Summit Seeking – Spring Break

For Spring Break Ethan, Marshall, and I took a southbound journey into the Appalachian mountains. We planned┬áto summit six states by hiking their highest mountains. Leaving just before midnight allowed us to be in Virginia by sunrise, where we picked up a great breakfast at Casey’s Diner.

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Casey’s Diner was a good way to start the day

Despite the fact that we were running on only one hour of sleep, we were full of energy and ready to conquer, so we began our first state summit: Mt. Rogers of Virginia. The hike was very scenic, with wild ponies and awesome rocky vistas that offered 360 degree views.

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Ethan getting dangerously close to a Pony

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The wind was fierce up here

After Virginia’s summit, we wasted no time and headed for Kentucky to bag its highest point: Black Mountain. This mountain required just a short hike, which was shortened even more when a kind local gave us a ride back down the mountain.

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Sunset on Black Mountain
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Hitching a ride

No sleep finally caught up to us and we crashed for the night at a campsite. But by morning we were ready to defeat Tennessee at Clingman’s Dome. We battled 16 miles of trail which had a lot of snow and ice cover. It was a long trip, but the view made it worth it.

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Tennessee still had a wintry feel to it
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The summit of Clingman’s Dome!
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Looking North into the Carolinas

The next day we peaked Georgia’s Brasstown Bald and South Carolina’s Sassafras Mountain. The weather really got nice this day; nice enough for me to break out my sandals!

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Climbing Sassafras
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Flannels were required
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It’s not a road trip without some off-roading

On the final day we woke at 3:30 am to begin hiking Mt. Mitchell (N.C.), which is the highest peak East of the Mississippi. We made it to the top just before sunrise, which was our goal. Unfortunately there was a heavy fog, so we missed the sunrise altogether. My first experience of night hiking was still a great adventure!

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Good headlamps were a must
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Our sixth and final summit!

We were dead tired, but full of tons of great memories. I’m looking forward to next spring break for more state summits!

Back to Back Creek, VA

Three weeks ago Brad, Gordon, and, myself discovered a fishing gold mine on Back Creek, VA. We stumbled upon it by accident and were all very pleased with the results. Last Saturday, Brad and I decided it was time for a return trip. Again we were not disappointed and continued to catch big fish after big fish. We ended the day with 34 fish between us with the average size being 15 inches. I caught 21 and brad caught 13, it was a great day. The pictures can tell the rest of the story, I hope you all enjoy! Oh and one more thing the river was at flood stage so that was a little disheartening to start the day off.

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The first view of Back Creek from the bridge, a little scary to say the least.
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Starting the day off right!
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Had to take another picture of the first one.
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Brad proudly showing off a splendid Back Creek bow!
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They were just all so pretty!
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Impossible to cross, so we stayed on the same side all day.
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Look at those grins!
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You got to love a fish in the snow.
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“Check this one out Brad!”
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All the trout caught that day were released unharmed, back into the water.