Monday, November 23, 2015

Thinking of the High Country.

The past couple of weeks I have been having very vivid recurring dreams wherein I am either camping or backpacking. Beautiful, wonderful, colorful dreams. This tends to happen when I am feeling particularly homesick for my southern Appalachians. I travel around to wild places all over the United States, but my native southern highlands remain my favorite. Yes, there are things elsewhere that I grudgingly admit are not available here in our mountains...but then we have scenery that cannot be witnessed in those more extreme locales.

And, part of it, I have to admit, is that I grew up with these summits and they are ingrained into my psyche. Yes, I love my mountains.

If I can, the next place I will go to camp will be either the area around Shining Rock Wilderness, or deep in the Black Mountains. The Black Mountains are still my favorite hiking destination, so maybe that's where I'll go when I can.

When I go to the area around Cold Mountain, I tend to head over the Middle Prong Wilderness. This is because it's not as popular as Shining Rock even though they are separated only by a road. When Shining Rock is packed with people, Middle Prong remains silent and abandoned.

This is a spot I have been eyeing for years as a campsite above Deep Gap on the Black Mountain Crest Trail. Located at about 6,600 feet, it would be one of the highest campsites in the eastern USA.

The campsite just mentioned is located on the third peak visible in this photo. On my favorite NC hiking trail.

Near the Shining Rock Wilderness, but not in it.
Point Misery, in the Black Mountains.

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