On the way up the parkway I had clear blue skys. It looked like a great day for a hike.
The closer I got to Mt. Mitchell, the more cloudy it became.I decided to do the hike I was after anyway. Even without the views, it is an awesome hike and well worth the effort. I kept remembering the old saying: if your in North Carolina and dont like the weather, wait a few minutes, it'll change". That was definitely the case.
The trail starts out very well maintained but dont let that fool you, once you get past Mt. Craig, there are very few flat stretches and they are very short.
A hike through the clouds, literally.There were 2 places after Mt Craig and Big Tom Mtn where they had installed ropes since my last visit. I am sure the goal is to make it accessible to more people. This area was like an enchanted forest. This is truly a special place.
I didnt make it to this point the first time I hiked this trail in the spring. I probably only went another half mile to a mile past time but it is quite some elevation gain. I hit 2 more peaks over 6,000 feet past this sign: Deer Mtn and Winter Star Mtn. I think I hiked across a total of 7 different peaks not counting Mitchell - AWESOME.By the time I got out to Winter Star Mtn, I saw a little frozen precipatation blowing around. The next thing I knew, I could feel some warm air replacing the cold wind and 30 minutes later the skys were relatively clear.Someones hunting dog a long way out there. I found a water bottle, cut the end off and left him a bowl to drink out of.The next 2 shots are from the same spot (Cattail Peak or Potatoe Hill), the first shot was on the way out and the second was on the way back after the clouds had blown through.It amazes me how that dry stream bed is running down the mountain. I have to wonder if it was there before the floods. Maybe one day I'll meet someone who has been going up there for years and they can answer that question for me.