North Carolina 2009

Organized by: Zach Haas, Jake Catt

The third Thanksgiving trip of Fall 2009 was to Mount Mitchell and areas around it. The trip was originally planned to be ridge hiking, however wintery weather made traversing the mount dangerous and it was decided to change plans and go to Linville Gorge. The gorge was grossly underestimated and proved very challenging at points, most notably a long climb at nearly a 200% grade. The area was plagued by thick clouds, fog, drizzle, rain, and utter dampness. Fortunately all the gear was adequate and no emergencies arose. Other than falling off a cliff in the fog, or getting lost at night, or getting lost during the day in the fog, or trying to cross a freezing river in the rain, or… it was tricky. The group rolled with the challenges and turned out a terrific trip despite setbacks.

Members in Attendance:

  • Zach Haas
  • Jake Catt
  • Tony Hemming
  • Tyler Haas
  • Dave Alleman
  • Kaitlin Pope
  • Dan Trew

Neusiok Trail North Carolina– Thanksgiving Break 2010

Organized by: Joe Moran

This relaxed trip to “the beach” took place over the 2010 Thanksgiving Break. The crew left a little later than expected due to a map confusion and a utter mistrust of GPS technology, however the group did eventually leave for the great Atlantic Ocean. Upon arrival the group decided to take a break and sleep for a few hours on the visitor center lawn. After the brief nap they spent the day on the beach, running around in the ocean, and playing with lacquered wood balls. The next few days were spent on the trial, or board walk, or road, or whatever the forest service calls the thing you hike on. Baring the occasional fly-over by Marine Harriers and the never-ending road, the group had an awesome time sleeping on the beach and in shelters. The super-chill nature of the trip provided adequate time for the group to bond, and friends were made all around. For more details ask one of the people who went, as the trip cannot be fully expressed in this trip report. Everyone had an awesome time and no one died, also Joe took great pictures.

Members in Attendance:

  • Joe Moran
  • Dan Trew
  • Dave Himes
  • Sean Meadows
  • Bethany Johns
  • Tom Johnston

Great Smoky Mountains National Park 2010

Organized by: Emily Riddle

This Thanksgiving Break trip to the Great Smoky Mountains was a little more “intense” than the other trip that went out. The group average was 10 miles per day, but the work was worth it. The following is a recount of the events during the trip as told by Emily [when you see these I added a comment].

The very spooky night our last night in the backcountry. Extremely large amounts of mist/ fog that limited our visibility to approximately 10[!] feet. Felt like a scene from “The Mist’… seriously. We were all ready for a foreign animal [watch out for those immigrant bears] or zombie attack at any moment. Along with the mist, the extremely high winds blowing our tarps around all night made for about 10 hours with very little sleep.

Aside from the spooky night at Icewater shelter the trip was FABULOUS! Many great expansive vistas – Charlie’s Bunion is just one. The 3rd day on the trail we hiked along the AT along the state line between TN and NC. We could see for miles and miles over the mountain ranges of both states – pretty awesome. Also, along the AT shelters, bear bag ropes, and outhouses are established in the backcountry.. yes it is very luxurious. [You needed Sherpas]

Oh.. and many many pudding packs were eaten during our short stint in the backcountry (8 by me alone… )[funny, considering you don’t even eat cookies.].. delicious to say the least. [cookies everywhere are crying]

Use the bear bag ropes provided – bears are a known problem. [especially the foreign ones…]

Be prepared to hike with lots of elevation change – we were only hiking 8-11 mile days and were sufficiently tuckered out. One could easily hike for 3 to 8 hours.. uphill the entire time. However, the views and vistas are well well worth it.

Also, make sure you at least take a drive to the top of Clingman’s Dome (6,643 ft). It is the 3rd highest peak east of the Mississippi River just short of Mount Mitchell (6,684 ft) and Mount Craig (6,647 ft).

One last thing.. Gatlinburg, TN is a crazy tourist town.. [I’ve been there] if anyone else does a similar trip, time budget for at least a bit of time to walk around the town.. it is filled with an upside-down house, a titanic replica thing [it’s just as random as you’d think, considering TN is landlocked], castles, go carts, ski lifts over the town, Ripley’s believe-it-or-not, hard rock cafe, and many more ridiculous attractions.

Get outside and explore!

Members in Attendance:

  • Greg Smith
  • Mike Collins
  • Catherine Hewlett
  • Emily Riddle