Rocky Top Hike

I had promised a report on the Rocky Top hike, so I guess I need to get around to doing that pretty soon before I forget some stuff. Well this has been sitting in drafts for a while, so tonight I decided to finish it and post it.

I had planned two routes, one was a really long route (~16.4 miles) and the other was slightly shorter (~12.1 miles). There were 6 of us that went hiking. David R, Charles G, Alex W, Sheridan D, Meredith M, and I. We parked our cars at the Cades Cove picnic area since the trailhead to Anthony Creek is located there. At the trailhead, we ran into some backpackers that had just come down and they warned us about yellow jackets being active on the trail about 2 miles in. We thanked them for that information that would turn out to be pretty useful. After only about 10 minutes on the trail, we had our first wildlife encounter. It was a whitetail deer. Encountering deer on the trail isn’t really all that rare, but it was a sign of other things to come. Shortly (and by shortly, I mean just around the next turn) before we reached the Russell Field Trail junction, it became pretty apparent that we would be having another Team E and Team C issue that could arise. We spit into two groups, David and Charles would go together, and the rest of us would be another group. At each trail intersection we would meet up. I hadn’t expected to see David and Charles again until the intersection of Anthony Creek and Bote Mountain, but yellow jackets would somewhat thwart them a little bit. At about 2 miles from the trailhead, David and Charles were stopped. They had encountered the first of five yellow jacket nests we would encounter that day.

At the Bote Mountain intersection, we agreed to meet back up with David and Charles at the Spence Field shelter. On the way up to Spence Field it started raining on us. I have learned its always best to have a packable rain jacket in your pack for those unexpected rain showers. The forecast for the day had called for rain; being in the mountains further increased the probability that we would be getting wet. Getting wet is indeed what we did. We ate lunch at Spence Field shelter and headed for Rocky Top. About a half mile from the summit, we decided to turn back for many different reasons. Mainly, I knew the view was not going to be impressive at all because of all the clouds. On the way down, Meredith had her first encounter with a bear. This was also at the same place that Alex had stopped to go off the trail to answer nature’s call. I didn’t see the bear, so I didn’t know which direction it went, but with Alex off the trail, I knew we had to get him back onto the trail. We called out to him to make sure he knew that a bear was in the area. This must have scared the bear away, because he wasn’t anywhere to be seen. On the way back down Anthony Creek the yellow jackets were still active, but I think everybody managed to make it without getting stung.

The Sky Is Blue

So according to Mer‘s blog, the sky is blue. What better way to see that the sky is blue than to get up to the highest point in the Eastern US. That’s why tomorrow, we’re gonna head up to Mount Mitchell in North Carolina, just 25 miles north of Asheville. It’s at an elevation of 6,684 feet. This is a hike that anybody can do. The trailhead is off a road on the Blue Ridge Parkway and the trail up to the summit is less than a mile. All can come on this trip. We’ll have a devo at the top that will be even better than Look Rock if you all come. Call or email me for more details.

A Useful Link

I normally carry this with me in my camera bag. I used a different bag, so it wasn’t with me.
The Photographer’s Right.

I’ll still talk to her director before the next game though, so there’s not another repeat of what happened tonight. Go Pirates!

Edit – So I got a chance to talk to the Director today. He agreed that there was nothing wrong with taking pictures and that the GA had overstepped her bounds. So I’m free to continue taking pictures for ya’ll during the Intramural games, as are any other students. ;) He said he would be addressing it and making sure that they understand the concern is for areas like the fitness areas, the locker rooms, and the pool areas.

A Little Bit Creepy

I’ll update on the hike later. As a lot of ya’ll know, yesterday Facebook.com rolled out a couple of new features called News Feed and Mini-Feed. It has a lot of people upset, because it’s a stalker’s delight. I’m sure they got a LOT of complaints about it. To my surprise, they actually answered me back. Of course, mine wasn’t simply a complaint that I didn’t like it, but how there was an error in News Feeds that violate a Privacy Policy if that user has “Don’t show anyone on Facebook photos tagged of me” selected. Hopefully they get that fixed soon.

Edit – Got this email when I woke up this morning. Looks like facebook has better privacy controls now.

Hey,

We are aware of the problem that you described. We hope to resolve this glitch as soon as possible. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Thanks for using Facebook!

[Michael - Wed Sep 06 17:56:06 2006]: