Twenty Mile/Long Hungry Ridge  cs 92  Upper Flats


This is the 20 mile cascade.  We converged upon this remote area in support of Bill and Mike's mileage quest.  Joining me Saturday was..

  Dennis, aka John Muir.  Once again, Dennis surveys the damage to a tree done many years ago.  Dennis is fascinated by all things natural and engineered.

Along with High Speed Alexander, sitting in the background, we found evidence that someone had been here "living like little kings".   Bill wasn't living like a king when he found out that Sarah had turned into Dennis.  I was supposed to bring Sarah but she was sick.  Dennis would have to do.

Then this guy shows up at dark.  It's slapnuts and he spied the four women who camped above us.

That makes Slappy smile.  Almost as much as his upcoming initiation into the Highlander fold.  Slap knocked out some miles and Bill and Mike completed the 20 mile loops having gone in on Friday afternoon.

Thanks to Jerky Mike, we did have a kingly meat and cheese board.  The cheese board is a Muir Faction tradition.  Adding fire roasted filet mignon is a SouthernHighlander touch.  I rarely have to cook when Mike is on a trip.  We look forward to seeing our Muir Faction brothers soon at the Hang.

Here is a whooped Jerky Mike. They had a 12 mile day Saturday.  Dennis and I just had a little less than five.

I'd say that I brought the wrong sleeping bag.  It got down into the forties and this first day of Fall was like Christmas in September.  Those crisp, star filled evenings bode well for the height of backpacking season.  It's going to be a great Autumn turn.  I will retire the 50 degree summer liner and trade it for the 20 degree model.  We have a lot of multi day events on the horizon.  If you are interested in something Oct 1 for three nights and four days, I will be escorting my Denali buddies through the Smokies.  Since they are flying in from Alaska and Colorado and Ohio, I have an ambitious and creative route in mind.  It's a tues beginning so if you are interested, let me know.  (btw, if you are considering purchasing a Big Agnes sleeping pad, any model. don't waste your time.  They have bad valves.  I have sent two back, Dave has sent two back and others have sent at least one back.  Slappy bought a 150 dollar one less than six months ago and it leaks down during the night as well.  Total junk.  They will replace it but you pay shipping.  Very defective products)

Speaking of Bulls Eyes, your update from the Southern Forest Watch:  It hasn't been a good week for Dale Ditmanson and Kevin Fitzgerald.  The media frenzy over our upcoming lawsuit has created quite a stir and more than a few folks have noticed that our Smokies Superintendent has an agenda that doesn't include park user groups.  Dale was quoted, at our sham of a meeting with them in May, of saying in response to SFW member Adam Beal in response to a query about giving certain user groups a financial break on the fee.  Adam and the rest of us were referring to boy scout groups and underprivileged kids.  Adam pointed out that the Smokies was special, different from all other National Parks because this land was donated to the Federal Government by we, the citizens.

 Ditmanson's response, which has been echoing througout Tennessee was.  "The Smokies isn't special, it's just another unit in the National Park System"  speaks volumes about where our leadership places value in this magic place.  Check out the KNS article that was out last week.    If you think that these guys have lost the privilege of getting paid $176,000 per year to come up with these brilliant fee ideas to cover their salary, then consider emailing his boss with a copy of some of the media coverage found HERE.   Let our Smokies Superintendent's boss,  Jon Jarvis know how you feel about pricing kids out of the park.  It could be your kids when that four dollars becomes 40 in a few years.  This is your land, stand with us and make your voice heard.  We need your help and need it now.  Here is Jarvis email.  You can bet he isn't hearing about this press coverage from the Sugarlands.   

Our colleagues at the Southern Forest Watch have been working diligently on behalf of all Smokies users.  Just because there are some bad seeds in the pod doesn't mean the whole plant is bad.  Myers is completing our non profit paperwork and we should be donation eligible very soon.  Stay tuned at our coalition website for daily details and on our blog platform at

Get out while these temperatures hold.  It is magic time in the Smokies!