Sunday, February 11, 2018

Backpacking in Torrential Rain.

I had set aside two days to take a backpacking trip in western North Carolina. After thinking about my options I decided on a loop from the fish hatchery near Looking Glass Rock that would use the Cat Gap Trail to take me past John Rock, near Cedar Rock Mountain, then to the Art Loeb Trail, after which I'd intersect and hike the Butter Gap Trail, meeting again with the Cat Gap Trail and back to the Hatchery.

The forecast called for heavy rain but I decided to go anyway, mainly because I knew that it would make the likelihood of finding some solitude that much more likely. And that is, in fact, what happened. I saw only one other person on the trail for the two days--a day-hiker who passed by the Butter Gap shelter where I spent the night.

I'll post details about the hike later. It has been a while since I've carried a 45-pound backpack over rugged terrain and my muscles are complaining. More after a night's rest.

The point where I caught the Art Loeb Trail. I really appreciate the well-signed trails of the Pisgah National Forest.

Initially I had planned to camp out on the summit of Cedar Rock Mountain. But I had told my wife that if the weather was too horrible (it was) then I would bypass Cedar Rock and head over to the Butter Gap shelter and stay there. It proved to be a wise decision.

Since the old shelter has seen better days, I decided to pitch my tent inside it to avoid the leaks from the decaying roof. This worked out well. If anyone else had arrived I could always take the tent down, but I suspected that wouldn't happen due to the incessant heavy rain.

Accidental selfie. I had set the camera up for self-timed shots, then realized I had forgotten my mini-tripod and put it down on my camera bag. Whereupon it went off, catching this photo. Pretty cool!
This was the second day toward the end of the hike. Cedar Rock Falls. I was so tired at this point that I decided to just take some GoPro video footage and leave my camera in my backpack. I really was just too tired to dig my camera out.

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