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Memorial Weekend on Gregory Bald

  • May 25, 2013 · 7:00 AM
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Lets do an easy three day hike up to Gregory Bald in the Smokies over Memorial Day weekend. For those who have never been, the Bald offers wide open views of most of the Western section of the park including Cades Cove. The wild azaleas usually bloom late spring to early summer so with any luck we might just hit it at the right time. We'll start at the Twentymile Ranger Station and hike 4.1 miles to the Upper Flats Campsite (92). From there we'll climb 2400 feet (4.6 miles) to the Bald and our second campsite at Sheep Pen Gap (13). The next day is 7 miles downhill back to the Ranger Station. Reservations are required for the Smokies now so I have reserved 8 spots the cost of which can be divided among those attending.

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  • Eddy and S.

    One thing we found out is that Twentymile ranger station is a safe place to leave a car.

    May 28, 2013

  • Eddy and S.

    It was a great weekend for a hike even with the rain Sunday morning. the views from Gregory Bald were awesome.

    May 28, 2013

  • Eddy and S.

    are we meeting up on the drive to the trail head for lunch?

    May 23, 2013

    • Eddy and S.

      Al, that is how I go all the time so I am familiar with it

      May 24, 2013

    • Raymond M.

      Got my vote, too. I like packing in a Subway sandwich for first night's dinner.

      May 24, 2013

  • Raymond M.

    Sharing gear? Matt and I discussed sharing gear this morning. If anyone wants to save a little weight, feel free to join in. I am planning to take a stove, fuel, and pot for boiling water. Matt is taking a filter to filter water. Y'all are welcome to share with us or share something you can carry for us/others. Just speak up. Those packs get mighty heavy hiking up a mountain, mile after mile. No need for 8 filters, 8 stoves, 8 fuel canisters, etc. I bet Deena teaches her students to "be nice and share?" :)

    May 23, 2013

    • Matt M

      I'm happy to share my filter. I may bring my stove as well since my supply of patience runs inverse to my hunger.

      1 · May 24, 2013

    • Raymond M.

      Matt, I'll even let you cook first on my stove! I know to keep a trip leader happy! LOL

      May 24, 2013

  • Raymond M.

    Speaking of weather, here is a link to a GSMNP weather site, which includes several webcam links in the Smokies.
    http://www.outragegis.com/weather/grsm/

    May 23, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I just had to repack, and upgrade to my winter gear.. Looking for it to be COLD!

      May 24, 2013

    • Eddy and S.

      Matt, that is what I decided to bring also. I was hoping to get by with my 40° quilts. Now do I take my full down jacket or the down jacket liner and wear my rain coat over it. Looks like some rain Monday 30% chance

      May 24, 2013

  • Sarah

    Have fun! Jealous I didnt make it. :)

    I think I will head over to Mount Eagle for some backpacking.

    May 24, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Raymond- What kind of fuel do you need? I use "Heet", in my alcohol stove. Is that o.k for your stove, or do I need denatured alcohol?

    May 24, 2013

    • Al B.

      Deena- since Raymond is bringing a canister stove, why don't you bring your stove for the two of us and I'll bring the water treatment. BTW: Aqua Mira is NOT an iodine product; it is chlorine dioxide, a chemical used by municipal water treatment plants, in a portable form. has a slight lemony taste; just like tap water.

      1 · May 24, 2013

  • Al B.

    FYI: I talked to a Ranger at the GSMNP Backcountry Office today; he indicated possible high water in a couple of the streams we cross on Saturday due to the recent rains and low temps in the low-40's to high-30's over the weekend. He suggested water shoes and a dry set of clothes, warm sleeping bag, etc. Just thought I'd pass it along.

    See you on the trail!
    Al "FishBone" Baran

    May 22, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      First bears, now this. I'm gonna run outta underwear.

      May 23, 2013

    • Al B.

      Ranger had no specifics other than "high water". Given the rain over the last few days and the fact that we will have a period of dry weather on Th and F, I would expect no more than knee-deep.

      May 23, 2013

  • Laurel

    Sorry to miss it already paid for Big South Fork with NHM 4 day weekend.

    May 22, 2013

  • Sarah

    Hey Matt, give me a shout if anyone backs out. I would love to go[masked]

    May 21, 2013

  • Al B.

    Bummer, Faith. See you down the trail.

    Deena: we've got a guest bedroom at your disposal if you like.

