 2012 (EDT)
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Um, Fecal Mountain? Bleeding Wound Trail? Doofuss Gap? Don't Falls?

You guys sure pick some odd names for your trails!

Thanks for the chuckle.

4:56 p.m. on August 20, 2012 (EDT)
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oh, so a guessing game huh. where oh where is patman...

5:58 p.m. on August 20, 2012 (EDT)
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peter1955 said:

Um, Fecal Mountain? Bleeding Wound Trail? Doofuss Gap? Don't Falls?

You guys sure pick some odd names for your trails!

Thanks for the chuckle.

 Old mountain man Colon Flaccid would disagree and would probably say "Can't hardly intolerate it".  His thumbed and illegible journals often mention various adventures in the Bung Towers or wintering in the snows over Wrecktum Pass.

In the winter I often backpack with old Flaccid and one time he recounts an encounter with some "forest hippies"---

" "Waugh, twern't my fault but thems nearly got my topknot and were gonna gut me for my hump meat like a greased possum on a beaver tongue. Twern't for old Tipi Walt here I'd still be a-dancing like a hittite over a bonfire on a turning spit. Thems hippies waugh got a full set of hair but dangit theys kept 'em as my skinning knife was off my hip and so I came out without a belt of scalplocks. But thems girls was purtty and they had me spinning like a gutted buffler getting snake bit with a broke forelock."

I believe his names for mountain and creek features to be more important and relevant than what's on the map, btw.

10:55 a.m. on August 21, 2012 (EDT)
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hey thanks for the comments guys!

Tipi, I was indeed inspired by Colon Flaccid as I wrote this report; as we know he is quite the enigmatic mountain personality.

 

1:50 p.m. on August 21, 2012 (EDT)
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Patman said:

hey thanks for the comments guys!

Tipi, I was indeed inspired by Colon Flaccid as I wrote this report; as we know he is quite the enigmatic mountain personality.

 

 You're right and I haven't seen him since the March 2012 heatwave which turned the mountains of NC and TN into a furnace.  Funny thing is, on my very last trip he did swing thru Panther Sac Valley and found me camping on Fistula Creek and we shared some stories as follows---

OLD MOUNTAIN MAN
    Colon Flaccid is nowhere to be found as he "can't intolerate the heat" as he would say. Last I heard he's staying in a secret cave on top of Grandfather Mt and waiting for winter. With him is his favorite mountain lion and a small group of rattlesnakes, none of which can "intolerate the humans or the heat". Old Flaccid has set up quite a shrine of token artifacts inside his cave and is helped by his friends. The mountain lion brings back the rib cages of mere dayhikers, the snakes bring back good stories of human envenomation and old Flaccid has a stack of arrow and spear punctured car fenders and bumpers he's pulled off tourists trying to drive to the Mile High Bridge.

    "Twon't of a necessarily give a crap!" he says. "Every mountain climb has its risks!" he remarks and points out numerous dog collars and soup bones. "Ha!! Thems the four leggeds a'ventured a way too close to ours domicile". The mountain lion wanders over to lick his face as he uncoils a rattlesnake off his arm.

    "This is the good life at least until winter comes." Old Flaccid spends his summer in the cave breeding ticks and has developed some the size of raccoons which he lets lose in the tourist shops on top of the mountain. "One of my ticks can drain a hominad in 5 minutes", and I believe him. "And they don't just sneak up a persons leg neither. They jump like a spider and lodge their heads in yore ab-doe-man and suck out a quart about as fast as it takes to tell it."

    "Waugh!   A fully engorged tick gets the size of a malamute and they will even carry food and follow me up a trail. I call 'em blowfish with the pineyes and theys the solution to human overcrowding. So yeah, come on up to Grandfather Mt to avoid the heat young 'uns but if you drive you'll have yourn hands full with the snakes and the ticks and the lions. My old ticks can distinguish their prey by whether they drive or walk, the drivers of course are eaten first naturally har har har! I'll see you sonny boy in the next blizzard," and he heads off.

3:50 p.m. on August 21, 2012 (EDT)
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Great stories Tipi. Thanks. :-)

And you're right. I can think of a few trails that would be better (and more appropriately) named if someone wanted to provide a bit more information about the conditions, and had a bit more imagination.

Diarrhea Pond, Frozentoe Glacier, the Shinbreak Trail. Sore Knees Gulch, Blister Alley, Dogchase Lane....

6:11 p.m. on August 21, 2012 (EDT)
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I can't stop laughing at the names. I might have to get creative on my next tr. Come to think of it I actually have to do one from my last trip. 

Good stuff PM. 

Tipi, Colin Flaccid..... I am at a loss for words. 

(puts head down in palm. :p)

7:36 p.m. on August 21, 2012 (EDT)
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And I was just thinking to myself that Trailspace hasn't made me laugh in a long while.

8:49 p.m. on August 21, 2012 (EDT)
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Peter1955 said, "I can think of a few trails that would be better (and more appropriately) named if someone wanted to provide a bit more information about the conditions, and had a bit more imagination."

Put some Newfoundlanders on the job! Newfoundland has:  Mistaken Point, Bareneed, Witless Bay, Little Seldom, Low Point, Pushthrough, Blow Me Down, Camp Boggy, Petty Harbour, Great Mosquito Cove, Goblin, Ass Rock...etcetera.

Of course, there's also Too Good Arm, Heart's Desire, Heart's Delight, Heart's Content, Cupids, Comfort Cove, Little Heart's Ease, Fair Haven, Happy Adventure, Little Paradise and quite a few others to cheer you up.

One of my favourites is Bay d'Espoir, which means Bay of Hope, but is pronounced Bay Despair.

And I'm not sure how you'd classify Dildo and Leading Tickles... ;)

6:09 a.m. on August 22, 2012 (EDT)
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When we visited the GC my daughter and I started riffing on alternative names for all the (view) points along the rim, which are all named point something or something point: No Point, Whatsthe Point, Dissa Point, Point Less, Point of Convergence, A Point, Ball Point, Check Point, Counter Point, Point Ed, Point Illism ... we had dozens, but I've forgotten most of them. 

9:43 a.m. on August 22, 2012 (EDT)
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I always wondered whether the people who named the places in Newfoundland were just pulling our legs. They sure have some of the oddest names around!

1:24 p.m. on August 22, 2012 (EDT)
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Hey Pat, that tent looks like quite a palace.  Is that a Big Agnes Seed house? or am I totally wrong? 

Looking to replace my 8 year old MSR Zoid. 

1:42 p.m. on August 22, 2012 (EDT)
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No wait it is an REI model one they had a couple years ago. 

2:52 p.m. on August 22, 2012 (EDT)
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Soleful, very close....it's the Fly Creek II (two person). I reviewed it here.

 

Islandess, Red ,

those are some awesome names!

 

Tollermom,

I'm pleased everyone picked up the spirit of my endeavor!

September 20, 2014
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