Friday–February 19, 2021
I’m excited about this hike today. Plans are to share it with Emi, a young lady who’s driven all the way down from Massachusetts! She’s here to hike the Pinhoti as a shakedown for her planned AT thru-hike next year. Emi (right this minute) is on the last stretch of road walk from Stewartville to Trammel Trailhead. Ahh, and what great timing–as Nathan drops me off to begin my hike today, soon comes Emi!
The trail north from Trammel touches all compass points before dropping down to follow the old Trammel tramway grade. Here, the destruction from Hurricane Zeta presents in full display, Nature’s wrath if you will. Huge centuries-old pine and hardwood, hundreds and hundreds, completely uprooted, gargantuan root wads scattered up the ridges (and down the trail in a helter skelter jumble). Until the volunteer trail-clearing crew came through, no way could we have passed here. I snap pictures of the destruction as we hike along, but they’ll not provide the least appreciation for the enormous destruction we’re seeing.
The cleared and well-groomed trail continues the entire day as we pass happy little brooks, then to climb beside the ridges below impressive granite outcrops, and from there to gain ridgelines providing unobstructed views across these glorious southern Appalachians.
After lunch, Nathan comes to join us as we conclude this fun-filled day–early afternoon at Bulls Gap.
Thanks Emi and Nathan; I’ve had a great time! It’s pure joy to be back on the trail again…
A nomad I will remain for life, in love with distant and uncharted places.