Sally Dumplin Knocks it Out in Grand Style


   Here Dave is congratulated by our camp hostess and paid spokesmodel who presented him with a card and cupcakes with candles for the completion of his final miles in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Of course he was joined by a fine group of Highlanders and a few associates and potential Highlanders.

In commemoration, we brought out something from the archives.  Some of you may recognize this masked crop duster as none other than the hiker formerly known as Grady.  Grady wished to honor the Ohio boys by resurrecting John Muir for the event to make sure all factions of Highlanders were properly represented, minus of course, the Dumplin Valley contingent.

The DV contingent sometimes forgets a few things like, er uh, tent poles?  Oh yeah.  That's what holds this thing up.  Well, they came up with a splendid plan, providing that limb doesn't snap completely.  Yep, its Uncle Larry.

Skid, on the other hand, had no further tent issues after the debacle on Hangover.  Seen here proudly displaying his brand new Big Agnes 2.5lb special, Skid says,  "In the new war of Skidmore versus Tent, Massah Skidmore wins this battle, by crikey."

Sally Dumplin starts feelin his oats after a few hundred miles.  We'll let him think superman until it's time for the wood chopping. 

BC George went with a retro look for Halloween.  Jeans and cotton.  How'd that work out for Him?  Well, let's just say he's glad Halloween only rolls around once per year.

Here, our camp hostess prepares breakfast for President Dumplin.  Hope he likes Ramen Noodles.

Jack got in a little late to watch Dave cross the finish line by we were Gosh Darn glad he could make it.  Martin is so happy he wants to puke.

Merrymaking and hot dog eating.  All in tribute to Sally Dumplin.

Scooter and BC George seem to have adjoining rooms.  Could their vestibules perhaps be mateable?  Speaking of close tenters, we had a guy come into camp day 2.  He set up right next to the fire pit.  Dave and I attempted to persuade him to move for his own benefit.  Long story short, He declined.  So we moved him.  Trust me,  it was a favor to him.  Especially after midnight when the noise level increased.  I guess he really appreciated it because he never left his tent the entire time from 1 pm to the next morning when he split about daybreak.  Probably was a bit thrown off when we picked up his tent and moved it. His name was Ian.  Sorry Ian.   I hope that you will check the schedule next time.

Super Dave Ammons and I explored the manway right out of camp to the highway.  This rock wall was at least a quarter mile long.

  This is some of the more elaborate terrace work.  There were five levels of rock walls.  We can speculate on the reasons for this from animal control to just getting rid of rocks.  We Highlanders came up with another possible theory.  Perhaps Farmer Ogle wanted some alone time with Mrs. Ogle so he sent the kids out to roll more rocks.  I'm guessing he had about fourteen or fifteen childrens judging by this spread.

A rolling stone gathers no moss.

Late October foliage makes for great walking. 

I bean up with High Speed Alexander the morning before their big hike with Dave.  Martin, George, Bill and Dave snuck out and did a 12 or 13 mile walk to come across the line with President Dumplin.  I was relegated to camp duties like wood fetchery and manway exploration.  Bill did a really good job on the narrative last week and I am trying to convince him to pursue his talents on a monthly basis.  Wouldn't that be great?

Super Dave decorates the place with skeletons.  Jerky Mike even brought a pumpkin.  Kathryn provided the cakes, candles and card.  I offered to do some buck dancing and singing but for some reason El Presidente declined suggesting that I stick with wood gathering.  Okay Dave, it's your party.  You can cry it you want to.

I am available for private parties, though.  (the hat is extra)

On the hike out, I saw this little pond on the horizon.  Closer inspection revealed this cistern.  I've walked by it three times and this pass I'm glad to have dropped down to check it out.  The entire area is littered with remnants of homesteads.

In conclusion, Congratulations to Dave McGhee on the completion of his 900 miles.  He is camera shy so I asked him to name his favorite trail and he says Balsam Mtn and Gunter Fork.  I must concur.  It was a splendid weekend as we crept in via the Steiner Glenn Manway.  Don't know where it is?  Do what we did.  Look it up.  I don't want to ruin this one for us or the owners.  I found an even shorter route to the campsite, though, with Ammons.  It will make for a nice short in for winter time.  We give a shout out to the Muir Faction and Horace was indeed present this trip.

Great outing on the Old Settlers.  You missed a good one.  (we did have a skunk ape sighting, Bobby)