    Alan: if you can meet at my place we could all drive together.

    Question: choice of vehicle. I have an Accord coupe; enough room, cozy. Other options???

    May 19, 2013

    • Eddy and S.

      yep that will work. What is that exit number. I know I have seen it before and isn't there a gas station at that exit?

      May 21, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      It is exit 254. There is no gas there but there is one exit east (258 I think) My number is[masked] or [masked] if anyone needs to contact me. I'm very excited about the trip.

      May 21, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    The Foothills Pkwy road closing between Walland and Wear Valley, won't affect us, right? Not sure how we get to the Twentymile Station, but just wanted to make sure!

    May 20, 2013

    • Matt M

      Nope. Shouldn't be an issue. We'll hit the Foothills Pkwy well west of that stretch.

      May 20, 2013

    • Eddy and S.

      I am pretty sure we won't even be on the Foothills parkway.

      May 21, 2013

  • Alan F.

    this may be a duplicate post-i have a Ford Escape in good condition or i can help drive someone else's car. what time should i be at Al's house on saturday?

    May 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    My girlfriend is going to meet us Saturday somewhere and ride. Now I don't have to be the only gal!

    May 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Anyone have some suggestions about carpooling, since Faith is out?

    May 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Faith - can I ride with you? I am driving into Nashville Friday night, and we can meet up somewhere.

    May 4, 2013

    • Matt M

      Sorry guys, I should have posted this earlier. I spoke to Jonathan on the phone a few days ago. He lives further east than any of us. We'll be picking him up after we leave your place Eddy. I do still need his address though...

      May 18, 2013

    • Eddy and S.

      thanks for letting me know Matt. No problem picking him up

      May 18, 2013

  • Alan F.

    do we have to stay in shelters? i hope we can pitch a tent. i assume there is water nearby?

    May 17, 2013

    • Matt M

      There are no shelters along this route. We'll be tenting, tarping, hammocking, or cowboy camping (weather permitting) both nights. All of the sites in the Smokies that I'm aware of have water nearby. The first night we'll be right next to a small creek. The second site has a small spring about 200 yards away and we'll pass another maybe 3/4 of a mile before we get to the campsite.

      May 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Let me know if I can get worked in

    May 10, 2013

    • Matt M

      Jonathan, I think what Raymond means is that his wife was signed up to go, but has changed her mind and you picked up the spot which you are most welcome too. Welcome aboard!

      May 12, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Awesome. I look forward to it!

      May 12, 2013

  • Raymond M.

    Anyone know about the synchronized fireflies in the GSMNP? "Since 1993, this peak date has occurred at various times from the third week of May to the third week in June." Are these only at Elkmont or is there a chance we might see some?
    http://www.nooga.com/161372/field-excursions-synchronous-fireflies-offer-natural-light-show-in-great-smoky-mountains-national-park/
    http://www.nps.gov/grsm/naturescience/fireflies.htm

    Or, will we have to be content with synchronized bears?! LOL

    May 6, 2013

    • Raymond M.

      Or, in lieu thereof, a fresh pair of underwear?!!!

      May 6, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Ok. Bear proof undies. Check.

      May 6, 2013

  • Matt M

    That filled up faster than anticipated. I was able to secure another 2 spots which puts us at the limit on our first campsite. We'll have that one to ourselves, but may end up sharing with another group at the second.

    May 3, 2013

    • Raymond M.

      Matt, my wife says to put her down for a spot, so I added her to my RSVP just now.

      May 3, 2013

  • Eddy and S.

    I (Eddy) am a maybe on this trip. will know for sure later on

    May 3, 2013

    • Matt M

      I hope you get to make it. As soon as you know for sure, let us know.

      May 3, 2013

    • Eddy and S.

      will do

      May 3, 2013

  • Alan F.

    is this trip full--please put me on wait list

    May 3, 2013

    • Matt M

      Welcome aboard!

      May 3, 2013

  • Raymond M.

    Matt... can we (you) get more reservations at the campsites we'll be using? I see Alan has asked for a wait list. It's up to you on how large you want our group to be, of course.

    I've always heard of Gregory Bald as being one of the finest hikes in the GSMNP, so I look forward to finally getting to hike it myself! Thanks for organizing this trip!

    May 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thank you , thank you! So excited. This is Sat - Mon, right? (I have to work half day on Friday)

    May 3, 2013

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