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Last four of 2015 to share

I hope everyone had a great year and best wishes for a new year of outdoor adventures in 2016!

(I don't think I've ever posted the link but I started dumping photos on smugmug for easy linking. It's not a complete site yet but here are all the 2015 galleries if interested.)

November 26 -30 Citico Wilderness of Tennessee:

I ran into Josh and Joe on Rocky Flats. Joe is an avid hiker and Trailspace reader; he actually recognized me from the internet so they get the first picture of this post! :)

I also ran into Tipi Walter on the North Fork trail just before a major rain event.


Upper Crowders camp; getting ready for a serious rain in a tarp I was testing for Trailspace. Review here.

A brief respite from the rain.

December 11-13, GSMNP Inadu / Cammerer Loop

A favorite rest stop view looking south from Inadu knob GSMNP.

This is a view of Ground Hog ridge, AKA Cammerer Manway. Thanks to my friend Mark with AAA Hiker service for talking me through finding the route down this ridge! (best shuttle service for the eastern Smokies- use them!) I called him from the fire tower; spur of the moment to try this off-trail route.

It was a sweaty affair with lots of ducking through rhodo tunnels and backwards scrambling down rock faces. Good times!

December 18-21 Goshen Prong Loop GSMNP

Snowy bridge across Little River Trail. You can barely see a hiker on the other side of the bridge. He was 83 years old and doing an 8 mile round trip! wow, it was about 18F and I didn't expect to see anyone, let alone an 83 year old!


Icy junction on Goshen Prong

A fav view from the Miry Ridge mini-heath bald


December 26-30 Appalachian Trail section :Damascus VA to 19E TN (~75 miles)

Mountain Harbor Hiker Hostel / BnB. I used them to shuttle me to Damascus. The barn sleeps 8 hikers in a shared hostel space and the red house is the higher priced Bed and breakfast rooms. Great folks!

First camp at Abingdon Gap shelter area. I meant to bring a small 5X7 tarp to supplement my little tent / have a cook space during the expected rainy days but brought the giant 10x12 by mistake. Oh well, I had a large dry area.nice

I froze 3/4 pounds of leftover Christmas Lasagna for the first nights dinner and heated it in double boiler fashion. mmm


Timer shot on the bench at Cross Mountain

Morning fog at Laurel Fork area


Laurel Viewpoint AT (from bench in the middle of nowhere)


Cascades from side trail


I love this tree


And I like this muted color contrast in the impending stormy weather


And though a tad melancholy to end on, I really like this photo.

Happy Trails!









Good stuff Patmananda!!  Do I know Joe??  Speaking of Rocky Flats, it's on my to-do list for January and I can't wait to see little Abbey Creek and the chimney and all else.

Just after I saw you as you know the sky opened up and didn't stop raining for 75 hours which caused me to pull 3 zero days in my tent on the North Fork trail as the creek crossings got crazy.

I like that 10x12 tarp and you could consider using it more often.  Always nice to have a place to crap out and squat and peer about etc.

Btw, the mighty Patrushka left me two O'Doul near-beers on the NF trail and I drank both in quick succession which I think gave me a buzz despite being almost non-alcoholic.


Patman, very pleased to meet you. Always enjoy your trip reports(surprised to show up in one)! I guess the shout-out convinced me to join up here instead of just read in anonymity. Perhaps we will cross paths again soon...

Hey Joe! Yes it was nice to meet you too!


Welcome to the forums!

I picked up an orange bandana that I think belongs to you or Josh. If one of you guys are missing one and want it back I can drop it the mail to you; just let me know...

I bet the Cammerer Manway was a lot tougher off trail slog than what we did in the Sierra.  The only thing in the Sierra that would compare to the rhododendron would be the manzanita thickets, and there weren't any where we went.  I've been in the Smokies a couple times and didn't feel the urge to try off trail through the rhododendron.

As it turned out it wasn't too bad...I recall looking at that manzanita coming out of mineral king and thinking it would be just as difficult. ..

Have you started scheming on the next Sierra trip yet?

I'm toying with three different options for this summer.  One is a repeat of my 2012 trip to the lake on Picket Creek and Kaweah Basin.  Another is another loop out of Mineral King.  And the third is a trip to the Mono Creek drainage north of Kings Canyon, to the recesses and Pioneer basin.  Some of the kids I took on the Rae Lakes loop last summer want to go to Kaweah Basin, so for now that is the frontrunner.

Thanks for sharing these pictures, Patman. Do you have any more snow on the ground since these trips?

Thanks also for bringing Joe into the forums and out of anonymity. Welcome, Joe!

haha, Not much snow at all this year...little bits in the shady north faces and plenty of icy run-offs but nothing packed yet!


These are some beautiful pictures and I had a great time reading your blog. Thanks for sharing!

I enjoyed the photos and the captions, thanks!

Thanks, Patman, for all your efforts in writing an interesting report.  It's especially nice to read during these "cabin fever" days!

October 24, 2020
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