I Knew I Should Have Brought the Crampons

A.T. Around Newfound Gap
Today was a wonderful day for a hike. I had thought about bringing crampons, but decided against it… It turns out I should have brought them. Michele and I set out for the Smokey Mountains looking for snow. We didn’t really have a trail in mind, so we just headed off for the Smokey Mountains.

At first things were looking pretty bleak. We looked around the mountain tops, but not much snow was seen. We headed up Newfound Gap Road a bit and things started to look better. As we got around the Chimney Tops picnic area, there were signs that snow was going to be on the ground at higher elevations. We headed our way up to Newfound Gap and got on the Appalachian Trail. Since we had already gone up to Charlies Bunion earlier this year, we headed the other way towards Clingman’s Dome. We had planned on hiking the 1.7 miles to Indian Gap and then back. Hiking in 7 to 9 inches of snow is a little more difficult than your regular hiking. This is why I wish I had brought the crampons. It was very slick and slow going. Probably a little more than a mile into it, someone came to the realization that she had bitten off more than they could chew in this hike, so we turned around and headed back.

Since it was still pretty early to head back, we spent some time at the place were President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Great Smokey Mountains National Park on September 2, 1940. As you can imagine, there is only so much you can do there, so we started to head back up the Appalachian Trail, this time towards Charlies Bunion. We just did the beginning climb. It was VERY icy, so I’m almost kind of surprised that none of us slipped and busted ourselves. For those of you that can remember the last trip here (although it was much further down the trail), the flasher girl took a spill.

So we really didn’t do a whole lot of hiking today, but it was so beautiful out today and I wouldn’t have seen it if I had stayed home. Ok, now for those of you that haven’t gone with us yet, this next semester, I hope there are plenty of opportunities for you to go. Now for all the scrooges out there…

Merry Christmas and God Bless Us All, Everyone! Have Happy New Year too.