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Hello all, Happy New Year!
I was very fortunate to have had another great year of trips and experiences and decided to share another end of year type trip report with the like minded people that read these websites.
Even though it may be growing with more media exposure, backpacking is still pretty much a niche activity and so there are only so many places to share such things.
I always feel as though I should preface my report by saying I don't share out of braggadocio or to get some special recognition, but simply because this is what I'm into and you guys get it.
For background, I'm a hopeless backpacking geek and actually kept a basic journal of my trips this year. Though I work full time, I was able to pull 44 trips in 2017! (pretty good out of 52 weeks I reckon). The journaling was interesting to look back on: I finished the year with 1109 miles hiked and 75 nights spent out. 26 trips involved the Appalachian Trail as part of the route, most trips were in the Southern Appalachians in general (I live here), with the notable exception of my "big" trip which was in Colorado this year. Precipitation of some kind was involved with 24 of the 44 trips this year.
The Highlights were :
- five trips with my wife Susan!
- Weminuche Wilderness and summiting four fourteen thousand foot peaks
- several off-trail trips /finally finding the southern end of the Hyatt Ridge manway
My full years pictures are here on Smug mug (these are just raw photos arranged by trip date from most recent to oldest as you scroll down the page): https://patricktn.smugmug.com/2017
For brevity and fun, I've selected one photo from each month to share (just ones I like, not necessarily the best quality ones) :
"The Hiker Tunnel" (Jan 13th) connecting Clingmans Dome Road to an AT spur trail in the GSMNP.
The first southern view as you summit the balds and meadows of Bob Mountain in Cherokee National Forest NC. (Feb 19th)
Derrick Knob (March 10th) on the AT in the Smokies and first snow camp of the year.
Wife Susan crossing the full Citico creek above Warden Field (April 29th).
Shining Rock Mountain camp (May 26th)
Sunset lighting up the Mt Cammerrer fire tower GSMNP (June 3rd)
A black snake standing to intimidate, Marks Creek GSMNP (July 20th)
Susan and me mugging on the Bald River Trail (Aug 26th)
A shot of Eric (my climbing partner for the day) in the Chicago Basin, Weminuche Wilderness CO (Sept 24th)
An old saw blade found exploring off trail near Blanket Creek in the GSMNP (Oct 7th)
Sunrise from the tent on Wilburn Ridge VA (Nov 5th)
Pine Mountain / Fodderstack Junction Citico TN (Dec 9th)
Happy Trails in 2018!