Sat, Sep 21 2013 - Siler Bald Backpacking On The Applachian Trail (View Original Event Details)

Trip Leader(s): Todd M
Participants:Todd M, Bill, Kevin, Jackie Ernst, Steve Birger

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Write Up:

With the threat of a storm looming, a small group of hearty hikers approached Winding Stair Gap with trepidation.

Readying packs at the trail head in the rain, thoughts of 'what the heck am I getting into' went through our heads.
Sloughing uphill through wet trails we started feeling as though our worst fears were realized, however seeing a group of boy scouts headed in the same direction gave us reassurance that we were not insane.  When we finally reached the sign which said "Siler Bald Shelter, .5 miles" we all said "hells yeah", so headed in that direction, and after a little searching our scout bellowed "shelter ahead".
As we trod gratefully into the tin-roofed structure which at the time appeared as a palace we were greeted by a retired gent who was section-hiking the A.T. "The more the merrier" he declared, and we almost broke out into dance.
The rain did not last much longer, and our thoughts turned to fire making.  It seemed a daunting task, but after a huge team effort we were able to coax smoke, flame, and finally a roaring fire. The evening involved merriment around the camp fire as we were joined by a few more hikers.
We awoke to a mountain sunrise amidst a clear blue sky.  After breakfast we took the short hike up to the top of the bald, and experienced views which were beyond our expectations.  The 360 degree view of mountains interspersed with clouds below reminded one why these are aptly named the Smoky Mountains.
After breaking camp we then headed down the mountain with a feeling of accomplishment.  We had persevered and were greatly rewarded for going through with this adventure.  We now had bragging rights as we were the elite adventurers.
I, for one, plan to return to this magical place.
Thanks to Jackie and Steve for all the photos which we have a link to.