GSMNP IX (Smokemont/Pecks/Charlies Bunion), 11/08

Nov. 7-9, 2008

27 miles

This was a balmy trip running around the rim of the watershed of the Bradley Fork of the Oconaluftee river, with young Ben and Bob.  We parked at Smokemont campground and went up the Bradley Fork Trail to Hughes Ridge.  Where the Bradley Fork trail heads up and away from the creek young Ben stashed some beers for the 2nd night out at campsite #49 just a mile or so away.  Great plan.

looking down into Bradley Fork drainage from Hughes Ridge

Weather both days was in the 60’s and mostly clear.  We “stealth” camped on Hughes ridge before Pecks Corner.  There was a light shower that evening but otherwise calm.  9 miles today.

Next day on to the AT and south over the Sawteeth with pretty good views.

We got to Charlies Bunion and it was a zoo.

Mt. LeConte from Charlies Bunion

Tenn. side below the Bunion

We took in the views and then dropped the packs and walked up check out Ice Water Springs shelter.

the view from Ice Water Springs shelter

We headed on down the fairly steep Dry Sluice Gap trail to campsite #49 on the creek.  13 miles with pack, 4 with out today.  Ben went down to retrieve the beer while Bob and I collected fire wood.  Ben returns with stories of the beer being stolen.  It was a sad night around the fire.

On the way out I personally went down to look in the creek and there it was, Ben had been hallucinating the night before.

Vindicated and disappointed in Ben we shuffled our way back to the car.  This is Bob, in his great disbelief look.

5 miles this morning.

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