Archive for November, 2013

Martin Creek Falls – 11-16-2013

These waterfalls have been on ‘the list’ for quite awhile now but, somehow I never seemed to get around to going there. I suppose it could be because they are close by and only a one mile hike to get to them and we always seemed to have bigger fish to fry but, on this day I got up too late to go see any ‘bigger fish’ and knew I would be lucky to have time to reach these falls and get out by dark so it was time to mark this one off ‘the list’. I reached the gated forest service road around 3:30pm and it only took me about 20 minutes to hike the one mile to the falls.


Martin Creek Falls


Posted on 19 November '13 by , under RATtreks. 1 Comment.

Fall Colors 2013 – Blue Ridge Parkway 10-20-2013

The colors were not as good in most areas around here this year and I was unable to get out to see them at precisely the right times anyway so, getting any good photographs did not happen. We did take a trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway but, the colors were just not in peak plus the sun was intensely bright. I have no fancy cameras with filters for that so no way to get any good shots under those conditions.  There were huge crowds of people there which created bumper to bumper traffic with nowhere to park. People walking everywhere running out in front of you and with the sun in everyone`s eyes it was a dangerous situation. I was on edge the entire time.  It was just an unpleasant experience for me but, regardless, here are a few pics from that trip:

fall colors

Looking up at Rough Ridge


Posted on 10 November '13 by , under RATtreks. No Comments.

Graveyard Fields and Waterfalls – 10-15-2013

I joined my friends Dave and Lou for a hike in what is called the ‘Graveyard Fields’ which is located off the Blue Ridge Parkway around milepost 418. This is a very popular spot so expect crowds anytime. You’ll pass through alpine-like meadows, stands of Mountain Laurel and Rhododendron, and young northern hardwood forests. If you like red colors in the Fall, this is the place to be ! Although the colors were not yet in their peak, it was still very nice and I am glad I went on this trip as it turns out I was only able to get in one more trip to see the leaves and they were already past peak during the only time I could go. This is an easy hike through a unique and beautiful area and it does have two main waterfalls on Yellowstone Creek and a third if you are the more adventurous type. The mountain was shrouded in fog and clouds as we drove in to the parkway that morning but it soon cleared off to be a sunny day. We chose to go to the Upper Falls first.

graveyard fields

Graveyard Fields


Posted on 8 November '13 by , under RATtreks. No Comments.

RAT`s Annual Birthday Hike – 9-15 to 9-20-2013

This years annual birthday hike was a spur of the moment one as there almost wasn`t one due to a situation at my job. Thankfully it worked out that I was able to go for a week but, it left little time for planning anything elaborate. For this reason my friend Bol’Dar and I decided to do something close by with easy logistics. I really did not want to do any AT sections but it was better than not going at all as any time in the woods is better than anytime in the city. The choice was to go from Sams Gap to Erwin. A mere 25 miles or so but, with my being out of shape along with my desire to be able to take my time and do low miles in order to enjoy every day of my well earned vacation, this would be perfect. Besides, it has been a few years since I hiked from Sams Gap to Big Bald and from Spivey Gap to Erwin plus it would give me a chance to enjoy all the hard work I have done on my trail section this year between Little Bald and Spivey Gap. We dropped my car at the parking area on the other side of the Nolichuckey River bridge at Chestoa, and my girlfriend Linda drove us up to Sams Gap where the adventure would begin.

big bald

Above the clouds on Big Bald


Posted on 4 November '13 by , under RATtreks. No Comments.