North Fork Citico overnight -wife, water and friends

7:58 p.m. on May 17, 2017 (EDT)
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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. 

Walter pointed out the best swimming spot on the trail and it could not be resisted. We all three swam for a bit and enjoyed a cool down.

Tipi relaxing after his swim.

One of the many places that the trail takes you along the creek.

Spring flowers along the way.

We meandered lazily up the valley and here was another nice place to enjoy for a bit.

Susan and I took this idyllic spot for the evening (this photo is showing the campsite as seen from the creek and trail).

Tipi went a 1/4 mile up the creek and took this nice spot.

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.

We spent yet another lazy morning doing all the crossings on the way back out.

What an excellent trip!

Happy Trails!

9:17 p.m. on May 17, 2017 (EDT)
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Pretty dang cool. Nice to see you have such lovely company to share it all with an awesome yard to play in and a good friend to hang out with. Cheers to you! Ya got it made.

9:22 p.m. on May 17, 2017 (EDT)
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So jealous of that warm water. Saw plenty of wet on my last trip, but it was bone chilling cold. Thanks for sharing all the pics Pat. They will be good inspiration for tomorrow's training hike :)

11:40 a.m. on May 18, 2017 (EDT)
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Sounds great Susan is doing more trips with you...You do lower mileage trips when she is with you? Nice pics...Tippi needs to come to greyson again and post a trip report...

12:52 p.m. on May 18, 2017 (EDT)
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Sounds and looks like a great weekend. Glad you're getting time to spend on the trail with Susan. My wife and I are getting out a little bit more together in the wilderness and I really appreciate those types of trips even with much lower mileage. Glad to see Tipi is still out and about doing his thing and look forward to future trip reports.

1:58 p.m. on May 18, 2017 (EDT)
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Thanks guys!

Denis, oh yeah, when the wife comes it's a totally different kind of trip in that regard. We do way less miles and a lot more relaxing. She loves the water and will choose that over a mountain-top every time. I've gotten a few 12 and 13 mile days out of her (usually on the AT or a National Park) but that's the upper limit of her interest in such exertions. She's fit enough to do it but doesn't enjoy it like I do. I've discovered the sweet spot for planning purposes to be no more than 5-8 per day.

Surprisingly to me, she really seems to like remote and even some off-trail stuff provided it's not a miserable bush whack of course.

Yes I'm stoked that I'll get to do more of this with her.

4:55 p.m. on May 18, 2017 (EDT)
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That's interesting Patrick... the mileage sweet spot is similar to what my wife and I have figured out somewhere under 10.

7:45 a.m. on May 19, 2017 (EDT)
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Patrick thats awesome..I am trying just to coex a friend into a hike LOL You and phil LS are doing it right ...LOL

9:16 a.m. on May 19, 2017 (EDT)
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Looks like a good time to be out.  Our rivers are still in flood and cold. The snowpack is still in tact. We have had snow recently in the mountains.

12:28 p.m. on May 19, 2017 (EDT)
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Another great trip report, Patrick.

I've run into Patman on a couple dozens trips and most of them are pre-arranged but some do not.

To see my trips with Patman aboard (and his latest trip pics of mine) see---

12:04 a.m. on May 25, 2017 (EDT)
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Looks like a good trip, having Susan along certainly makes for an enjoyable time.  I wish my wife would do that sort of thing.

At 5-8 miles/day, I think I could work out a nice sierra trip just to suit Susan, with plenty of water options.

9:45 a.m. on May 25, 2017 (EDT)
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Thanks John. I may take you up on that one of these days. Are this years plans nailed down yet?

Oh, BTW, care to take a gander at my rock thread?



10:45 p.m. on May 25, 2017 (EDT)
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I will not be able to do a long trip this summer, I have to save all of my vacation time for a trip to the Philippines next year for my son's wedding.  But after next year we can always work out a route for Susan that she would enjoy.

I responded in the rock thread.

March 28, 2020
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