Flint Gap  2/25/12

There is a little known intersection deep into the Hannah Mountain Trail that seeps with history and folklore.  It's name is Flint Gap because the Cherokee used to bust up to this spot with the intention of procuring flint for arrows and the like.  It rises from what used to be the river miles below and is now the spot of campsite #14.  Numbers have little value to us but the history and feeling there is undeniable.

Jerky Mike made his first sojourn to the spot and proclaims it A-Ok and intends to make the thumbs up his new Fonzie symbol.  Dave reminds me that last time we were here he swoll up like Commander Saius from Planet of the Apes.

The three of us were remarking and comparing notes on the Balsam Mountain section of trail.  From Pine Mountain, you drop down to the split at Rabbit Creek and proceed 5 kilometers to this campsite.  Dave read my mind.  Hannah mountain is our TN version of Balsam mountain trail.  It is soft, undulating and vibrant.  Easy afoot and light on the eyes, this trail is as diverse as it is warm.  So many variants of trees and landscape abound without much hiking pain.

We set to the usual chores.  Mike is playing possum though.  Do you spy that stack to the right?

Yep, it didn't take long for a full on roaching.

It was enough to make this poor potential victim puke in fear.

He tried to make up for that huge log infraction by proffering the cheese board.  It worked.  I warmed up to the idea famously.

They thought I wouldn't do this.  In reality, I shouldn't.  You see, I know that Chambers will see this and eventually post it on the board for all our students to see.  He is like that.  I will remind him that he got his rear end kicked my Grady in their little hike off here and I've got some pictures from that one as well!    We really did have a warm fire although the temperatures were in the high twenties and the fire was fully roached.  I was roasting and now you know the genesis of my trail name conferred by Bart.

This is one I have named  "Barkscape"

That's Jerky Mike ascending the tornado damaged Pine Mtn slide.

And back down to Daffodillia to complete our 12 mile weekend.  It was a glorious antithesis to the last weekend washout on Noland Creek.  We did some offtrail exploration here with success.  Bunker Hill Firetower is nearby as are other interesting sights.  How much company did we have in the Smokies backcountry you ask?  Ha, Ha, Ha!    Of course it's funny.  None.

Want to hear the latest from SouthernForestWatch?  Adam has filed an FOIA to obtain the complaints sent to the backcountry office regarding Backcountry camping in the Smokies.  As you know, that is what Dandy Dale is saying is the problem now.  It will be interesting to see, now wont it?