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My wife Susan recently changed jobs and now has more weekends off; hopefully this is the first of many backcountry forays to come! It's always special for me when I can combine my favorite person with some of my favorite activities.
We chose to dash off to the Citco Wilderness of TN for an up and back down run at the beautiful North Fork drainage. The trail crosses the creek 26 times in total with the lower 7 or 8 crossings being more difficult.
I usually start from a place called Wardens Field (a car camp type flats with an intersection of foot trails) and cross the full Citico at the alternate 105 sign post. I was so happy to be there I didn't really notice how high the water was until we started across.
Well, she wasn't even to the deep spot yet so we decided to go upstream a bit to a slightly better crossing. It was still sketchy; bad call on my part to be honest and we were fortunate neither of us wiped out.
I knew Tipi Walter was out and about but we hadn't planned a meet-up. We no sooner said to ourselves "I wonder if we'll see Walter"? And there he was trucking down the South Fork Trail!
We passed over the confluence of the North and South Forks; the two forks are coming from the right side of the picture (hard to tell from this angle) and the larger river seen to the left in the picture was the one Susan and I crossed a half mile downstream. Our route would follow one fork on up into the wilderness.
We went to his house for dinner and conversation, eventually returning to our downstream camp for a night swim and excellent evening overall.
The next day we slept in; in fact, Susan slept through Tipi's early morning pass-through on his continued wanderings. We eventually started moving but soon stopped at this beautiful side falls as we dragged our feet.
What an excellent trip!