A familiar place December 9, 2012Posted by Jenny in hiking, Smoky Mountains.
Tags: Appalachian Trail, Bunion Crag, Charlies Bunion, Dry Sluice Gap trail, Grassy Branch trail, Kephart Prong trail, Middle Crag, Sweat Heifer trail
I headed out today for an exercise hike starting on Kephart Prong. It’s a standard loop for hikers, 14 miles and about 3600′ total vertical with the ups and downs—K. Prong trail, Sweat Heifer, A.T., Dry Sluice (trail, not manway), Grassy Branch, back to K. Prong.
Only one spot along this loop is truly dramatic—you see the place I’m referring to above. As I approached the A.T., a dark, chilly fog swaddled the heights, and I thought I might even skip the Bunion. I figured it would be socked in. But as I got nearer, I saw that interesting things were happening in the sky.
The world up here is so very different from ordinary forest. It’s almost hard to believe that you can connect such varied places within a walk of a few hours—a leap of imagination is required. But that is one of the things I love about the Smokies. The photos below show where I started.
Something will always keep pulling me toward the crags for the kind of adventure I had in October.