SFW Deep Creek Enclave    10/25-27  2013

When the Southern Forest Watch convened for a board meeting it was determined that Deep Creek would be a good location because Jim could show us around his old stomping grounds. Here we are seen sitting in the old Casada home place to which Jim led several of us Saturday in beautiful weather.

Bushwhacking up from Juney Whank we enjoy the splendor of a somewhat unusual fall.

Here Jim Casada points out that Dave looks like Sally Dumplin, an infamous outlaw hiker.

Red relaxes in the sun.  The area in which we were sitting was the end of Jim's family home place.  Jim describes that his Father spent the majority of his teenage years here.  We bushwhacked about a mile off the Juney Whank trail.

Anyone know this one?  Its a good late Fall catch.

We found the spring that fed this property.  Jim sits at the spot from which we decide to filter some tasty, mineral rich water in tribute.

It was a glorious fall day and valuable history lesson from a respected Smokies scholar.  Jim, as many know, is our executive director of SFW.  We joined forces a few years ago at the advent of this fee fight.  In the beginning, it was the Southernhighlanders and Jim and Adam Beal and Joey Bridges and Frank Whitehead.  We were incredibly blessed to have Red hook us up with Bostick who hooked Myers and Rob up with us.  Everyone associated with the Southern Forest Watch has a vested interest in protecting the Smokies to leave it unimpaired for future generations.  I am proud to be associated with every single member of this group, including the silent majority that contribute time and talents in so many different ways.

  This is the infamous Myers Morton, our legal Chieftan.  Myers is seen wearing a brand new Patagucci jacket donated to him for his valiant efforts in defending our positions in motion after legal motion.  The anonymous donor, known only to the SFW board, is someone who is one of those tireless, behind the scenes operators whose contributions are rarely acknowledged because they do not require any acknowledgement and prefer to avoid it.  We have quite a few of those in the SFW membership. 

Myers and Rob Cameron hiked down Noland Creek Saturday morning.  They got in some serious mileage.

Before long, JD Schlandt comes rolling in with about 30 of his close friends.  They also dropped down Noland Creek from the dome and were awaiting a shuttle bus he had arranged.  JD is friend and group leader of the meetup crew.  JD has completed all miles of the park about three times now.  He is a hiking phenom!  We met on the trail about a year ago and have become good friends in that time.

We had a little party with JD's group as they awaited their shuttle back to the dome.

On Saturday, after our visit to downtown Bryson City, Boz cooked up some delicious venison steaks.  We ate like kings on this trip.

That's the Casada shuffle, buck dancing like Jed.

Knee slappin' Smokies fun!


This looks like a down jacket club.

That's Rick to the left of Jim. Rick gravitated to our campfire and was surprised to see Jim Casada. Ironically, Rick was here to fly fish as a result of Jim's book which brought him to the area.  He was thrilled to meet his fly fishing mentor and hung out with our group for the evening.

Then things got a little too cozy for comfort.  It is like Hans and Deiter Sprocket.

I love fall more than anyone and anticipate it like Christmas.  However, this fall has been the dullest, color wise, on record.  The maples always produce but it seems as if there is still a lot of green in the trees that hasn't changed as yet.

We did eat like kings, though. That's Jerky Mike chili on that there slaw dog.  Man, I love his chili.  But it doesn't love me.  I could eat three bowls.  Okay, I did eat two bowls.  Sometimes I eat four.  But those days are over.  But I could eat four bowls of his chili.  Its that good.  Really.  What happens when I eat two bowls is that I wake up in the middle of the night saying, "Did I just eat two bowls of chili?

Myers decides to "do some laundry".  It is a Hell Guy tradition.

And we love fireworks.

Dave and Rick share a laugh.

And so concluded a wonderful two night, Deep Creek weekend with the Southern Forest Watch, SouthernHighlanders and Hell Guy groups.  We did conduct a board meeting so we got some work done.  Hiking wise, I barely struck a lick at a snake.  And sometimes, that's okay.   Sorry that Frank and Adam were unable to attend but they had obligations and their efforts continue in other ways.

If you would like to contribute to the Southern Forest Watch, please follow this link:



Last, many have asked about the progess on my book relating the Broad Peak expedition.  It is in the final editing stages.  I have released a version for Iranian consumption as a result of the accusations flying about the tragic deaths of our climbing friends.  It is more of a personal account with interviews from all involved trying to piece together details.  I hope to have a fully prepared and vetted version ready within the next couple of weeks and will let everyone know.  As far as Brian is concerned, he is undergoing hyperbaric oxygen treatment but the physicians seems to feel as if he will not lose his leg and can expect to recover with a lot of therapy.  As you can see, it is difficult to finish a book about a story that is still being told and evolving daily.  The prayers of many folks have pulled him through some dark times but we feel as if he is out of the woods.