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Welcoming CommitteeDirector of Happiness
Posts: 5,828
Reply with quote  #1 
this is what I dew ..........

April 13th I was to see Mofro in Nashville and
well, it was not meant to be.
So this was my therapy

~ Max Patch to Lemon Gap to Walnut Mountain Shelter Adventure ~

First of awl, I would like to thank the Scouts for allowing Eva and I to tag along.
 It was Eva’s first backpacking adventure and she and I had such an amazing time!
 I think everyone that was present enjoyed our time living under the canopy of Mother Nature.

There is something about taking just what you need, strapping it to your back and heading out on a journey.
Just wandering through the forests and mountain tops alone in my thoughts,
as well as having great company to share the trails.
I guess everyone has their own internal or personal challenges to take on.
For me, I get such a sense of personal accomplishment if I am able to physically and mentally push myself
in a so called “survival” setting, the harder or more challenging the better.
I may not be “having the time of my life” at the time,
 but the rewards in the end, for me, are worth every step and hardship I encounter.

Our Adventure started at the base of Max Patch.
We hiked to the top and found a great grassy spot out of the near hurricane force winds to enjoy our lunch
before the 5.4 mile hike to our home for the next 24 hours, Lemon Gap (elevation 3,550 ft).
You can see the parking lot ....

It was such a perfect day weather wise, a high of about 65 and mostly sunny,
I like to photograph the trail blazes .... can you tell ?!?!
and a cool refreshing breeze blowing through the trees just when it was appreciated most.
She's a natural!! 
We hiked across mountain tops ..........
..... through fields of ‘just beginning to bloom’ beautiful colors of wild flowers ........
.......... to strolling through rhododendron tunnels ...........
........ to the trails of the AT laden with plenty of roots and rocks.
We were even fortunate to cross quite a few creeks, some with small bridges and some with out.
All of the scouts (and adults as well) did great with nary a complaint.
Noah set the pace and was the trail leader.
I really don’t know how long it took us to reach Lemon Gap ………

For me, when out on one of my adventures;
time is an illusion and matters not.
Just to mentally break away from daily routine and reconnect with myself
 and nature just does something pretty wonderful deep inside me.
 For a short time, all worries, dilemmas, and problems, well ... they awl begin to fade ….

Our home for the evening was set up without any issues and in no time,
and with everyone’s assistance, we had plenty of firewood for the night.
Gregg proved his Fire Doctor skills are still intact by starting the fire with magnesium flint in seconds!!
 We had a gorgeous fire til well after midnight (12:01 to be exact).
We were fortunate to have a stream near by for our water source.
The scouts did a great job of keeping our water supply fully stocked.

Colin was giving Chad a few lessons in knot tying,
so Chad would be able to set up his hammock without any of his knots slipping in the middle of the night.
Colin was an effective teacher, as there was not a THUD heard in the middle of the night to prove otherwise.

The next morning, camp was broke down and packs reloaded seamlessly.
As unluck would have it, there was not a 5.4 mile hike back to the car (insert sad face here)
as Gregg’s truck was just a few minutes hike to where Joe was to meet us.

Everyone took off except for Gregg, Zachary, Eva and I.
We hiked onto Walnut Mountain Shelter.
Hiking up to the ridge top ....
... keep on truckin ...
almost to the top .........
what a beautiful view from the top of the ridge
approaching Walnut Mountain Shelter
This is where Zachary is building his picnic table for his Eagle Project.
 It was about a 35-45 minute or so hike to the top of a ridge and
then not far from ridge top was the shelter.
The clouds began to roll in and the temperature seemed to drop a bit.

Walnut Mountain Shelter is the oldest shelter on the Appalachian Trail , being built in the 1920’s.
This is the side of the shelter where we will  be helping Zach build his picnic table
you see the rock on top and a folded piece of paper between the rock and post? 
It was a note left for someone that will be passing by in the next day or two, letting the guy know that his cellphone is safe.
There was a log book that was started in the beginning of April and had quite a few entries, so I had to make an entry as well.
It was quite interesting reading the log book. We had lunch and Eva and I hung out at the shelter while Gregg and Zach walked down the access road
that will be used to bring the supplies to build the picnic table as close as possible.
They discovered that a huge tree had fallen across the road, completely blocking any way to get through,
so it was a good thing they did a recon before heading out to complete his project.
Even though we didn’t want to leave, we needed to head back to the truck to bring this Adventure to a close.

The scouts of Troop 318 are an awesome group of kids!!

Next time, I think we need to extend the journey to 3 days and 2 nights, if not 4 days and 3 nights.
I want to push past that point of comfort and once again prove to ourselves that we have what it takes!
Peace ~ Love ~ M*O*F*R*O

"In a heartbeat, all worlds are born
 In a heartbeat, all worlds collide
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In a heartbeat, worlds are born
 In a heartbeat, worlds collide"
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