The following nine people met at the carpool location:Patrick Barry, Trey Burley (and his dog Wilson), Joseph Donovan, Dave McBride, Isabel Lin, Amy Rampley, Mike Sax, Phil Tuck, and Kyle. We made the hike with ten after meet a guy named Scott in the parking lot who said he would enjoy hiking with us. He too is from Atlanta.
We arrived at the Brasstown Bald Observation Parking Lot amidst a thick fog,really thick! So thick we couldnt see more than 100 feet, let alone theobservation deck. The temp. was cool, so many of us began w/ sweatshirtsand long pants. The hike was quick down the hill, traversing nearly a milethrough the rodedendrums. We covered the 2.75 miles in about one hour.Since we were at the bottom of the hill, we decided to cross HWY180 and seea different type of vegetation and a wide open view.
We hiked about a mile down the next trail and had a great view across thevalley, looking out towards other hills. Wishing to continue a bit more,but hungry, we stopped and enjoyed our lunches. The area was rather quiet,with no wind or animals. And for the record, there were not many other hikers !
After our lunch (mostly Publix sandwiches and chips) we headed back towardsthe bottom part of the trail, Jacks Gap, to begin our ascent up themountain. We split into two groups and traversed the switchbacks heading tothe top of the mountain. Near the top of the mountain we realized that at4,300 feet the air does indeed get thinner, and many of us were looking foroxygen canisters. Does REI sell them here in GA?
Once at the top we broke through the deep vegetation and were in the clear.The observation deck was clearly visible on the sunny afternoon and appearedto look like a modern day castle. Too bad all of us were tired, hungry, andthirsty for some cold brews or we may have headed up to the observation deckfor a look. Instead we changed into dry clothes and headed for Helen, tosocialize a bit more and enjoy a few drinks and food.
Does anyone have Mikes e-mail? Same Mike that went spelunking. I haveleftovers in my trunk; shades, sweatshirt and water bottle.