Pisgah 6/28/15

Clouds make for the best mountain shots.

Rain doesn't.

But there were breaks in which we could walk out to Ivestor Gap.

But there was rain.  Of course.

Mountain Laurel liked the blooms.

We were at Black Balsam Nob with the intent to hike out to Shining Rock.  However, we were intercepted by USFS agents who required that we have bear canisters before embarking upon our 5 mile hike.  We debated pushing onward until we were informed that the fine was $120.   The Ranger allowed us to camp at Black Balsam, provided we promise to store our food in the trunk.  They have some serious bear problems up there.  And I believe it.  The Ranger gave us examples of black bears breaking into tents etc.  So we dayhiked out to Ivestor Gap.  In the rain.

But our camp was dry.  It reached 49 degrees in the morning of June 28 and I awakened to a great birthday present.  Clear skies and a restful night in the Balsams.   We had a grand time.  In the end, having to camp here turned out just right,.  Next morning, we trucked on in to Asheville for lunch at Mela's.  Great Indian food.  

John and Laurel had never visited this area so it was successful on many levels.

I like the "hole in the clouds" pictures.

Good stuff.

Someone posted on SFW facebook page today that they had a personal meeting with NPS director Jon Jarvis, Chief and CEO of the Moustache club.  Brent Edwards said that he expressed his concerns about the backcountry fee in a personal "audience" with the head of the NPS.  I am anxiously awaiting the results of Brent's personal meeting with NPS director Jon Jarvis but his response, cut and pasted from the facebook page (which is public, because I am not on facebook.  John Harrell show it to me.)  Isn't it interesting the takeway from the meeting?  And to think we could expect the head of NPS to actually address the issue, which is the fee.   Tsk Tsk.