Monday, April 30, 2007

Dave and I headed up to Harper Creek Falls for a short and scenic hike after a long day at the coal mines. On the way up, we stopped for a look over the side and of course Wilson Creek was as beautiful as ever.

Once we got to the Harper Creek parking lot, it was just a short hike to the falls. Well worth the hike.
chillin' Lets try that again.Lets climb back outta here. The mode of transportation into and out of this little piece of paradise is rope. We decided to head up the Mtns to Sea Trail to explore the top of the waterfall. I had been to the main waterfall about 50 times and never hiked to the top. We found a little bush whack down to the creek. Once we got "down to the top" of the falls so to speak, we quickly realized it was worth the effort.

We estimated the top drop to be 15' from the point the water starts rolling off to the pool at the bottom.

A stitch of the falls from the top. Till next time...

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Black Mountain Crest Trail

My bike is still down but I made the best of it and finally hiked some of the Black Mountain Crest Trail # 179 hike. It is sweeeet! I'm tempted to say as good or better than the Table Rock to Shortoff - I'm not saying that it is, I'm just tempted to...
I got up early and was at the Mt Mitchell parking lot at 8:00. Wasn't quite sure where the hike started but thought it was at the summit of Mt Mitchell. The trail to the summit was closed due to some improvement they are making. I knew I had plenty of time, a lunch meat sandwich, a PB&J, plenty of water, assorted snacks, etc. so I decided to try a loop starting on something I was a little familiar with. I started out going down Commissary Ridge and dropped down the Mt Mitchell trail # 440 to Commissary Hill, hit the Buncombe Horse Range trail # 191 there and hiked a couple of miles in to the Big Tom Gap trail head # 191A.

Following the Big Tom Gap trail was a little tricky for the first couple hundred yards but once I got in the "groove", literally, I couldn't lose the trail. Big Tom Gap was short, steep, and scenic. The Big Tom Gap trail t-bones into the Black Mountain Crest Trail right between Big Tom to the south and Balsam Cone, Cattail Peak and Potato Hill to the North. I decided to fire it up to the North and come back to check out Big Tom 6580' and Mount Craig 6663' on the way to the Mt Mitchell parking lot. I think I got up on top of 6 different 6000+ footers: Balsam Cone, Cattail Peak, Potato Hill, Big Tom, Mount Craig, and Mt Mitchell. It was an awesome day. I essentially got in a loop with an extension. There is no Chimneys section but it does have it's own unique character with some incredible views.

Check out this slide / wash out!
So many views.
Heading towards the parking lot.