Sat, Feb 18 2023 - Standing Indian - from Tallulah river (View Original Event Details)|
Saturday turned out to be perfect hiking weather. Clear blue skies, with a cool fresh breeze. Starting out in the high 30's, after a quick introduction we headed up the mountain alongside Tallulah river, rushing along the deep valley. One of my favorite rivers. We soon started climbing, as the sun rose in the sky, shedding layers of clothing as we ascended. After reaching Case Knife Gap, we went off trail, and bush whacked up the steep grade to the A.T. The over growth and downed limbs were thick, and if we separated for more than 50', you couldn't see each other in some places. The group enjoyed a breather on the highway of trails in the appalachians, while Jim repaired his old leather boots with the old trustworthy duct tape. It was a good thing, since we had a long way to go!
We enjoyed a great lunch break on top of Standing Indian, and were treated to a couple of Raven's doing aerial acrobatics! Quite literally dancing in the sky, going into deep dives, and pinpoint turns. Was a beautiful thing to watch.
Following those mountain ridges this time of year with no leaves on the trees, offering us endless views of the surrounding mountains. Later we dropped down Deep Gap Branch trail, where you really wanted to stay focused on your footsteps, because there's not many switchbacks, and all kinds of hidden slippery objects under the leaves. After a mile or so of this, we scrambled over a few creek crossings, where the water was rushing faster and deeper than I've seen in a long time, or possibly ever. Quite a magnificent creek, when it gets to rush down that steep ravine.
Everyone in the group seemed to be full of smiles, when they weren't too busy breathing hard, all day long, so I really enjoyed their company. Thanks to everyone for joining, and spreading the cheer!