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View Full Version : Trip Report-Charlies Bunion-10/25/2008



Bulldawg
2008-10-25, 22:21
Well, this was a great day to be hiking. We left the homestead at 6:20AM and were at Newfound Gap at 8:30, without a single soul there yet. The rain had gone, but the clouds and fog had not. We could see the sun trying to burn through the clouds and fog so I thought we would be OK as far as views go.

I had my wife with me who doesn't do a whole lot of hiking really, maybe 20 or 30 miles a year, so I wasn't sure about how long this would take. After restroom and pictures at the trail head we started on the trail around 8:45AM. The climb out of the Gap was a steady one for sure. The trail was a river in water. I mean there was not a dry place to put your feet unless you walked up on the berm on the sides. We made it to the Sweet Heifer Creek Trail in about an hour, so I figured we were making decent time. We continued on with the sun out and no clouds or fog up where we were. But the fogs were still pretty thick further down in the valleys so we just got views of mountain tops sticking out of the fog. The temp was nice at around 50F. We made it to Icewater Springs Shelter at around 10:40 and took a nice pack off break. We had views here and it was clear into the valleys. Nice shelter, seemed clean and all; signed the register and was out. Debated about possibly leaving the packs here for the hike out to Charlies Bunion but was unsure of whether we would need anything and if they would be there when we got back.

Anyway, we started down towards the Bunion and the fog really rolled in, the winds picked up and it got cold really fast. The 56F and clear we had at the shelter was replaced by 42F and socked in fog by the time we got to the split to the bunion. The views were NIL, NOTHING, NADA. The rock was neat. There were 12 college students there, one in shorts, tshirt, and sandals! We stayed about 30 minutes hoping the fog would roll out, but it did not.

We went back to Icewater to cook lunch. I got really cold sitting there cooking. By the time I had cooked, ate, and cleaned up it was 37F with a good breeze stirring. We left Icewater at 12:40PM headed back to the Gap. The smell of Pine was awesome walking back towards the Boulevard trail. we had planned on doing the Jumpoff, but with the fog socked in, decided against it.

When we crossed over the ridge of Kephart just west of the Boulevard trail I felt a sudden change in the weather. It was weird really. The wind stopped, the sun was out, I could see out towards Gatlinburg, and I knew the temperature was up. I checked my thermometer after about a 1/4 mile. It had went from 37F to 54F in the course of about 1.5 miles. Common Smokies weather I guess. We had went out to Charlies Bunion and to within a mile of being back only seeing about 16 people. Now, within an earshot of the parking at Newfound, we ran into a freight train. I bet we saw 150 people in the last half mile. The trail was a muddy mess, ankle deep mud, it was bad, really bad.

We got to the parking lot at 3PM sharp and there were 29 1/2 million people there. Talk about getting some funny looks, I did. We both changed clothes in the bathrooms there to get down to Cherokee for an early supper at the buffet at Harrah's. Fat, happy, sore, and full; we decided it best to come home. Thanks!

generoll
2008-10-25, 22:30
sounds like a great hike. I have a couple of gaps to fill in yet. Ice Water Springs to Pecks Corner and also NewFound to Clingmans. Intersting to hear about the sudden weather shifts. Did you hear if the weather cleared at Charlies Bunion after you left?

Bulldawg
2008-10-25, 22:36
sounds like a great hike. I have a couple of gaps to fill in yet. Ice Water Springs to Pecks Corner and also NewFound to Clingmans. Intersting to hear about the sudden weather shifts. Did you hear if the weather cleared at Charlies Bunion after you left?


No, but I bet it did eventually. Thing is that when we were at Icewater the first time we had views, etc. The second go around, a little over an hour later, when it got so cold so fast, it was socked in too.

Bearpaw
2008-10-26, 11:01
Sounds like typical mountain weather, at least for the ridgeline in the Smokies. But I hope your wife had a good time. That walk is not a bad one at all, but in nasty weather, it can take away a lot of the joy.

cool breeze
2008-10-27, 00:52
Glad you enjoyed your hike. Sorry I coulden't join you.

Two Speed
2008-10-27, 12:28
. . . but in nasty weather, it can take away a lot of the joy.Did the section from Newfound to Davenport over MLK weekend a few years ago. Pretty gnarly, the trail was covered in snow or ice about 85% of the time, temps in the low teens at night, water bottles freezing up while hiking, etc. Just to finish the scene I a good bit of mixed precip. Most of the time the views were just friggin' stunning.

Nasty weather can be fun up there, if you're ready for it.

