Blades and Bushlore

Outings => Overnight and Camping => Topic started by: Sarge on July 27, 2019, 07:52:33 PM

Title: Great Smoky Mountains overnighter
Post by: Sarge on July 27, 2019, 07:52:33 PM
Hey y'all, I've been hopping on here to read a bit lately but haven't posted much of anything in a while. Got my older daughter moved off to start a new university in a few weeks. Between family time and work I haven't had much dirt time, knife time, etc.

Got away for an overnighter this week. My friend and I started Thursday morning at Newfound Gap in the GSMNP. We hiked East to Mount Kephart (elev 6,218') and the Jump Off (a cliff near the peak that offers some spectacular views).

(https://i.imgur.com/hcOUjVH.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/U9nbitA.jpg)
Mount LeConte framed in the distance

(https://i.imgur.com/9I7p9dS.jpg)
View from the Jump Off

From Mt. Kephart, we hiked over to Charlie's Bunion.

"Charlies Bunion is a rock outcropping that was originally known as Fodderstack. The current name was derived when Charlie Conner went hiking one day with Horace Kephart, one of the early proponents for a national park in the Smokies, and the author of Our Southern Highlanders. When they paused for a rest on the rocks, Conner took his boots and socks off and exposed a bunion that resembled the surrounding rocks. Looking at Conner's feet, Kephart remarked, "Charlie, I'm going to get this place put on a government map for you." And so he did."http://www.hikinginthesmokys.com/charliesbunion.htm (http://www.hikinginthesmokys.com/charliesbunion.htm)

(https://i.imgur.com/rlE6LXF.jpg)

From Charlies Bunion, we hiked the Dry Sluice Gap Trail to a backcountry campsite, we logged a total of 11.8 miles

Still some blooms in the higher elevations
(https://i.imgur.com/k46l4iq.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/gQCr8k0.jpg)
View from Dry Sluice Gap Trail

(https://i.imgur.com/MbHDz3z.jpg)
Campsite right on the river at the junction of the Dry Sluice trail and the Bradley Fork Trail

Hiked out Friday morning - about 5.8 miles - to the Smokemont Campground in NC.

In all a great trip. Thursday was warm but not hot, low humidity, and not hazy or "smoky" over the mountains like the typical summer days. Temps dropped into the 50's overnight - perfect for camping. First time I've ever spent the night in the Smokies and didn't get rained - or stormed - on.

Thanks for looking!
Title: Re: Great Smoky Mountains overnighter
Post by: wolfy on July 28, 2019, 09:19:55 AM
Great photo series, Sarge....and it sounds like you had good luck with the weather.  I've never been that lucky.....3 different times when visiting the Smokies and in different months, but each time there was drizzle, rain or a low cloud ceiling.  Just the luck of the draw when you are in the mountains, I guess. :shrug:

Ol'P.....I watch the weather in Montana and a couple of days ago it was WAY hotter up there in your neck o' the woods than it was here in Nebraska.  From the reports I see, it's been dry up there, too.  Any fires breaking out near you?
Title: Re: Great Smoky Mountains overnighter
Post by: madmax on July 28, 2019, 09:45:17 AM
Nice pics.  We are home now but even at lower elevation it was pleasant except in the heat of the day.  I bet you had an outstanding trip with no rain.
Tony
Title: Re: Great Smoky Mountains overnighter
Post by: Moe M. on July 28, 2019, 12:50:27 PM

 Nice trip report, thanks for taking us along,  is that Kephart in the picture one of those Becker models ?
Title: Re: Great Smoky Mountains overnighter
Post by: wsdstan on July 28, 2019, 03:37:31 PM
Nice photos Mike.  Camp looks inviting.  Your hike was a good stretch of the leg for sure.  I suppose the Becker deserved a photo on Mount Kephart but would have liked to see yours there too.

Thanks for the report.
Title: Re: Great Smoky Mountains overnighter
Post by: crashdive123 on July 29, 2019, 05:02:08 AM
Looks like a great trip.
Title: Re: Great Smoky Mountains overnighter
Post by: Sarge on July 29, 2019, 06:53:35 AM
Thanks, guys. Yep, Moe, that's the Ka-Bar BK62.

Stan, I keep letting my Kepharts get away. Maybe one of these days I'll keep one...
Title: Re: Great Smoky Mountains overnighter
Post by: L0NER on August 10, 2019, 07:57:40 PM
Wow that place is beautiful! Thanks for taking us along.
Title: Re: Great Smoky Mountains overnighter
Post by: greyhound352 on August 11, 2019, 06:54:11 PM
Great looking trip Sarge, the wife and I will be on vacation in October heading to Pennsylvania and will be traveling through the Smokies on the way up or down.
Title: Re: Great Smoky Mountains overnighter
Post by: Sarge on August 11, 2019, 08:14:49 PM
The ol? Smokies should be beautiful in October!
Title: Re: Great Smoky Mountains overnighter
Post by: lgm on August 12, 2019, 06:51:21 PM
In early July my son & I went from newfound gap to Davenport gap. Great trip.
Thanks for the photos
Title: Re: Great Smoky Mountains overnighter
Post by: wolfy on August 12, 2019, 08:45:13 PM
Seems like I recall some photos of that trip. :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Great Smoky Mountains overnighter
Post by: OutdoorEnvy on August 15, 2019, 06:48:00 AM
Good looking trip Sarge!  I would love to get out to the Smokies some time!  Glad you got a trip in.  I can't wait for summer to be over.  Camping next to the river is the best way to go!  Thanks for the share!