MUSHY'S MOOCHINGS: BALD RIVER GORGE WILDERNESS TRAIL

Thursday, January 11, 2007

BALD RIVER GORGE WILDERNESS TRAIL

It felt good to get my ten-pound lighter butt back on the trails today!

Two of my brother-in-laws and I hiked the Bald River Gorge Trail that runs right along next to the river, although at times it was several hundred feet below us. There were icicles and a little bit of snow left over from yesterday’s mini-blizzard! Yeah, it snowed and the wind howled for about fifteen minutes and then in ten more minutes it was gone. It was just another East-Tennessee front passing through.

The Bald River Gorge Wilderness Area is located inside the Cherokee National Forest. We entered the area from the Madisonville, Tennessee side. On the North Carolina side this area becomes the Nantahala National Forest. Nantahala is an Indian name meaning "Land of the Noonday Sun," because of the area’s deep gorges that block the sun light until mid-day.

There was plenty of water rushing down the river and over the big falls just before merging into the Tellico River about another hundred yards further down. There are several nice falls along the length of the trail.

There is a steep grade right at the beginning and I was told that after I made that it would be smooth sailing – yeah right! I have found that you cannot trust Ron’s twenty-year old memory! He was either two tokes or two quarts into a good high when he hiked most of the trails back then. He will say, “It’s just right around the next bend,” or “This is the last hill we’ll have.” Right again!

Anything you find about this area says it is an easy hike, but it was written before the trail washed out about mile into the trip. You now have to climb almost straight up and over this area and then back down into the gorge. Which means, you will have to climb back up and over on the way out! Besides this, the trail is rocky and full of root tops, but overall, it is worth the effort.

Anyway, we found three or four nice campsites (As if I am going to port my fifty-pound backcountry pack that far – up hill!) except that the main trail runs right through them. Finally, we found a nice campsite about 2 miles in that is off the beaten track, but I will have to lose twenty more pounds before I tackle that overnighter!

What did the “caveman” eat?” you are asking yourself. Well, nuts, a banana, and smoked goose jerky! It held me quite well.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

... and then there was beer. Lots of beer. Sounds wonderful man. They need to invent that Star Trek beaming thing soon so I can check these places out between classes.

Anonymous said...

and is that a gut suck in that picture?

Mushy said...

Do I look like a "gut sucker" to you? Well, maybe unconsciously.

Jose said...

Man I'm glad you are getting back in shape. Me I have yet to start exercising. When I walk I do it on a 2-mile radius on city streets, can't imagine how healthy that can be. It's 100% better where you take your hikes.

Anonymous said...

I have never heard of Goose jerkey. Sounds interesting. Beautiful pictures.

Michele said...

Love the pics, caveman! Looks like you were right in your element! *L* If we ever get caught up around here enough to get out of the house, we have a nice little trail close to the house we like to hike.

Anonymous said...

Awesome pics.
LMBO @ smoked goose yerky.

Bruno said...

I figured you'd kill your own on-site, eat it RAW, like the REAL cavemen did before chafing-pots! (Guess that MIGHT BE why they are now EXTINCT, huh?)

The Median Sib said...

I've been in that area a couple times - but a long time ago. It's such beautiful country.

phlegmfatale said...

Wow - Bald-River Gorge Trail is absolutely stunning - I'm always amazed anew how beautiful Tennessee is when I come to your blog.