Bulldawg
2008-10-27, 13:22
Did the section from Newfound to Davenport over MLK weekend a few years ago. Pretty gnarly, the trail was covered in snow or ice about 85% of the time, temps in the low teens at night, water bottles freezing up while hiking, etc. Just to finish the scene I a good bit of mixed precip. Most of the time the views were just friggin' stunning.

Nasty weather can be fun up there, if you're ready for it.


Yeah, we need to partake in a couple of over night loops up there. I was thinking the whole time I was up there, "Here I am only 2 hours from the park entrance and I hardly ever come up here, what am I thinking?"

I bought a great book at the OVC with a lot of good loops in it.

Two Speed
2008-10-27, 13:26
I'm more like 3 - 4 hours away, but the Smokey's are definitely on my list. Got the worst itch to see the BMT through the Smokey's. I don't think it'll get the weather the AT gets, but that could be a good thing.

Bulldawg
2008-10-27, 13:54
Yep, I would be interested in some BMT in the Smokeys for sure, if we can figure out a way to do it over 3 or 4 one or two night hikes. Maybe Rock can provide some guidance.

And yeah, it's 3 or 4 for you, but I was at Newfound in 1 hour 50 minutes Saturday morning.

Two Speed
2008-10-27, 16:16
Yeah, but I can be at Cheaha State Park in 2 hours, or Panama City in 7 hours.

Bulldawg
2008-10-27, 16:17
Yeah, but I can be at Cheaha State Park in 2 hours, or Panama City in 7 hours.

Yeah, I have made PCB in 7 hours, in the middle of the night!

But when are we starting the BMT through the Smokies dammit?

Bulldawg
2008-10-27, 16:38
Smokemont Campground................................ 0.3...........63.2..........2200
Bradley Fork Trail Jct....................................... 1.0...........64.2..........2200
Chasteen Creek Trail Jct..................................1.2.......... .65.4..........2300
Campsite 50 (RATIONED)............................... 0.1...........65.5..........2300
Campsite 48................................................ ..... 2.0...........67.5..........3300
Hughes Ridge Trail Jct.....................................1.9....... ....69.4..........4700
Enloe Creek Trail Jct........................................0.4.... .......69.8..........4800
Campsite 47 (RATIONED)............................... 2.5...........72.3..........3600
Hyatt Ridge Trail Jct.........................................1.1... ........73.4..........4400
Beech Gap Trail Jct..........................................1.7.. .........75.1..........4900
Straight Fork Road Jct......................................2.8...... .....77.9..........3100........
Parking at Round Bottom

This looks like a good overnight starting point Brother Two Bit. I'll check the maps when I get home.

Two Speed
2008-10-27, 16:49
Yeah, I have made PCB in 7 hours, in the middle of the night!I'm guessing a pair of dark sunglasses, a half tank of gas, a pack of smokes and a shitbox Dodge was included in that scene. If we're going for land speed records let me try a few practice runs on the motorcycle.
But when are we starting the BMT through the Smokies dammit?Well, that is getting to a far more important question. How about we discuss that at your 14 - 15th trip?

Kanga
2008-10-27, 16:55
shit. box. dodge.
nice.

Bulldawg
2008-10-27, 16:58
I'm guessing a pair of dark sunglasses, a half tank of gas, a pack of smokes and a shitbox Dodge was included in that scene.


I'll have you know I've never owned a damn Dodge.

Two Speed
2008-10-27, 17:01
Doesn't sound like you've ever seen Arethra Franklin singing "Respect" while wearing mules either.

Bulldawg
2008-10-27, 17:01
Well, that is getting to a far more important question. How about we discuss that at your 14 - 15th trip?

I'll bring the maps and books. And oh yeah, a side note...........

If you go on the 14th, you'll miss me. I am planning on Saturday, November 15th and Sunday November 16th. Just wanted to be sure you were square on that little tidbit of info. Kanga, you game? It's a short hike, you can join us after you feed the cows Saturday.

Bulldawg
2008-10-27, 17:03
Doesn't sound like you've ever seen Arethra Franklin singing "Respect" while wearing mules either.


Hmmmmm, can't say as I have! Enlighten me?

Kanga
2008-10-27, 17:05
Doesn't sound like you've ever seen Arethra Franklin singing "Respect" while wearing mules either.

oh, snaps!

Kanga
2008-10-27, 17:07
I'll bring the maps and books. And oh yeah, a side note...........

If you go on the 14th, you'll miss me. I am planning on Saturday, November 15th and Sunday November 16th. Just wanted to be sure you were square on that little tidbit of info. Kanga, you game? It's a short hike, you can join us after you feed the cows Saturday.

when is this biz-niss? that's the deciding factor. i'm looking to get the whole bmt down, so whatever section y'all want to do. fts and i can meet up at your place then us all ride together. saves gas in the long run..

