From Craig McBride and CraigsHikes
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Day One: 7.7
Deep Creek Trail to campsite 56 7.7miles
Day Two: 7.7
Deep Creek 0.5miles
Martins Gap 1.5
Sunkota Ridge 4.9
Thomas Divide 0.375
Newton Bald 0.5
Day Three: 12.75
Newton Bald 0.25
Mingus Creek 2.8
Deeplow Gap 6.1
Indian Creek 2.9
Deep Creek 0.7
This year we followed tradition with the hike planning. Plan A was cancelled due to bear activity, Plan B was cancelled the day before the trip due to bear activity, and Plan C was planned????? well made up right before the hike.
After the traditional pre hike breakfast, we headed to NC to the none bear closed side of the park. We hiked Deep Creek in to campsite 56. We got our group picture at the trailhead. After I turned the camera on and off a couple of times, I got our picture taken with the correct button.
We started right off with our deer sighting as we cleared the trailhead. Deep Creek was a series of ups and downs, which the river did not take, showing us the aerial view every so often. The colors were wonderful as was the temperature. We saw many other hikers out varying from overnighters to day hikers. We stopped for lunch and watched the mice play in the leaves.
When we got to camp there was a tent already set up. Shortly there after, a man came into camp with a fly rod and welcomed us to camp. Bill was a State Farm rep from Florida. He had stayed out the night before and was leaving in the morning. We enjoyed his company by the fire that night as the full moon put on it's presentation. No flashlights were needed tonight. No, there were no fish eaten either.
It is great to wake up to the sound of breaking branches. Bill had gotten up and started the fire. We liked this man. We had an enjoyable breakfast and then Dad put on his entertainment for us.
Dad went over to his hammock where he put on a special one legged dance that we had not seen before. Of course he followed up with a backflop and roll into the woods. Always wanting to learn from the master, we asked about his performance. He had stepped back and the tarp string went between his crock and foot and held on until the stake finally let loose. Luckily, no ones eye got put out as the tarp stake flew through the air and landed over by the trail. It took some time to find this allusive little stake.
After Dad regained his composer, he worked out all the muscles that were involved and then we walked down to the new bridge that the park service had put across Deep Creek. We are still wondering how they got this massive log into place. It was every foot of four foot in radius and at least seventy feet long. We didn't even find the stump where they had cut it down. Life's little mystery's.
From camp we decided to hike eight miles uphill and call it a day. We hiked to Newton's bauld where we found more interesting people to visit with at campsite 52. One man that had a campsite to himself, was the same man we saw passing our last camp. We remembered him from the twenty years in the woods by himself look and the matching shovel handles that used for walking sticks. The other campsite had numerous young men and a lady. So we made our little campsite on the other side of the bear bag hanger.
After dinner and a wonderful sunset, we joined the younger campers at their campfire. Most of them were from NC, and one couple was from MN. We had a nice visit as they finished their dinners and brought out the cough medicine. When one asked about a sample bottle another reached into his pocket where several sampler bottles fell out. He picked one up and handed it to his friend. Lightweight I recon.
After a restful night, we headed out to finish our hike. Mostly down hill, we made some good time. We lost alot of time on the uphill as we concord the Deeplow Gap trail. By the time we got to Indian Creek trail, we had finished nine of the proposed ten and a half miles. The only down fall was the sign reading three and half miles to go. Interesting math isn't it?
Well we hiked Indian Creek to the Loop Trail. After a break we started the uphill climb up the Loop Trail. After a few minutes, Dad stops and we saw a light come on. We shouldn't be hiking up hill, he says. But, we always hike uphill. NO...wrong way. Back to Indian Creek and hike through to Deep Creek. Another traditional extra.
After a two hour trip home we did the traditional pizza and beer with the comparison of our hiking trip and the ladies shopping trip.