Thursday, October 08, 2009

East Coast Mountain Memories

Ever since I was about eight years old I've wanted to travel out west. When I was a kid I would beg my parents to take me to Yellowstone and, later, to Yosemite. A lot of the kids I went to school with would bring their summer vacation photos to class and I'd see them--Old Faithful, Grand Teton, Yellowstone Falls, El Capitain, Half Dome, Tuolumne Meadows, grizzly bears, bison, elk...the list goes on.

My parents never were able to take me to Yellowstone, or anywhere else out west. In my thirties I was able to travel to California, but only on business, and the only time I got to hike out there was in the state park on Mount Palomar and at Cabrillo National Monument. Nice hikes, but hardly the kind of thing I wanted to see in the west.

When I was in high school, the brothers I hiked the Appalachians with spent one summer vacation hitting the western parks with their parents. They hiked all over the big peaks and got to visit the places I'd dreamed of. "Once you see the Rockies, you'll throw pebbles at the Appalachians," one of my pals told me. I couldn't imagine doing that, but it let me know how truly spectacular the western high country is.

In honor of my upcoming 2010 trip to the western mountains, I've decided to post a few photos of some of my favorite hiking spots in the eastern high country. Just so I'll be reminded not to throw pebbles at them when I return from Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons.

Big Creek, in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Midnight Hole, Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Bald River Gorge Wilderness, Tennessee.

Citico Creek Wilderness, Tennessee.

Rowland Creek Falls, Virginia.

Hickory Nut Gorge, North Carolina.

Blackwater River Gorge, West Virginia.

Dolly Sods Wilderness, West Virginia.

Seneca Rocks, West Virginia.

Tuckerman Ravine, Mount Washington, New Hampshire.

The Lion Head, Mount Washington, New Hampshire.

Friction climbing in the James River Face Wilderness, Virginia.

Harkening Hill, Virginia.

Whitetop Mountain, Virginia.

Whiteside Mountain, North Carolina.

Granny Burrell Falls, Panthertown Valley, North Carolina.

In the Albright Grove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

On my favorite hiking trail, the Black Mountain Crest Trail, North Carolina. My favorite because every few feet you're gasping. Either because of the rugged terrain, or because of the amazing views.


dogboy443 said...

When we make our millions from the Living End Limited Edition/Trade Edition, we'll pack up and head out to the Grand Canyon and do some hiking.

HemlockMan said...

Havasu Falls, man!

Jack said...

Damm! Thats an awesome photo!

HemlockMan said...

It is. Unfortunately I've heard that there's actually some unpleasant stuff attached to seeing the place. It's on a poverty-stricken Indian reservation and visiting the area can be unpleasant and, sometimes, dangerous. One guy on summitpost was warning me about an increase in violent crime against hikers and campers there.

Plus, apparently a bad flood in 2008 did a lot of damage to the series of falls.