Sat, Oct 19 2013 - Backpack to Stratton Bald NC to catch views from The Hangover (View Original Event Details)

Trip Leader(s): Kristi, Mike Pawloski, Michael Johnson
Participants:Kristi, Mike Pawloski, Bill, Michael Johnson, Niki, john everly, Bob Bunner, Terry, Mike, Pavan

Write Up:

Sitting around the campfire on top of Bob Stratton Bald, I posed the question, "Why do you backpack?"  Some varied answers:  "for the fitness,"  "for the comaraderie," "for the nature experience."   Whatever, backpacking provides all of those things.  It is a wonderful recreation and I'm thankful that others want to enjoy this pasttime as I do.  It takes a lot of effort to pack and prepare.  We had a great group of people, some long time friends, and some newer friends who will no doubt become long time friends.   Half the group went up on Friday afternoon hiking in and arriving around sunset.  They visited some fellow friends at the Swan Cabin on Saturday morning.  The other five of us started out Saturday morning from the Beech Gap trail head arriving appox half past noon.  A trip out to Hangover provided a great afternoon hike, the sun coming out at times shining her bright gift on us.  A bear might have been sighted by Pawan from Hangover.  The weather conditions are always interesting - on Saturday night - (when the predicted clouds were supposed be gone!) - we experienced extreme fog/clouds so thick that great navigator Michael J could barely find his way to his tent, literally crawling back on hands/knees to follow the trail; the moon peaked out a few times (as hailed by Pawan) only to be covered up again.  Lots of fireside chatting and burning of much wood gathered and prepped by Mike P.  It was really appreciated because it was really cold!  It did finally clear up around 11pm to a glorious bright moon; the wind settled down a bit so the tent flies weren't rattling too much.  Eye shades were the ticket to some sleep.  Morning dawned at a sunny 30 degrees.  Lots of picture taking of the views.  The dogs, Cedar and Tucker, running and sniffing in the field, happy. The group lunched at the Crab house in Tellico Plains, preceded by numerous stops at the overlooks along the Cherohala Parkway, at the prompting of Mike F no doubt.  Taking in the beautiful views never grows old, as does enjoying great company in the Appalachian mountains.  -Kristi, Oct 21, 2013.

Bob captured the essence of the weekend with his photos: 


Here are few from Kristi: