Fri, Nov 26 2010 - Jacks River Falls via Penitentiary Trail (View Original Event Details)

Trip Leader(s): Kristi, Grant Brown
Participants:Kristi, Elizabeth K, Dave Fergemann, Grant Brown, David, Trey Baldwin, Joanne

Write Up:
Seven hearty backpackers ventured out on this cold blustery morning along the Hemp Top Trail.  The rain had passed but the mountains were still blanketed with fog.  After setting up our camp and gathering mega fire wood (thanks mainly to Trey and his strong arm and saw!) we strolled down to the first crossing that we would have to make in order to get to the Falls.  After a short discussion we all agreed that the hike to the falls and the total of four water crossings would not be wise in falling temperatures. 

After dinner, Grant graced us with such a treat - guitar and singing, around the roaring blaze.  Yes, he carried a guitar into the woods!   ...accompanied sometimes by the rest of us chiming in a few times where we knew the words, and some of us knew very few (i.e., Kristi).  :-)

Saturday was a cold but clear wake up.  The water bucket was frozen over.  The fire was coaxed back to a small blaze to take some chill off.  A leisurly breakfast, and then the departure from camp and up the Penententiary Branch trail that seemed to never end.  Aptly named(?!)   Maybe this should be rated a D4 for this climb!   Regardless, it was a gorgeous day for hiking with stops to not only catch one's breath but to also admire the quiet magestic mountain views that we all so love!  That is what brings us back. 

Some of us stopped at the Harvest Restaurant in Blue Ridge (I know I'll be back) and a stroll down this quaint mountain town's main street where a winter festival was occurring, replete with an Elvis sounding like Christmas band.

It was a pleasure to get to know new folks and share in this brief mountain adventure.  We all look forward to more!