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No not that kind of mushroom trip you hippie.
Rather just the right conditions for fungus to be among us. If you are a mycologist this is the report for you!
Having one night to use and a job requirement that put me in Gatlinburg TN on a Friday afternoon, I couldn’t resist hitting the trail even though I had things I probably should have been doing.
Starting on the Little River trail from Elkmont I stopped to snap a pic of this old knurly tree in the middle of the river.
Turning up Goshen Prong I paused to admire the sunlight beaming down on a slippery rock cascade.
I got caught in the rain for most of the afternoon hike and wished I brought my umbrella because the rain jacket was too hot but no protection was risky even in the summer.
This was a very broad leafed plant huh? One of these days I will actually buy a field guide but in the meantime it’s more fun to let Gonzan and Big Red educate me.
After my 6.7 mile hike (with about 1000 feet of gain), I rushed to put up my tent in the rain getting the inner quite wet in the process. Of course as soon as the tent was up the rain abated. Ten more minutes…..patience is a virtue.
At first I thought this tent was abandoned because upon close inspection it had water pooling inside and many slugs on the outside. I wondered what went through the mind of the person(s) that abandoned it. Did they rationalize that maybe someone else would be happy to come upon a “ready to use” tent? Why, what good people were they indeed to have left this here. Maybe they were even saving someone’s life!
But then I realized this was probably a bear test tent left by the park service for monitoring. They will sometimes do this to see if a bear will mess with it.
This cool Marmot Swallow was not abandoned but belonged to my new neighbors who arrived shortly after me. And by the way Josh, that tent is between 7 and 8 pounds.
Here are Josh and Jana from Michigan. They had already been in the park for a week! Really nice folks….
Nice root system at camp.
The next morning I packed early to begin my 22 mile day (with over 4000 total feet of gain). And so begins the mushroom spotting.
Nice tree on upper Goshen.
A little blurry but still cool.
Boreal type forest on the AT just up from Goshen where moments before I saw big white tail deer.
Looking south from MT Buckley I took this picture with two backpackers whom I didn’t meet long enough to name, but asked to stand still for perspective in my shot.
And here is a fellow I did meet long enough to name: Brad P. I really enjoyed our conversation as he is a retired educator and for the last 7 months I’ve been working as a technical trainer; he gave me some really good advice. He is also an avid hiker and had been on trail for the last month and a half.
Nice perspective passing over Mt Love.
And back to our theme….
A brief departure to zoom in on a lonely rhodo blossom.
Side note: this stump marks the “hidden” manway to the Chimney Tops from the Sugarland Mountain trail. Yep, you can hike down to the Chimneys. Not on the map, but will try it soon.
My lovely lunch spot on Rough Creek where I sat with feet in water.
Me, gazing stoically at the little river while contemplating jumping in.
And I’ll end with a rose that I’m pretty sure is non-native but cool to see on the trail.
Happy trails my friends!