1,333 forum posts
March 8-23 2013
** 16 DAYS IN THE CITICO/SLICKROCK.
** BEECH GAP IN THE SNOW.
** WITH HOPPIN JOHN ON THE BOB.
** THE RESCUED COUPLE FROM TRIP 137.
** OUT OF THE WIND IN LITTLE COVE CAMP WITH HOPPIN JOHN.
** DAVID'S CRANBERRIES IN THE WEDGE.
** HYENA WINDSTORM IN BARREL GAP.
** CAMPING IN NAKED GROUND WITH IAN AND KIM'S CRANBERRIES.
** MEETING CHAD AND HIS GROUP.
** MEETING GREG MILLER ON 54A.
** WINDSTORM ON FOUR MILE RIDGE.
** ON SLICKROCK CREEK WITH IAN AND KIM AT WILDCAT FALLS AND GREG MILLER AT NICHOLS COVE.
** THUNDERSTORM AT CROWDERS HORSE CAMP.
** BMT THRUHIKERS FLUGELHORN AND HOLLYWOOD.
** SNOWSTORM IN COLD SPRING GAP.
I catch the tail end of the big Southeast snowstorm everyone is talking about as Little Mitten drops me off at Beech Gap in the Citico wilderness and I immediately start postholing in a winter wonderland.
Gaiters would help so instead I get wet socks.
My old Asolo 520's are crap so I spring for a new pair of Fugitives and they are perfect.
My camp for the night is not far from Beech Gap in Cold Spring Gap in the Citico.
Hilleberg tents have several big flaws and this is one of the biggest---Over time the elastic connectors stretch as above. It sucks cuz then the inner yellow tent sags down from the fly poles and you're left with a smaller tent. Hilleberg needs to get on the stick and redesign this engineering flaw.
It's the morning of Day 2 at Cold Gap and Hoppin John pulls in. It's good to see him as he left Alabama at 1:30 in the morning and 5 hours later he's at Beech Gap and ready with his Mystery Ranch pack and new Hilleberg Kaitum tent. He sits watching me pack. Our conversation as he approached my camp:
"Is that squirrel you got on the fire?"
"Why? Grown par-tick-u-lar??"
We trudge up a thousand foot climb in 6 to 12 inches of snow and it slows us down.
Hoppin John in the snow.
At the Bob Tee after the worst of the climb.
The 2 backpackers who passed by my Cold Gap camp at midnight do a nighthike up to the bald and are camped by the Death Tree. It's the same couple and the same woman who was hornet stung and rescued by the Graham County squad on Trip 138 and posted here on Trailspace. She now carries an Epipen.
Hoppin John pumping up his Exped downmat next to his new red Kaitum tent.
Sunset on the Bob with my Keron tent.
A stiff wind hits the Bob but Hoppin John has his tent all guyed out as the sun sets.
It's the morning of Day 3 on the Bob and the wind increases.
Abbi on the Bob by her tent.
Uncle Fungus joins Abbi and Micheal for a fotog.
We decide to bail off Bob Mt as a big windstorm is hitting and we rest on the trail down into the Wedge.
Abbi and Michael aren't far behind and meet us in Cold Gap.
We get down into the Wedge and in the protection of Little Cove Camp where Hoppin John shows how to set up the Kaitum.
Kaitum setup part 2.
Kaitum part 3.
The first Cranberries (Cranbrook School) we run into are in the Wedge and are camping along Bob Creek. Hoppin John checks out the leader's tarp.
A typical Cranberry leader's tarp.
Leader David of the Cranbrook School set up in the Wedge on Bob Creek.
DAY FOUR TO COME