Husky Gap and Campsite #21

Jan 22-23, 2011

As you can see, the weather was conducive to photography.  Crystal clear and cold winter days make for the best views in the Smokies.  At this intersection of Sugarland Mountain (with Sugarland Mtn in the background) you can drop off into the Little River valley and like us, have no company whatsoever.

Well, that is, unless you come across a creature.  As Kevin and I were climbing Husky Gap which is two miles to the above intersection, we stopped to soak in the view of Leconte to our right. As we were about the crest the last quarter mile to the intersection, I caught something out of the corner of my eye climbing the gulley between our two ridges.  It was very steep and this creature was scaling a snow bank in the V that makes the drainage.  It was the most unusual of creatures and from the back resembled the biggest bobcat on the planet.  It's body was a perfectly fat cylinder with a stubby tail and enormous basketball shaped head.  It's ears were dropped low on the oval that made it's head.  By the time I was able to show this creature to Kevin, it was almost out of sight.  I knew better than to try to go for the camera as my window of view was going to be limited.  That way this thing lumbered up the hill was unlike anything I have seen.  It was not a boar or bear.  The stubby tail was puzzling.  We found these tracks at the place where he might have intersected our trail but there are many tracks in the snow so we weren't sure.  I can only surmise that it was indeed a skunk ape, chupacabre our full blown Sasquatch yeti.

Here's another weird track.

Sugarland Mountain

No tracks but ours and the elusive creatures.

Andrew and Jacqui are back!  They are making up for lost time, I might add.  They did about twenty miles over the course of the weekend and were able to provide dinner for us all to boot.

  Thus is the price for readmittance.

The SouthernHighlander encampment from afar.  Or A Fire.  Campsite 21 is a new one. We christened it properly.

There was a formal presentation to our President, Sally Dumplin.  In honor of his years of service to the Highlander nation and unflappable attention to wood duty, he was presented with a new saw by reverend Grady.  Dave's saw had seen better days.  A forensic analysis did indicate that the material on that saw had indeed been weakened by extreme heat in the early morning hours of a certain campout at Eagle Creek when Pres. Dumplin was asleep, though.

This is the media version.

President or not, his rear end was put to work.  We didn't give him this saw to mount on a wall.

This is our own little Lord FauntLeroy.  What a jolly fellow he seems to be.  Where is his riding crop and swagger stick.  Oh yeah, it's in  his mouth!  We tried to coax a saw dance out of him but this is the best we could do.

Another rare picture of Dave sawing wood.  Saw Dave.  Do them dishes.

You can't Abe Lincoln that sucker without a saw and hatchet.  When temperatures are in the teens, firebuggery commences in earnest.

This group of Highlander Folks chased any would be skunk apes and wood sprites right back down into Townsend and Sevier county where they can continue to breed with their relatives down there. We reclaimed this territory from the Little River Lumber Company and renamed #21             Highlander Holler, because some of that occured there too.