Spent Thursday and Friday night in the woods in the Greenbrier area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We hiked the Injun Creek Trail to backcountry Campsite #32 (Elev 2280?). It's not really a secret trail but it is not on the park maps and there's little info about it on the net.
I?m not trying to be offensive or insensitive or anything, it?s called Injun Creek on GSMNP maps, websites, etc. I?m no authority on mountain history but here?s a bit of mountain lore for those interested. Regarding Injun Creek ? I?ve read that the mountain people did not refer to the Cherokee as injuns, so the creek name is a misspelling of Engine Creek named after the old steam engine that?s been lying in the creek about 90 years. I read another story that the name came from an early settler that moved there by the creek in June so Injun comes from ?In-June Creek?. But I?ve also seen images of old maps and deeds labeled Indian Creek so I think it is more likely a mispronunciation / misspelling of Indian, named Indian Creek due to the Cherokee buried in the area. There is an Indian Creek campsite on the North Carolina side of the park. Not sure why this one was re-named. Anyway, it is called Injun Creek now. Sorry, I derailed my own thread?
The four of us hit the trail about 5:30 on Thursday afternoon and hiked the 1.7 miles to the campsite in just under an hour with off & on rain.
The trail meanders along and across the creek several times. The first 4 crossings are via these foot bridges; the last two crossings are by stone hopping. The first mile or so is easy but it gets steeper closer to the campsite.
The campsite is a little clearing just off the trail.
Over the last few years I?ve tried to upgrade and downsize my gear. This Guerilla Packs Samurai 50L weighs in at 4 lbs. but I still got the pack and two nights worth of ?stuff? down to about 20 pounds (before water and fishing gear). I guess that?s Neanderthal man heavy for some but it?s high speed, low drag for me. I?ve lugged a lot heavier plenty of times with 5+ lb tents and sleeping bags, etc. I still take plenty of things I have never used but I ?might? need? I?ll whittle down a little more for the next trip.
Here is my hang.
Same hammock and tarp as last time but I'm trying out this new Marmot Nano 55 sleeping bag.
The bag is small and light. Low temps were in the 60's after evening storms both nights. The bag was perfect the first night. I was a little cool the second night but not too cold to sleep. Slept on top of a space blanket both nights.
Speaking of storms ... we got hammered the first night about 7:30. Lightning, high winds, and hard rain for about an hour. One of the guys observed we were hunkered down beneath a Noah's tarp during a biblical storm...
I initially thought the 12x12' was too big but it is really nice in the rain. (I took down my hammock and all seven of us sat beneath it and rode out Friday evening's storm.)
We had to gather firewood after the storm and everything was wet. Thanks to some fatwood, courtesy of MrFixit, we got a fire going.
Most visited national park. This is just outside the campsite. Most every tree smaller than about 4" in diameter has been sawn or hacked down.
We spent Friday morning lounging around camp and waiting for 3 more campers to arrive.
The BK2 and Habilis dwarf the little Enzo clone I made.
Tried out my friend's new wood gas stove.
Friday afternoon, we hiked to the old steam engine tractor and explored some old home sites. The tractor was about a half mile from camp, in Injun Creek on the Grapeyard Ridge Trail.
Don't know much beyond the tractor was being used to harvest timber, maybe for a school, when it rolled off the trail and into the creek. Stories say the driver jumped clear and was not injured. Some of the parts were salvaged, some were left in the creek.
There are several rock walls along the Injun Creek trail. The forest has all but reclaimed many but a few are still quite visible.
Looks like the remains of a stove at one of the home sites.
We saw part of the house's foundation but it didn't photograph well.
Some random shots...
Stopped by an old cemetery on the way out Saturday morning. My distant kin folk...
Just a small moss covered clearing on the side of a ridge.
Some evidence of the storms. This wasn't across the trail on the way up.
Last shot of the group...I was bringing up the rear as usual.
Thanks for looking!