Sat, Feb 20 2016 - Siler Bald - Backpacking On The NC Applachian Trail (View Original Event Details)

Trip Leader(s): Kristi
Participants:Kristi, Silvia, Teresa R, Bart, Alex D, Fardis, greg, Mike Brannon

Write Up:

A few photos here: 

Kudos to everyone for sticking with this trip and making the most of it.  The weather was not sunny and dry.  We hiked up to Siler Bald shrouded in thick damp fog and clouds on Saturday.  We decided to make camp at the shelter so that we'd have a dry place to cook and socialize.  The trail to the shelter was snowy and icy amazingly.  After a bit of lunch most of us pitched our tents/hammocks around the area.  We gathered fire wood, greatly enhanced with some sawing by most of the guys (thanks Mike for bringing the saw!), and grass that Greg found somewhere.  Alex was serious about getting the fire started in the precipitation, lo and behold he got it going, artfully fed for hours, and enjoyed by many until late at night.   

When we had arrived at the shelter there were four mystery backpacks neatly stacked along the wall whose owners finally turned up mid/late afternoon from their day hike... four students from GA Tech, friends from an acting improv group.  They were very engaging and talkative.  Simple camp food - bagels, bread, burrito shells with spam, peanut butter, granola.  Their mixology was very creative that involved vodka and worcestershire sauce.  A notable story from one of the old-soul students was his encounter with rhinos in South Africa from whom he escaped (on a bicycle).  You can't make this stuff up.  These encounters are so rich.  Intersecting our lives for a few hours and evenings, exchanging stories and laughter.  It's great.  
Another group of 8 arrived around 6pm, coming in from Rock Gap, exhausted.  They revived after food, change of cloths, and a warm welcome fire.   More good conversation.
My morning impressions - quiet forest with fog, tress towering over us as if they were watching over us, lots of busy-ness eating breakfast, chattering, and breaking camp by us and the other group, Turkish coffee being drunk calmly by Fardis and the old soul GA Tech student by the fire ring, sleepy college kids waking up and getting Jake-dog selfies; loving the fresh air of the mountains and enjoying it with the others.  
Kudos to all for doing this trip regardless of the weather; a couple first time AOC participants - Teresa, who did wonderfully with her first non-guided backpack trip, and Alex; thanks to Greg for not only coming on the trip but also bringing Jake ...we love nice dogs!; cousins Bart and Mike.  Soul inspiring Silvia.  Self-less Fardis for offering to sweep.  
Finished the trip by sharing lunch at Universal Joint in Clayton.   Thanks all!  -Kristi, feb 22, 2016