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SNP Day Trip

    • SNP Day Trip

      A couple of days after my overnighter at Loft Mountain I decided to go for a day trip. I entered at the Rockfish Gap entrance and drove about 12 miles to the Turk Branch parking lot. I decided I would hike the Turk Branch Loop which is 7.5 miles with about 2,000 total feet of ascent and descent.The loop crosses both the Turk Branch Creek and the Moorsmans River several times before connecting with the AT after about 4 miles. I probably saw about 15 other hikers and I chose to step off the trail 10 to 20 feet to keep my distance rather than mask up and pass closely. It was good to see all but two, who were trail runners, mask up when they saw me. I did have to tell one hiker to "hold on a minute" while I retreated about 50 feet to a spot where I could get a comfortable distance off the trail. Again I hiked with a full pack with a couple days of food and two liters of water and my shoulder was fine. I was tired after the 7.5 miles and definitely will have to continue to build back up my daily mileage. The book said it was a 4 hour hike and I did it in 3.5 hours with a lunch break and all that stepping off the trail so I felt really good about my pace.
      "Dazed and Confused"
      Recycle, re-use, re-purpose
      Plant a tree
      Take a kid hiking
      Make a difference
    • I'm glad you're taking this virus seriously, a lot of hikers aren't.

      Last night I went to the soccer field to walk after dark to attempt to beat the heat. I knew that if nothing was going on I'd have the 1/2 mile track to myself or maybe one other person tops. All of the soccer fields were full. And the track was absolutely packed and not a mask in sight. I was honestly shocked at what I saw. I drove home and walked thru the nighborhood instead.
      2,000 miler
    • max.patch wrote:

      I'm glad you're taking this virus seriously, a lot of hikers aren't.

      Last night I went to the soccer field to walk after dark to attempt to beat the heat. I knew that if nothing was going on I'd have the 1/2 mile track to myself or maybe one other person tops. All of the soccer fields were full. And the track was absolutely packed and not a mask in sight. I was honestly shocked at what I saw. I drove home and walked thru the nighborhood instead.
      "Dazed and Confused"
      Recycle, re-use, re-purpose
      Plant a tree
      Take a kid hiking
      Make a difference
    • Awesome JJ! I need to finish the northern section of SNP and thought about hiking for a few days last month but went to Grayson Highlands instead for the elevation. Maybe when it cools off, I'll plan to hike in SNP on my way to (or returning from) my daughter's house.
      Lost in the right direction.
    • I've read that most of "good" hikes in the SNP are not on the AT. I hope that someday I can decide on my own if that's true or not.

      My wife hiked about 30 miles with me on my thru. About 8 miles in GA and the rest in the SNP. She was with me when we walked thru a meadow not far from one of the parking areas and we passed 2 really cute foreign girls having a picnic beside the trail. Topless. :) That's one detail about my thru I'll never forget.
      2,000 miler
    • max.patch wrote:

      I've read that most of "good" hikes in the SNP are not on the AT. I hope that someday I can decide on my own if that's true or not.

      My wife hiked about 30 miles with me on my thru. About 8 miles in GA and the rest in the SNP. She was with me when we walked thru a meadow not far from one of the parking areas and we passed 2 really cute foreign girls having a picnic beside the trail. Topless. :) That's one detail about my thru I'll never forget.
      There are a lot of great hikes, many of them with waterfalls that are not on the AT. Nearly all are fairly strenuous as they drop off the ridge down into a valley after which you have to climb back out. I imagine the other trails in the Smokey's are the same way.
      "Dazed and Confused"
      Recycle, re-use, re-purpose
      Plant a tree
      Take a kid hiking
      Make a difference
    • odd man out wrote:

      After graduating from college I went with a couple friends on a weekend loop hike that included climbing Old Rag. I think Old Rag can also be done as a day hike starting from the bottom rather than fro Skyline Drive.
      Around 73/74, me and some HS buddies went to hike up Old Rag. We mostly hiked in with.....beer. Going up was, interesting. Crawling thru some of the rocks on the path we took (I don't remember which trail it was). The view from the summit was great. We hiked down off the summit a short distance and set up camp. And proceeded with our "Turtle Initiation" drinking all the beer. That made for a very interesting early morning (eurrrrppppp). It had rained that night very late and everything we had was wet. We laid it all out on some boulders. We hiked back down a different route and hit some fire line cut to get back to the car. At least hiking down got rid of the rest of the hangover.
      Pirating – Corporate Takeover without the paperwork
    • rhjanes wrote:

      Around 73/74, me and some HS buddies went to hike up Old Rag. We mostly hiked in with.....beer. Going up was, interesting. Crawling thru some of the rocks on the path we took (I don't remember which trail it was). The view from the summit was great. We hiked down off the summit a short distance and set up camp. And proceeded with our "Turtle Initiation" drinking all the beer. That made for a very interesting early morning (eurrrrppppp). It had rained that night very late and everything we had was wet. We laid it all out on some boulders. We hiked back down a different route and hit some fire line cut to get back to the car. At least hiking down got rid of the rest of the hangover.
      My college age backpacking was also different from what I do today. On our trip someone (not me) insisted we have pancakes for breakfast one day. We had an aluminum fry pan from a boy scout mess kit and a gas stove. We put some oil in the pan and then batter, but the batter sunk to the bottom of the pan and stuck like glue. After much scraping we tried again with more oil and the same result. We eventually used so much oil we were deep frying but the batter still was glued to the pan. I do not think we got one edible pancake out of the whole ordeal. I vowed to never cook pancakes when backpacking.
    • IMScotty wrote:

      Nothing beats well seasoned cast iron OMO. Of course my old Griswold #8 frypan would be a wee bit heavy to hump into the backcountry.
      I have a well seasoned frying pan and griddle. Made pancakes at home twice this week. One was a "regular" batch and the other were Swedish pancakes (think crepes if you are not familiar). But I am not taking the griddle backpacking.
    • odd man out wrote:

      IMScotty wrote:

      Nothing beats well seasoned cast iron OMO. Of course my old Griswold #8 frypan would be a wee bit heavy to hump into the backcountry.
      I have a well seasoned frying pan and griddle. Made pancakes at home twice this week. One was a "regular" batch and the other were Swedish pancakes (think crepes if you are not familiar). But I am not taking the griddle backpacking.
      When I was managing a project in Brazil we lived in an apartment, but the guys from the USA working for me lived in a hotel. Everyone morning they had a buffet breakfast with crepes. After a while they taught the cook how to make pancakes. :)
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • back in 2007 we were hosting a high school exchange student from Moldova. I was making Swedish pancakes one morning and Dasha walks at not the kitchen, sees what I am doing and screams. I ask what's wrong. She says with happy tears in her eyes "you are making Moldovan pancakes", which are apparently the same as Swedish pancakes.
    • IMScotty wrote:

      Nothing beats well seasoned cast iron OMO. Of course my old Griswold #8 frypan would be a wee bit heavy to hump into the backcountry.
      I ran across a large cast iron skillet sitting on a stump next to the trail (Pinhoti) in the middle of nowhere, someone got tires of carrying it...I let the free will offering stay on the stump.
      I may grow old but I'll never grow up.