My first Trip to "The Bob"

1:12 p.m. on July 11, 2013 (EDT)
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*first post on Trail Space but I have been reading posts from Tipi Walter, Patman, and Gonzen for trail info. This is one of this best sites for info on the Cherokee/Natahala wilderness I have found. Thanks for the info!!*

My wife, my little brother and my father all took our first trip to "the Bob" two weeks ago taking the "easy" route from Beech Gap to what I think is Cold Springs Gap, Then we felt adventurous and went up 54a past the Bob Tee. Then up to the Bald. We camped under that hard woods just east of the Bald because there was a large group out on the bald and we wanted privacy. All in all a great trip!! Weather was perfect it was 72 when we started at Beech Gap and didn't get above 80 the whole time we were there. We saw A LOT of fresh Wild Hog activity on 54a between the Tee and cold springs gap, going up and down. I kept expecting to to see one run out in front of us.  There were maybe 11 folks camped in and around the Bob that Saturday. This was my first and won't be my last. I have fallen in love with this area and probably won't go back to the Smokies for a long time. I didn't take a lot of photos, but here is a few for you to enjoy. =)


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coming out of the canopy and BOOM....my first look from The BOB


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Cool flowers!!


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My brother on The Bob. He is a boy scout and a great Hiking buddy. He had the Honor of starting our all important fire that evening!!


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what a view!!

Thanks everyone. More to come this weekend. With a lot more pics!!

2:35 p.m. on July 11, 2013 (EDT)
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Your last pic is of the Skyway road slide which happened in January when we had 8 days straight of rain.

I was on the Bob with Patman for several days during the July 4th weekend and there wasn't a soul out because IT RAINED FOR 96 HOURS STRAIGHT.  But the Bob gets its share of backpackers since it's fairly easy to reach from many directions.


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A long day of rain on the Bob showing Patman and his new MSR Hoop tent.


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We had storms all thru the weekend (July 4-7) as my guyed out tent shows.  Patman is in the distance backpacking off the mountain.

3:19 p.m. on July 11, 2013 (EDT)
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I knew if I went out last weekend I would meet some good folks, I was there the previous Saturday night. 

I really wanted to go out last weekend but I was intimidated by the rain forecast and the flood watch. It really upset me because we were on a 5 week streak going out every weekend! This weekend we are going to find your "Crowder Camp" by way of Far Gap. Also it will be the first overnight with Noodles my Yellow Lab. I was thinking of making camp then walking down to wildcat falls for a swim. Is that even worth it? .

3:22 p.m. on July 11, 2013 (EDT)
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Also thanks for the reply, I have recently found your blog and it has been VERY helpful. I hope to see you out in the woods sometime. 

3:38 p.m. on July 11, 2013 (EDT)
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Yeah, thanks.  Check out my Smugmug keywords and punch in Crowder Camp or Wildcat Falls, etc.

http://tipiwalter.smugmug.com/

There are two Crowder Camps, the one on the BMT/Fodderstack Ridge on top of the ridge in a big open grassy area.  The other Crowders is down the Crowder Branch trail about 200 yards right next to a spring water source. I call it Crowder Horse Camp.  My pics show both.  I like both, but the spring site is nice.

The Farr Gap to Crowders hike is nice and there are some uphills with a final long downhill to Crowder Branch and Crowder Camp.  The dayhike down to Wildcat is about 2 miles going down and a tough hike back up with a gain of about 1,500 feet. 

You could always hike in from Farr and keep going down Big Stack trail and camp at Wildcat and then either swing back out or pull the 8 or so crossings on Slickrock Creek and go out on the Stiffknee trail back to Farr Gap.  It's a long haul but pretty.

6:06 p.m. on July 11, 2013 (EDT)
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thanks for all the info and I'll definitely check out those links. Happy trails!

8:17 a.m. on July 12, 2013 (EDT)
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Welcome Shyne! So how do you pronounce your screen name?

12:12 p.m. on July 12, 2013 (EDT)
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its pronounced like sunshine, shoeshine or moonshine...Just spelled funny ---Shyne 

Thanks for the welcome, this is a neat nook in the world wide web

4:08 p.m. on July 12, 2013 (EDT)
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Re: My first Trip to "The Bob" (Bob Stratton Bald) TR

nice.......

i really dug the bald when i was up there a few months ago (even though it rained)...

 

heading up stratton bald trail this weekend, but probably only to the wolf laurel area.......

 

and yeah....there are alot of hogs in that area.....

 

the place where the hogs orginated way back when is just on the other side of the skyway and into NC a bit...

 

hoopers bald had a hunting reserve decades ago that had exotic animals fenced in for people to come and "hunt"..

 

they went outta business and just tore the fence down enabling the hogs to run wild.......and run wild they did....

 

back on memorial day weekend, along mill branch trail, at the campsite just below fodderstack trail, i had a hog rooting in the drainage of a spring around 11 pm at night.......

i knew that it didnt see me but it came within about 100 yards of me.......

12:47 p.m. on July 14, 2013 (EDT)
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Re: My first Trip to "The Bob" (Bob Stratton Bald) TR

Many would say that the real "Bob" is in Montana.

6:03 p.m. on July 14, 2013 (EDT)
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Beautiful pics. Wish I lived closer!

July 24, 2014
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