More trips, more photos, I can't stop: Trailspace Report 100

10:10 a.m. on April 25, 2018 (EDT)
2,170 reviewer rep
2,169 forum posts

Just noticed this was my 100th Trailspace Trip Report post! My how time flies. 

So on this report I'll just pick up from where the last left off...

March 2-3 Slick Rock Wilderness NC

This was a somewhat intricate loop and included the widely dreaded Hangover north lead (and then the Hangover south lead) all the way up from Cheaoh Dam to the overlook. That route gives you over 4000 feet of gain in about 6.5 miles.

Views from the Hangover Overlook :



March 9-11 Catalooche NC (GSMNP)

This trip surprised me with late season snow and also realized one of my long standing fears: I locked my keys in the car at the beginning of the trip. I have a pair of running pants that have ejector pockets; I usually never put anything in them. I had inexplicably slipped my keys in them and they fell out inside the car. Luckily I had left the trunk open and it has a back seat access through the arm rest. For the first time maybe ever, I actually made good use of paracord: I crafted a noose on the end of the trekking pole and was able to laso a back door lock and pull it up.

Elk in the vallley (seen from the car)
piping a spring with tent pole repair sleeve (might as well put it to use):

Snowy drifts on trail up at Laruel Gap:

March 16-18 Thunderhead Manway ( Deafeat ridge)

I have no idea why I thought traversing Defeat Ridge again was a good idea. It never will be. 

The most perfectly round sink hole I've ever come across (this one is one the first major switchback of the old Thunderhead manway which is really an old logging road):

Random Thunderhead view into NC:

March 23-24 Big South Fork JMT

This trip was just a quick overnight in between work projects / stopped on my way home from a Louisville KY work trip.

Mugging on the cliff over the river gorge:

Early morning river mist:

April 6-9 Shining Rock NC

This location was chosen specifically to practice map and compass. There are many bald tops (relatively rare in the southern apps) offering excellent sight lines to a lot of recognizable area landmarks. I hung out on several peaks practicing and a few hikers approached me with questions about what I was doing and I involved them in the practice by trying to identify landmarks they were interested in. Worked out really well.


April 13-15 Hyatt Ridge manway GSMNP

This trip was the completion of my Spring Goal: finish the Hyatt Ridge Manway in the GSMNP. The trail was abandoned in the 1960ies (I think). I had previously scouted both the top end and bottom end but had never connected the whole route. The idea of it was better than the reality. It was brutally hard. 

Check out the tracking stats from Delomre InReach for the off-trail piece:

yeah that's right: it took me almost 8 hours to go less than five miles.

There is a place called Roses Gap that you have to crawl across. I bet I did a solid fifty meters of belly crawling with a backpack on. Ouch.

As far as the parts I had never seen, this was one of the easiest most easily navigable sections:


I think this is a succulent but can't remember the name:

April 20-22 GSMNP  /Hazel Creek loop

Last weekend was a favorite spring route. It's about 44 miles, and offers a great mix of interesting trails and scenery. The wildflowers are really nice this time of year. For those interested in the route:

Day 1: Treemont /Middle Prong to Lynn Camp Prong, Miry Ridge, AT to Silars Bald

Day 2: AT to Welch (or bushwhack off-trail down south side of Silars to swale of Welchs ridge), Hazel Creek at Sugar Fork

 Day 3: Jenkins to AT, north to Starkey Gap, off trail following Starkey creek back to Treemont









Happy Trails!

Also, for those interested the full gallery of all 2018 trip photos (but no reports or text) is here:

11:28 a.m. on April 25, 2018 (EDT)
2,988 reviewer rep
1,134 forum posts
Re: more trips, more photos,I can't stop, Trailspace report 100

Congrats on your 100th trip report post!  Always great to keep up with your travels Patrick - and nice wildflower photos.  I wish I was able to join you for one of those to keep in shape...a couple of real grinding climbs would do me some good.

1:39 p.m. on April 25, 2018 (EDT)
275 reviewer rep
1,379 forum posts
Re: more trips, more photos,I can't stop, Trailspace report 100

While you were killing yourself on Hangover Lead North I was on Rocky Flats in Citico camping with Hoppin John by the Chimney---


2:27 p.m. on April 25, 2018 (EDT)
2,170 reviewer rep
2,169 forum posts
Re: more trips, more photos,I can't stop, Trailspace report 100

Thanks Phil, I wish you could have too, I know you would have enjoyed several of those outings.


Ah, good ole Hoppin John! I haven't run into him in quite a while. I see he is still sporting those purple shorts, kind of a trademark but I suspect he may be poised to turn in to the Hulk. Or at least the "backpacker from Alabama version". Don't make him angry?

4:55 p.m. on April 25, 2018 (EDT)
3,217 reviewer rep
963 forum posts
Re: more trips, more photos,I can't stop, Trailspace report 100


I think your succulent (not) is a species of Pedicularis (lousewort). Nice TRs and nice flowers?


For a second there I though you were using a lightweight tent!

5:28 p.m. on April 25, 2018 (EDT)
873 reviewer rep
3,912 forum posts

Wow, thank you for sharing a whopping 100 trip reports so far, Patman! That is inspiring on many levels.

Your pictures are beautiful too. Thanks for sharing so many of your trips with us!

9:50 p.m. on April 25, 2018 (EDT)
1,259 reviewer rep
31 forum posts

REALLY great pictures!

10:13 a.m. on April 28, 2018 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
200 forum posts

Most excellent post Patrick

2:17 a.m. on May 3, 2018 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
12 forum posts

Awesome photos!

6:38 a.m. on May 3, 2018 (EDT)
107 reviewer rep
429 forum posts

Thanks for such great reports and pictures 

August 15, 2018
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

More Topics
This forum: Older: 5 years ago today Newer: Two March Snow Trips
All forums: Older: Fixing my hiking boots before I need a new pair! Newer: Insoles