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Sat, Nov 7 2009 - Backpacking Lost Cove in the Smokies (View Original Event Details)

Trip Leader(s): Michael Johnson, Bob Bunner
Participants:Bob Bunner, Michael Johnson, Debbie Degner, Yong, steve, Niki, Jane T, Ralph Howard, David Van Wert


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Write Up:
We had a picture perfect weekend backpacking in the Smokies.  After many a rainy weekend, the weather gods finally cooperated to bring us a rare sunny weekend.  Like clockwork, we arrived at Fontana Dam at 10:00 a.m. and began the rather arduous ascent of Shuckstack Ridge on the AT.  After about 4.0 miles of steadily climbing, we made it to the top where we stopped for lunch.  Most of us climbed up the firetower for amazing views of Fontana Lake and beyond.  Mike Johnson gave us some concern as he climbed on the metal rungs of the firetower, ostensibly to get a better position for pictures.  After about 45 minutes at the top of the ridge, we made our way down the steep ridge to our destination at Lost Cove.  The fallen leaves made trail finding a challenge, but eventually we made it to Lost Cove Creek, which we had to cross on several occasions.  Most of us brought our water shoes and simply waded through the creeks, but Mike decided to challenge himself and impress all of us by managing to cross the creeks without getting his ankles wet.  Our favorite fire-ring had already been taken, but we managed to claim a great camping area and immediately spread out to collect enough firewood for an evening and morning fire.  The roar of Eagle Creek running beside our campsite made a welcome sound.  As afternoon turned to evening, the stars came out in a full display.  While we all quarreled about identifying specific constellations, there was no doubt about the dusty presence of the milky way.  The following day, we woke up to a fire and rather cold temperatures, but that didn't last long.  A leisurely morning allowed many of us to take short hikes around the campsite and along Eagle Creek as the thermometer warmed to 60 degrees.  The hike out was characterized by rolling terrain and a the remaining remnants of fall colors.  After many of us took advantage of the showers at Fontana Dam, we headed out to River's End, the restaurant located at the Nantahala Outdoor Center, where we enjoyed a variety of foods and our favorite beers.  Thanks to everyone for making this such an outstanding trip!