Sat, Apr 8 2017 - Siler Bald & Day Hike to Wayah Bald - 9:15 AM Carpool (View Original Event Details)|
Excellent writeup from Connie! Well written!
Our merry band backpackers began the five mile trek to Siler Bald with the goal of setting up base camp there. The weather was glorious as the sunny shown down on our happy little group. Conversation was lively as we talked, joked, and shared stories of our hiking adventures, getting to know each other. With exception of one, we are all seasoned in the rewards, and challenges of backpacking. And Siler Bald was the perfect choice for a newbie, as well as scenic yet moderately challenging for the rest.
Five uphill miles, we arrived at base camp midafternoon, and quickly set up, then hiked the 6 miles to see Wayah Bald. We arrived there to see the charred destruction of last year’s wildfires and the remains of Wayah stone tower with the wooden roof burned and the monolith of stone basking in sunlight, it sat silently awaiting a new lid to be built. Black charred trees were scattered just over the stone wall outlining the perimeter of the structure, yet the mountains in the distance were adorned with the glowing sun light soon to be setting. We gobbled down some nourishment and took in the views.
With daylight burning, we knew the clock was ticking – and with 6 miles to return – we did our best to move quickly along the muddy trail left from recent rains. We arrived at Siler Base camp, satisfyingly weary as darkness began to blanket the mountain. We discovered a through hiker neighboring our campsite, and he agreed to build a campfire. The damp woods did not offer many dry kindling, so after sharing our food supplies and stories, we retreated to the warmth of our tents and sleeping bags.
Morning arrived before sunrise, and we sleepily trekked the half mile up Siler Bald where we were privileged to see the rising sun over the mountains. Cameras in hand, excitement rose as the sun inched its way into the mountain sky, honoring us with a spectacular glowing orangey sky being melted away to a pale yellow horizon. Weary smiles on our faces, we made our way down the bald, watching the sky, and ready to return to base camp and enjoy the hike downhill to our car, and home, until the mountains called again.