Short Report, overnight in Slickrock, NC

3:15 p.m. on June 9, 2013 (EDT)
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Had one night to use, left Friday after work, drove the Tail of the Dragon to Topoco trailhead and turned up Ike Branch.

Started in the driving rain, stopped at the second camp that presented itself, it rained all night and into the morning without cessation, the MSR Hoop is hard to pitch quickly






Dinner was water, a can of octopus in olive oil and a bag of tasty bite chickpeas





I went up the Hangover lead north because I wanted a work-out.





Was also a hell-slog at times






Funky fungus





Flame azalea on the knob





Dried out my stuff at Big Fat Gap


Butterflies aren’t picky; they’ll eat the salt from your orthotics





Mountain Laurel on Windy Gap








Big Black Snake on Nichols Cove trail 44.

Between the twin graves and Slickrock creek that trail is terrible and barely passable (if you can tell where the trail is at all).

So, uh, Tipi Walter I’m gonna need you to go ahead and uh, clear that trail for me….

And clean up the Hangover North while your at it.






Last rest stop, Slick Rock Creek on the way out…..


This was a tough loop due to the unmaintained trails and many deep crossings but my intention was exercise and I got plenty of that!

Hike on Friends!

7:33 p.m. on June 9, 2013 (EDT)
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I can appreciate that trip report more than you may know.

I understand what it's like to have a narrow time window and maybe the weather isn't cooperating like you wish, but you want some outdoor time so you head out anyway.

It's a rare breed that presses on and doesn't just go back home, and God forbid you try to plan anything like that with friends! I'm sure some buddies would stick it out, but that is rarer still.

Your pictures speak volumes to me, been there done that.

Thank you so much for sharing your trip, and I bet you were pressed for time doing that to.

12:00 a.m. on June 10, 2013 (EDT)
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It's good some old Tasty Bites in action.

Here's your route as far as I can tell---

**  Calderwood Lake up Ike Branch.

**  To Yellowhammer Gap and up Hangover Lead North to Big Fat Gap.

**  Down Windy Gap to Nichols Cove and the graves.

**  Finish Nichols down to Slickrock.

**  Two Slickrock crossings to Ike Branch.

**  Out on Ike or out with 2 more crossings on lower Slickrock over the 4 wooden footbridges?

I haven't done Hangover Lead North in several years as it's an exercise in futility and I'd rather just take Yellowhammer to the graves and then down Nichols.  But I do love the Windy Gap trail a lot. 

I've gone down Nichols several times and while there are many small crossings which are at first confusing, the trail as a whole is not too bad (although I remember one hellish blowdown not too far down from the graves).  Yes, it needs work.

I won't be doing any trailwork on the Slickrock side for my upcoming June trip (solstice) but I hope to pack the tools for a full trek down the Brush Mt trail in the Citico (which is the Nutbuster of the Citico).  And then I hope to clear a nasty section of the South Fork trail which is on a level logging cut away from the creek but which is choked with grapevine and briars and is HATEFUL.

BTW, on my last big trip I managed to completely clear Grassy Branch coming out to Grassy Gap if you're interested.

I haven't even started drying food yet and I can't even find suitable material to make a new pot cozy.  Maybe I'll just live on peanut butter sandwiches for 2 weeks.

7:05 a.m. on June 10, 2013 (EDT)
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Mike you nailed it. I was pressed for time and obstinately pushed forward. It's funny you mention getting someone to go with you becuase a friend of mine did want to go but then backpeddled after checking the weather.


I finished out Slickrock and went over the high footbridges. That was actually my first time completing that section of 44 between the graves and slickrock. I was confused a bit at those small crossing. I also missed a slickrock crossing sign and wound up following a fisherman’s path until it dead ended against a rock wall; I knew the trail must be in the other side so I just picked a random spot to cross.


11:43 a.m. on June 10, 2013 (EDT)
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Here's that blowdown on Nichols Cove which should bring back some memories.

11:52 a.m. on June 10, 2013 (EDT)
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And here's near the bottom of Nichols Cove where it jcts with Slickrock Creek.  It looks messy.

11:22 p.m. on June 10, 2013 (EDT)
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You have interesting food...never tried the canned octopus before.

I've never seen those chickpea tasty bites.

8:06 a.m. on June 11, 2013 (EDT)
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I went on a Tasty Bite frenzy several years ago and while heavy (they are like canned food except you can burn the "can"), they have a big variety and it's a change O pace from the usual dehydrated stuff, especially for short trips where you don't mind carrying the "wet weight". 

I used to carry up to 12 at a time (120 ozs---almost 11 lbs!) but now just dehydrate them at home and lose most of the weight.


10:08 a.m. on June 11, 2013 (EDT)
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I haven't ever tried the canned octopus either. Did you mix it with the chick peas? I have tried the Tasty Bite before but don't remember which one I ate. 

11:31 a.m. on June 11, 2013 (EDT)
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Hah, for those interested here is the octopus:


I actually ate it before the Tasty Bite and had already packaged up the trash or I would have shown it for posterity. This review is pretty acurate IMO.

My can did have smaller tentacles with more suction cups than are shown in the reivew.

1:28 p.m. on June 11, 2013 (EDT)
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I may give the octopus a try (at home first). I like canned sardines and a lot of folks won't touch them. Seems it is a acquired taste 

2:35 p.m. on June 12, 2013 (EDT)
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my husband has fond memories of his dad and brothers grilling sardines in the backyard, guaranteed to clear out the neighborhood!

October 8, 2015
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