Sat, Feb 4 2017 - Cohutta Wilderness/Hemp Top/Penitentiary Branch/Jacks River I/O (View Original Event Details)

Trip Leader(s): Grant Brown, Todd M
Participants:Nancy L, Grant Brown, Kristi, Niki, Silvia, Barbie, Nikki H, john everly, John V, Jane Z, Shawn Z, Todd M

Write Up:

We met in the dim, cold hours before 8 o'clock and rode together up through Ellijay and onto the backroads of Whitepath, Boardtown, Bushyhead, and Cashes Valley to get to Hyw 2 and Dally Gap.  A large group of Bro's had arrived just before us and headed in.  We thought they may take the best spot.  We passed them at Penitentiary Branch where they'd set up camp a few tenths of a mile up from a most excellent group campsite at Jacks River and P. Branch.  So, we got lucky and grabbed that site for the night.  Wood gathering was easy thanks to Mr. Pawloski's group from a few weeks ago who left us a nice starter pile.  Thanks AOC brothers and sisters!  It was an exciting surprise to have the women take charge of getting the fire started with Shawn coming in on the backside and keeping it going and Grant dowsing it upon departure the next morning, thanks to all!  We carried on our tradition of sunset drinks by the water.  Very nice.  The forest was so quiet as always.  We saw just a few birds and John V. made an early morning siting of what we think was a musk rat near the river.  After dinner, Grant and Todd got out the guitar and harmonica and the jamming began and lasted long into the night.  We had some awesome moments of communion while dancing and singing "Ain't that America", "Gotta have Faith", and many more round the campfire.  Many joined in with percussion instruments.  It really warmed up the 30 degree air around us.  After turning in, we were surprised with a little rain on the tent, but it felt good to be warm and dry inside.  The P. Branch section is deceptively arduous which we were soon reminded of on the way out Sunday morning [1550 feet elevation gain over 3.5 miles].  All in all, great trip!