Day 50, Pinhoti trail day 7, 21 miles, near Patterson gap
We wake up to a gloomy morning and it takes us a while to get ready. We shake out the tent as well as we can to minimize the water weight from last night's rain.
Once we get going we see the clouds lift and we have some sweet views at Wormy's Pulpit (no I did not make that up). A beautiful mossy section of trail follows soon after. We almost feel bad walking over it.
The morning's walk is really pleasant through a nice forest. We have to ford Dry creek twice and it's definitely not dry. Luckily it's warm and the crossings aren't tough. The first one we can rock hop and the second is easily fordable. We'll take this type of ford anytime!
After Porter Gap we climb up to a rock outcropping with some views. It makes for a nice lunch spot. We were hoping to dry out the tent but the brief moment of sunshine has passed and we're back to cloudy again.
We descend and climb back up. This time we're climbing to the ridge of Talladega mountain. Just as we're getting near the rock garden it starts to rain. Our notes say that it's a tricky section with 14 rocky fields to cross. There is a dirt road all along it and we decide we'd rather walk that than risk twisting our ankles on slippery rocks covered in slippery wet leaves. We both know what that looks like from hiking in New England.
The rain doesn't last long but some showers are heavier than others and at one point we huddle underneath my umbrella to wait one out. We pass the time by taking silly selfies. It's still not cold and I'm enjoying trying out my hooded pack cover from Lightheart gear. The neon orange almost tricks me into thinking there is sunshine somewhere. It fits better now that I don't have the Z-rest on my pack anymore.
Our data pages mention a seasonal stream and a campsite near Patterson Gap and we decide to head for that. When we get there however there isn't much of a campsite. The stream is there, there is a fire ring, but not much flat space. Oh well. We settle for something with a slight slant and it works out alright.
"Our lives at times seem a study in contrast... love & hate, birth & death, right & wrong... everything seen in absolutes of black & white. Too often we are not aware that it is the shades of grey that add depth & meaning to the starkness of those extremes." - Ansel Adams
Quote love...adventure love...beautiful day :) #photographybyhsumner#canecreek#chasingwaterfalls
Participated in the “Great backyard Bird Count” today at @ruffnermt ! Survey lead by Ansel of @bhamaudubon ! He did a great job! Over 22-23 species were spotted. We walked around a trail/Loop at the front of Ruffner Mountain.
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This first picture is from the Swamp. We made our way around after the survey just my friends and me. We saw these Eastern Newts (correct me if that’s wrong) under water at the swamp. We saw an actually beaver dam and fresh bitings from where the beaver was cutting down trees. Haha. Great day at Ruffner Mountain! Have you ever been to Ruffner Mountain before?
Day 49, Pinhoti day 6, 23 miles
It rained some overnight but the tent is dry in the morning. Sweet!
We pass by a small parking area and veer off to the left to pick up the trail. We're on nice tread and there is some water in the reeds down below. We undulate around small hills and briefly join a dirt road. A nice stream is on our right and I'm surprised it's not mentioned in our notes. We leave the road and start climbing towards Rebecca mountain. Once on the ridge we stay up there for quite a while. It's a lovely section with some views and a nice breeze. Temperatures are in the high 60's low 70's today so the breeze is very welcome. What a crazy contrast to earlier in our hike.
The section to Bulls Gap feels longer than advertised and we're out of water when we get down to the road. There were two side trails to water along the way but we thought we'd just wait to the gap. Once there we make do with water from the ditch, I was expecting a stream but it was not to be Thank goodness it's flowing well and we have a water filter (it's no longer freezing so we switched from using bleach). Of course we pass a nice stream just a few minutes after lunch.
We have a lovely lunch break in the sunshine and then commence our climb up to Horn mountain. We pass a sign that says 9.7 miles to Horn mountain shelter and we get excited. There is a shelter? Let's stay there tonight! The walk is pretty on good trail with some nice viewpoints. The sunset is pretty sweet. We approach Horn mountain but are losing day light. Where is the little trail to the summit? We never see it and when I google Horn mtn shelter on my phone it turns out it's just a picnic shelter. We're over it. I've been pushing to get here and really need some food. We continue on a bit in search of a campsite and I'm running on fumes. Thank goodness we find something. It's more exposed than we'd like with the rain in the forecast but we stake the tent down well and put the guy lines out. It looks pretty solid. As soon as we're inside it starts raining. We stopped just in time!
That's it, folks! Weekend registration for the 2018 AHTS Conference has *closed.* Didn't get a chance to register but still want to come? No worries! ***Saturday Only registration will be open until March 10th!*** Saturday Only is $95 and includes three meals, swag, entrance to all Conference sessions, AND Basic Membership to AHTS (a $30 value)! Due to fire code restrictions, we can only allow 50 more people to attend the Conference so please don't wait to register! This event WILL sell out!
If you would like to join us for the weekend, you will need to do Saturday Only registration using the link in our bio (tinyurl.com/2018AHTSConf) and contact Cheaha directly to arrange for lodging.
Thank you to everyone who registered!! We can't wait to see you all @cheahastatepark in March!
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