Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Laurel Valley to Bad Creek in pictures

This past weekend I went for a backpacking trip with three friends on the Foothills Trail in North / South Carolina. Here's the story, in pictures:

Our Route. The plan was to hike 27 miles. We'll see how close we get to that

Sam, Chris, Tristan, and me at the start, full of gusto and excited for a nice, relaxing hike

First day of hiking over, easy-peasy 8 miles. Relaxing at the campsite. Just 19 to go!

Morning of Day 2; our campsite was at the top of a big waterfall!

And here we are at the viewpoint -- our first actual vista of the falls we slept above

Day two's trail was not quite as mellow as Day 1.

Chris and I take a brief break at one of the hike's many bridges.

I'm glad we didn't have to climb this staircase!

Doing our best Abercrombie modeling poses on the bridge at the bottom of the stairs

The view here was spectacular!

No campsites on the river, so Sam pumps water at Mile 13. The plan: Hike a mile to the next campsite and have a short Monday.

Chris enjoys the cool river water and looks forward to a very short hike to the campsite.

The campsite must be right at the top of that hill! These 10 liters of water Sam pumped are starting to feel heavy!

I'm sure it's at the top of this staircase that heads under this boulder!

Four miles later, we finally arrive at the campsite -- a total of 17 miles hiked on Day 2. We are absolutely exhausted! Also, there is a creek 30 feet away so we didn't need to haul all that water.

After dinner, we noticed these two slugs getting funky!

Morning of Day 3, just 3 miles to go!

Here's the last decent picture we got, at another nice waterfall. Somehow we ended up hiking 7 miles on the last day, for a total of 32 miles hiked -- not 27 -- and about 6,000 feet of cumulative elevation gain. The hamburgers we had in Asheville that night were some of the best we've ever tasted. Or maybe that was just the 32 miles talking.....

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