Two Speed
2008-10-27, 17:08
I'll bring the maps and books. And oh yeah, a side note...........Sweet.


If you go on the 14th, you'll miss me. I am planning on Saturday, November 15th and Sunday November 16th. Just wanted to be sure you were square on that little tidbit of info. Damn, you mean I'm getting calendar-impaired just like you?
Kanga, you game? It's a short hike, you can join us after you feed the cows Saturday.Might be good if we have someone who can high technology items like . . . oh, say . . . calendars.
Hmmmmm, can't say as I have! Enlighten me?Blues Brothers. Old movie. Lotsa great blues pieces in the movie.

Kanga
2008-10-27, 17:09
Damn, you mean I'm getting calendar-impaired just like you?Might be good if we have someone who can high technology items like . . . oh, say . . . calendars.

someone good at grammar would work, too. just sayin'.:angel:

Kanga
2008-10-27, 17:13
when is this biz-niss?


Damn, you mean I'm getting calendar-impaired just like you?Might be good if we have someone who can high technology items like . . . oh, say . . . calendars.

i 4got about that shit. ts, you let me know when the hike is, and we'll just show up at dawg's house and kidnap him. or we could just tell him the date and then show up at his house, since he apparently wouldn't know when we were coming anyway...

Two Speed
2008-10-27, 17:21
Based on my detailed technical analysis I'd say its Nov 15- 16th, starting immediately after you feed the cows. Any chance you could feed them early? Also, if I showed up to help is there a cattle trailer or something we could borrow to put 'Dawg in for the trip? I hate putting 'Dawgs in my pick up. Takes weeks to get the smell out of the bed of the truck.

Kanga
2008-10-27, 17:25
i can feed them as early as i want. the dates i wanted were for the bmt trip, tho. that's what i thought dawg was talking about. also, where's this waterfall thing going down?

Two Speed
2008-10-27, 17:29
My idea is to do the detailed planning for the BMT trip on the waterfall trip. Gives us something to do while we cook and what not.

Bulldawg
2008-10-27, 17:29
i can feed them as early as i want. the dates i wanted were for the bmt trip, tho. that's what i thought dawg was talking about. also, where's this waterfall thing going down?


Damn!!!!


The Panther Creek Falls short drinking hike is Saturday November 15th-16th.

We will work on planning the BMT on that hike, over fire, waterfalls, and bourbon. I am bringing the maps and/or books, you are bringing the damn calendar so you can teach TS and myself how to use it.

Two Speed
2008-10-27, 17:35
Okey doke, I'll volunteer to bring the cognac, the bow saw and a shaggy blonde.

Bulldawg
2008-10-27, 17:39
Just for information sakes, so you guys can keep me straight; I work every third Saturday. I work on November 8th. So that means my next Saturday to work is November 29th. You do the math from there and you can be in charge of keeping me straight.

Two Speed
2008-10-27, 17:41
I'm all over it.

BTW, did you decide to bring your Lab?

No, not the meth lab, the dog.

Bulldawg
2008-10-27, 17:42
I'm all over it.

BTW, did you decide to bring your Lab?

No, not the meth lab, the dog.

What's a meth lab, is that some new breed?


I will decide on the night before probably, if that is OK with you

Two Speed
2008-10-27, 17:49
No problems.

I'll bring a tennis ball for Barney anyway, bit I gotta admit I'm torn about whether it's a good idea to bring a Lab on a cold weather trip around my shaggy blonde. Ain't no way in Hell I can keep him out of the water if your dog goes for a swim.

Bulldawg
2008-10-27, 17:58
No problems.

I'll bring a tennis ball for Barney anyway, bit I gotta admit I'm torn about whether it's a good idea to bring a Lab on a cold weather trip around my shaggy blonde. Ain't no way in Hell I can keep him out of the water if your dog goes for a swim.


Well I can promise you that since I plan on camping right on the water's edge that if I take a lab, the bitch is going swimming! But I also want you to make it and not cause you any issues, so if that might be the case, I can leave Raven at home. Not a big deal either way.

Kanga
2008-10-27, 18:07
i'm bringing two. and they will most definitely be in the water.

Two Speed
2008-10-27, 18:08
Screw it. We'll build a big fire and dry 'em off later.

At least the Boogie Man won't be able to sneak up on us.

Bulldawg
2008-10-27, 20:08
OK, hey, let's start a BMT hike plan on another thread?