Derrick Knob Shelter
(George and Dave's AT pics are now included below this narrarative)
Dogwood Winter I reckon!
Quite a dramatic change from this on Saturday as Scooter and I made the trek up the Middle Prong Trail to Derrick Knob Shelter to meet President Sally Dumplin and BC George, hoping to pick up Smooch along the way as she finished her three day solo trek. Things got a bit complicated because of this, which you can read about. It was important that we meet up with her to deal with that issue as she had no way of knowing about the incident.
As we made our way up on this gorgeous Spring afternoon, something scurried about the bushes ahead. I stopped to witness the biggest boar in history run in front of me. That Hogzilla was four feet tall and every bit of 300 lbs. He was the biggest mohunker I have ever seen. Martin missed him but ran in the general direction toward the creek to look. By this time, I was thinking it was too big to be a boar, might have even been a bear. Martin stood silently as I head back towards the trail and suddenly he burst from the brush and crossed the creek affording Scooter a great shot of the ragged beast. I will post his pictures as soon as I receive them, if they turn out. He was a MONSTER! Martin said his ears were all chewed up and his bristles were upright. He agreed it had to be the biggest boar he had ever seen. Pretty cool.
This is the boar crossing the Middle Prong River
This is that sucker on the other side. Good job on snagging the photos, Scooter.
When we intersected Panther Creek terminus, we got our sign from Smooch that she had beaten us and moseyed on up the road.
Anyone know what those are?
When we reached the top of the knob, it was getting chilly. The temperature was dropping along with the sun.
It gave the area a late Autumn feel.
We enjoyed a great fire that chased us around the ring all night. President Dumplin and BC George were there along with Smooch. They all look a little Haggard but in good spirits. Dave and George will continue out to Fontana and Beth will return with us to Tremont. Several through hikers and an old friend that I worked with several years ago joined us at the shelter.
This is the Highlander cast, each departing in their respective directions on a snowy Sunday April morning. It got quite cold and froze water etc. I was glad to get moving again. Not so glad or excited about the prospect of telling Beth about her car. The timing just didn't seem right the night before.
A mile or so down Greenbrier Ridge Trail.
This is Martin in a few years.
Trail Stats: Middle Prong to Panther Creek to Greenbrier Ridge to the Appalachian Trail 8.3 miles. Appalachian Trail to Derrick Knob Shelter, .3 miles. About 19 miles for the weekend. Ironically, I would return to this trail on Friday to take the Academy kids up to the junction of Panther Creek.
Sally D and George are motoring on in their quest and I am envious. They are having a good trip. Beth had a good trip despite the little ugliness on 441. She said that she had a premonition to return Friday night for some reason. Martin and I had one of the best hikes of all time. I loved the dichotomy between Spring and Winter, snow and wildflowers. Plenty of wildlife with boar, grouse and wild scooters. Danged good stuff!
Below is a montage of pictures from the AT hike of George and Sally Dumplin. Some good pics boys, but I don't see any bear pictures.