West Prong Dec 2011

Dec 28-30

Back to the West Prong for a bit of Christmas Break basecamping.

This is what we love to see walking through our camp. Dave had a little conversation with them about it.

Jerky assumes wood duty.

At 9 pm, GD Jack arrives.

Then comes Slapnuts from Bote Mtn.  We have wonderful hiking cameos in the Highlander outings.  You never know who will show up to meet us in the backcountry.  Of course, if this backcountry fee is enacted, that will be a thing of the past.  No more spontaneous decisions to come out and meet your buddies.  You have to make a reservation 72 hours in advance with Recreation.gov, a Canadian based company.  Slap and Jack met Dave Mike and myself which brought the total campers at cs 18 on Wednesday to FIVE.   Understand, FIVE of us were the only folks in the over crowded backcountry that first night in a site rated for 12 people.  Think we are a little concerned about the overstated backcountry overcrowding assertions by Dale Ditmanson?  Naaa.

Sometime in the middle of the night, we were awakened by a gurgling, howling, moaning noise that I have never encountered.  At first I thought coyote, but then I thought bobcat.  I'm going to call it Bobcoyote.  Whatever it was, the proximity to my tent was undeniable.  Jerky Mike heard it but the other 3 slept right through it.  That noise went on for about 3 full minutes.

I did a little dayhiking on Thursday up Bote mountain and back down to Schoolhouse Gap.  Found a great little bushwhack that shortcuts back into this trail.  When I returned, Sally D and I did a little bushwhacking up the West Prong creek and found all kinds of nice territory in there.

3 big trees from a single trunk.

We had to have a nice Abe Lincoln fire because....

Sally D made ribs for everyone!  Man I love it when he does that.

Slap explains that Dave needs to do this on a more regular basis and gives him 5 reasons to do so.  What type of reaction do you think Dave had to this suggestion?

Know this mountain?

I turn into super Sherpa on these basecamp adventures. 

Jerky Mike and Jack departed leaving Sally D and myself alone to explore the area.  Slappy took off to do the Rich Mountain Loop for some fresh miles.  He returned to join us Thursday evening.  We left him as he headed up to cs 15 on Rabbit Creek then to Spence Field for New Years Eve.  I received a text from him on the bald wishing us all a Happy New year.  I'm sure he had a good one.

Are you interested in sharing your outdoor/Smokies pictures and trip reports?  Would you like to follow the Backcountry Feeasco or start your own blog about anything related to the Smokies or Southern Outdoors?  Then I invite you to join us on GotSmokies.  We are a growing forum of Appalachian outdoor enthusiasts who share and connect.  Our only requirement is that you use a real name to avoid the problems associated with anonymous posters and folks posting under pseudonyms.   A first name and last initial is sufficient, if we know you, then a first name is okay.  Check it out and come play in the deep end where we don't pull punches about questionable political matters regarding the Southern Outdoors and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  If you want to just come look, there are some breathtaking pictures already posted by several of our members.


Happy New Year to everyone!