Thursday, June 18, 2009

Appalachian Trail Hike 2009 - Max Patch to Hot Springs

I finally uploaded all of the pictures from this year's appalachian trail hike. It was quite an adventure and I am definitly hooked on hiking now! We started the trip at a place called Max Patch. It is basically a huge grassy area on top of a mountain with almost no trees, it provided great views of the surrounding mountians. Jeff Muzik, Todd Young, Scott Berkel, Brad Smith, John Emard, Scott Kidder, and Scott Coryn

View from Max Patch - yes those other mountains are covered in trees

We hiked just over 5 miles the first day, that night it stormed and rained pretty bad all night long. With the rain pelting the tents we didn't even hear the commotion of the bear raiding the camp just up the trail (not kidding - they had to through bottles at it to get it to leave).

Bear alert sign and our food bag hanging to keep it away the bears away from out camp

Day 2 was the longest day, over 10 miles with a lot of elevation changes. We hiked up Walnut Mountain, then to the top of Bluff Mountain and then back down to our campsite at Roaring Fork Shelter.

Here we are at the top of Bluff Mountain. We're happy to be at the top and at this point had no idea how hard going back down was going to be!

On the third day we made it to Hot Springs, NC and headed straight to a little bar for a hot sandwich and a cold beer. It was a nice day so we took a couple hours for a quick raft trip down the French Broad River. With all the rain we had our first night of camping, the river was much higher and muddier than normal.

That night we headed to the cabin where we chef Emard cooked up his world famous gumbo.

The hike was great, and I already can't wait to do another section of the trail next year. Click here to see all of the pictures from the hike.

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