How were the colors, you ask? Well, they were peak, in my opinion. Oct 15 usually is the sweet spot. That’s what the news outlets think as well.
photo courtesy Myers Morton
I’ve had about the best Fall break one can create. Beginning last Friday, when Laurel and I camped at Deep Creek and she took me to meet Frank on our epic 67 miles North on the AT ending Wednesday. Then to be standing on Hangover watching the sun crest Robbinsville after an evening of classic sunset bathing on the rock. I’ve had perfect weather and perfect company.
left to right: Gary, Kirby , Tom and Sarah, Laurel, Buff, Mark and Myers.
I was proud to escort this group of newbies to the most special place on earth on the Super Moon and traditional Hangover weekend. I have been to Hangover on the October 15 weekend for about 30 years or so. I missed one year for my brother’s wedding in 96. Every time someone has changed the date, the weather has been bad. I explained that on Everest, for example, most summit windows occur around May 21. I believe that weather patterns tend to trend on particular dates. And this weekend bore that observation true.
This is the super moon that got pulled up when the sun set. I have never witnessed anything of this nature on the Hangover.
As the sun set to the West, the Super Moon appeared in the East. I knew we were in for a blessing when, upon arriving on the rock, Laurel and I were buzzed by a bald eagle. At about the same time, Sarah and Tom popped out on the heath bald as we were standing to the familiar rock looking eastward. We all saw the same bird as he swooped up from them to us as if to say, “Welcome home, my friends, we have missed you.”
The Eagle is in this picture, I just couldn’t zoom sufficiently. Perhaps he smelled me.
Having just completed AT miles, I knew Hangover would be dry as a bone, so we all toted up sufficient water for the night. My pack was about 60 lbs. It was a great workout. Tom and Sarah were feeling the burn of the traditional Hangover Lead South trail. It is remarkable how dry the entire area had become. Bob’s Bald spring is completely dry. Hangover spring is completely dry and Naked ground is such a small trickle it took our friends about an hour to drip a couple of quarts.
This is the old spring from which we traditionally get water on the hill. I had to walk down just to make sure.
Tom and Sarah were blown away. As was Myers.
We were treated to a traditional Hangover sunset.
Mark brought a crew down from Kentucky to experience the Hangover.
It required them dropping down to the Holiest of Holies.
All these pics below are from Myers, enjoy the ride for a minute. It was beyond description.
That’s Gabby to the right.
Are you starting to get a sense of the forest bathing that cleansed our souls of any nastiness from the previous year? That is the magic of Hangover.
What little bit of wood was to be found, we burned with a vengeance. Like water, it is scarce on the Hang. But who should come walking up into the night but a friend from the previous year, Remember Randy from last year’s event?
Randy Redwood has followed Highlander events for a while via the webpage and knows more about our doings that anyone. Well, Sunday was his birthday and we wished him a good one. What a great place to spend it. Happy birthday, Randy Redwood.
Above is an archived photo of Hangover prior to 2007, most likely around 2005 taken by Neighbor Randy. I am producing it to show the campfire area prior to being clear cut by the forest service in their infinite wisdom. Here is an article I wrote describing the rape of the clear cut and outlining the type of thinking SFW fights daily.
(Myers pics turned out much better than mine. I need a new camera.)
Mark and I are having a serious discussion. If you are not familiar with Mark, then allow me to introduce him through his work with Southern Forest Watch. I believe this article speaks for itself.
It was not the intention to hold a SFW outing atop Hangover this year, it just turned out that way. In fact, everyone is familiar with Myers diligence on the lawsuit and many other matters. Mark Cooke typifies the type of patriot that not only speaks of effecting change with regard to public lands managers but actually works to make it happen. For over one year, Mark collected the data in the article above. It is your duty as a user of public lands to read this article. We are all very proud of his labors.
Including Kevin and Gabby and Tom and Sarah. They have received quite an enlightening about the misdeeds of the National Park Service and are happy to assist the SFW in its advancing advocacy.
There were many magic moments on the Hang this year. Too many to describe. My personal highlights were the Eagle, Myers and SFW presence, Laurel and the Ky Faction and Tom and Sarah’s presence. Heck, there were no problems, even with the lack of water and wood. We had lively political discussions, great social banter, incredible comparisons of gear (Mark has a cuben fiber tent that is the envy of all at 23 ounces. The $700 price tag is a bit of deterrent for me at this time)
I heard more oohs and aahs than ever on the rock and we had not a drop of rain. I am very thankful for all the blessings I have had just in the past ten days of Fall Break. Most of which I spent sleeping in a tent on the ground. And that is Heaven.
Just having Myers outdoors is a blessing!