Grandfather Mtn

Roybrew

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Last Friday we hiked part of Grandfather Mtn in North Carolina. We got there at 10 am and it was 66°F. We walked around the mile high bridge and admired the views before hitting the Grandfather trail to McCrea peak. These trails aren't long distances like the ones in the Smokey Mtn park, but they are more rocky and vertical. I filled out the usual paper work at the trail head, as instructed, because if your vehicle is still in the parking lot by 6pm they come looking for you. We first came last September and i thought the registration thing was a joke, but i soon figured out that if no one sees you fall off a cliff, you could be in bad situation. There are a couple of cables here and there to hang on to, but most areas are left up to a person to not fall off. I tried to get pictures with my wife in them for some perspective. She didn't like it, but at least she don't look fat like me.


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Cappy

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South Louisiana
Amazing pics Roy thanks so much. Very rough country but yall sure look like ya enjoying it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for posting
 

Grandpa

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SE Idaho
You're both looking good there Roy. Great pictures, That's tough terrain all right but the views...... well worth the effort. Thanks for posting
 

Roybrew

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Thank you. I did twist my ankle coming down. I walked it off fairly quick. It's still a little swollen after a couple of weeks, but doesn't cause much problems. I think next hiking shoes I buy will be mid-highs.
 

ppine

Forester
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Nice TR. I have never hiked anywhere where "people would come looking for me."
You have a responsibility as a hiker to be very careful and not get hurt or get lost.
 

Roybrew

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Where I grew up here in the hills, there was always someone looking for somebody... well at least looking for the ones distilling the illegal alcohol. Ha. In all seriousness I'm not to keen on hights either. I think my wife likes that particular place because you don't have to go very far to have great views. When we hiked in the Smokey Mtns we may have to go a couple of miles out for a grand view of the mtns and valleys, but at least if you stumble and fall down you won't fall off a cliff, most of the time. I love all of it tho. I loved the long, up hill slopes, and rocky out croppings on the wooded trails in the mountains. Always curious what's up the trail around a bend, or even when I will crest the top of one mountain just to see another on the other side of a valley that I know I will have to cross also. I miss it all.

We both grew up in east tn, and we didn't start hiking till we were in our early 40s. I was pretty much out of shape, still am by the way, but our first day hike was a place called Ramsey Cascades. We were going to just hike a couple of miles up to see some old growth trees that wasn't logged out back in the 20s.

Anyhow the trail started out as an old railroad bed. Some gravel and mostly boring this lasted maybe first mile or so, my wife hated it. And then it abruptly ended like it never existed any further up. The trail was fabulous for another mile or two. We were following a small stream sometimes, and then sometimes walking along the side of a valley. It was steep and narrow in some places. We got to the old growth area and took a water and snack break. I felt great! We were all in agreement to continue on to the Cascades that were another couple of miles up. We crossed the river several times. There were logs laid across that had the top portion hewd flat and looked like some kind of asphalt cement mix spread about so a person wouldn't slip off. Usually it was just one log laid down about 10 feet or so above the small river. We could hear the water cascading down the rocks(more like a water fall then cascading ) maybe a quarter mile or so. That last quarter mile was rough! The tree roots and rocks were used as stair steps. We would climb while grabbing saplings and small trees to hang on to. To rest we would step off the side of the trail and lean against a tree. There was a few people at the base of the falls, and stretched out on huge flat bolders to rest. I couldn't tell where the top of the Cascades started. I could see 60 or 70 feet up, and the laurel overhang and blocked my view. There was a small wooden sign that mentioned how many people fell to their death in this area, and warned people not to attempt climbing the water fall.

So, what went up must come down. All I can say is that climbing those roots and rocks up, was a lot easier then going down them.

I love it! And I will do more of it!

Sorry long winded. Slow boring night at work and to much caffeine.
 
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