Monday, August 26, 2013

Hiking to the Shining Rock

Several times I've hiked in the Shining Rock Wilderness. Just before Trail Trash and I hiker the AT we hiked along the MST and could see the big white rock off in the distance. This weekend's trip would go the  top of Shining Rock. 

This morning started early, 4 AM early. I did a little last minute packing. You know the kind where you throw in those last minute items you thought of in the middle of the night and then never use. I've gotten better over the years but I still do it every so often. 

This hike is a Piedmont Hiking and Outing Club trip so on the way to the trailhead I picked up three other guys. After a couple of stops we arrived at a crowded trailhead. I guess a lot of other people decided to take advantage of this weekend's great weather. 

Today's route is the Big Butt Trail. It is not a long trail but it is steep and narrow. Most of the time it was thick laurel but closer to the top there black berries and occasionally blue berry bushes.   As I walked along I reached up for a snack. 

At the top of the climb was Shining Rock. I climbed to the top and found a stop for lunch in the warm sun. It may be August but the temperature is in the 60's here. A Scout Troop from Hickory came up to check out the views and play on the rocks. Their Scoutmaster and I struck up a conversation that ended up being a Q&A session about my pack and lightweight backpacking. Later he passed by our camp and checked out my tent. He really liked The One by Gossamer Gear.

There are nine of us camped on at Flowers Gap tonight. The air is chilly and I'm glad I packed my puffy jacket. We didn't hike very far today but its been a long day and I'm ready for some sleep