Friday, April 25, 2014

Max Patch, Hot Springs - Trail Fest, and SNOW!

So we're a bit behind on updating the blog, in the last 11 days since the Smokys we have been through 2 towns, enjoied a beautiful afternoon on Max Patch, and attended Trail Fest.  Also we got caught in some of the worst weather conditions I hope to ever see on trail.

Max Patch was georgious -

I took a 360 panarama -

And Speedy proved he is a culinary generous -

Joshua used his lehigh education to solve a rigging problem at one rocky campsite -
Over enginnered?? Yes.  Took him an hour?  Also yes.  Cool? Totally. 

Hard to see, but we camped on a little rocky outcropping just big enough for our tents, right next to a waterfall!  Georgious!

Moving on -- Trail Fest in Hot Springs, NC was adorable!

What a happy little town!  They even have their very own, real life, Leslie Knope (Parks and Rec)!!!  She was the best.

My darling Marguerite came to visit, and we went rock climbing and even had a hot tub!

A turn for the worst!  After a wonderful weekend and last last night camping on the river...
(Solar charger in the tree branches!)

It rained all night and well into next day, then as we climbed elevation the temperature began to drop dangerously.  Our gear was soaked and beginning to freeze; the trail was flooded in parts and snow covered in others. We even were pelted by hail at times!  Jeremy may elaborate in another post, but I had to call it about 5 miles early and, with frozen feet and finger, numbly set up my tent on a blizzard.  It took me about 5 hours in my bag to regain normal thinking ability and feeling in my extremities.  The night, alone, was mostly sleepless with temperatures down near 0 degrees F.  All my snowboarding gear, 20 deg bag and 15 deg liner were just enough to keep me alive... Not enough to let me sleep.

I took some photos the morning after -

Luckally everybody knew what to do in this situation - make sure you, yourself, are safe.  Jeremy and Josh made it to the shelter and warmed up by a fire.  Nobody got lost, nobody went out looking for the others in the horrid conditions. We all were regrouped by 1PM the next day. And, as the snow melted, it turned into another beautiful day!

That's all for now - what an adventure!!

-Category V

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