Rabbit Creek  11/02-03 2013

Fall's splendor comes later and later in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  We realized that this was THE last and best weekend.  When Slapnuts suggested Rabbit Creek and offered to pay my fee, there was little need for further discussion.  It was on.

Little reason to skip these colors.

How about that view back towards Crooked Arm?

The colors are amazing.

That is off towards polecat ridge and Hannah Mountain.

When I arrive at Rabbit Creek I meet a fellow fee fighter, Tim Fell.   He was heading up to Flint Gap and Hannah Mtn.  It was great to meet someone face to face that has been helping us fight this backcountry tax.  Like many folks, we had corresponded many times but never crossed paths.  I can't think of a better path to cross than here at one of my favorite backcountry spots in the park.

And there is the culprit, DW, aka Slapnuts.   He made a right call to stay here.

Soon we are joined by the Howe Clan.  That's the trail bailer and Jenny.

And look who  came into camp alone, eschewing the usual ride sharing program with yours truly, sporting another brand new $50 haircut?  That's right, it's Beef Jerky Mike.  Strange that he wished to drive alone.

We set about with the usual camp chores.

There is the seasoning of the grill for a unique variant of the Highlander cheese board, aka Muir style.

Which of course, takes a woman's touch to drive this monster.  It is a stick shift and only a Jeff county Mamma can keep it on the road.

It also takes a lot of wrist sized wood to fuel that fire.  Here Dr. Bailer hand splits some Abe Lincoln logs for the delicacy to be prepared.

Yes, Muir Faction, say hello to the newest Highlander bastardization of your tradition.   BISON BOARD

Its the meat of choice for the new moon.

Chief Lodgebow gives himself a hand for devising the new culinary tradition.  Slap maintains his pose.

Then he takes a stick nap.  Because cooking is hard work.

The next morning, I notice some more unusual behavior from Lodgebow.  Not only is he up early, I catch him bathing and preening somewhat uncharacteristically.  I start to connect some dots.  Between the choice to drive alone, get another fifty dollar haircut and his seemingly arbitrary decision to lounge about camp until well after lunch, encouraging me to head on back.......................

I mean, when have you ever seen BJ Mike take a nap on the last day of camp.  He is usually first out of the woods.  He was getting rested and fresh.

This looks more like a viewing.

Will decides to let Mike have his woods time and I depart back down to Abram's creek.

I did a small bit of offtrail halfway down Boring Ridge.  There were several families that inhabited this area and the Borings and Gourleys were two of them.  That chimney is not very far from the Rabbit Creek trail, about half way up.  I walked an 8th of a mile into the thickets to check out that farm land.  That used to call this area More Licker Branch.  And that wasn't after Sally D, it did reference corn squeezins being made in the holler.  Don't know if that chimney had anything to do with it or not but it drew the attention of others.

No one ever found out what Jerky Mike's plan ended up being for the afternoon. But I hope that she enjoyed a beautiful fall day with Chief Lodgebow.