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Roan Mountain Balds and Blooming Rhododendrons!

  • Jun 14, 2013 · 9:00 AM
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This trip will be to Roan Mountain to enjoy the greatest concentration of Balds and the Best Blooming Display of Rhododendrons in the Southern Appalachians, so yep, this is another one of those trips you have to do.....before you die! The views down there (NC/TN Border) are world famous and from Trail Days, AT Through Hikers say it is the best part of the AT, so off we go to enjoy it! No one less famous than our own Ray Davis waxes poetically about Roan Mountain (and Ray is not a poet!) as it is a favorite winter trip of his! Since this past winter kept us from getting down there, we will enjoy it when the locals are doing their Rhododendron Festival! This is a long drive....about 7-8 hours each way from Centreville, VA, so we will be leaving no later than the early afternoon to get there by dark! The trip will start at Carver's Gap and go north on the AT, to a secret campsite with the highest 360 degree view down there...and a water source,  where we will camp after a 4 mile trip along one of the highest and most beautiful balded ridges in the world! We will then walk without packs to Hump Mountain to enjoy the views (about 14 miles total out and back), then walk the 4 miles back to the car with our packs. Overall this is an 8 mile backpacking trip with another 14+ mile day hike. The pace will be moderate as our eyes will be popping out of their sockets at the views, so lots of picture opportunities as always on my trips! This is a strenuous trip, so please know you can walk a 21 mile distance on a rocky, high mountain trail with a cold rain always a possibility over 6000' in elevation. Organizers are free to go even if the trip is filled as this is one you do not want to miss and hey, you guys deserve some bennies for the great job you do!!! I am big on having fun while being safe, but you will get some serious exercise! The Rhododendron should be in spectacular bloom....and if not, I will change the date to coincide with their blooming which would be the next weekend, or June 22, but right now June 15th seems to be right time for the blooms. You can find information on Roan Mountain here: http://www.cs.unca.edu/nfsnc/recreation/roanmtn.pdf, and here: http://www.summitpost.org/area/range/151091/roan-highlands.html, and here: http://www.romanticasheville.com/roan.htm, or a picture of what is waiting for us here: http://wncnaturally.com/PhotosRoanMtn.html. So let's saddle up again for another one of those unbelievable trips that you just can't stop smiling about long after you return....some of the most spectacular summer backpacking in the US....and maybe the world!!! ;-)

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  • Alan

    And one more thing...you have two great kids of whom I'm sure you're quite proud. Glad you brought them along!

    June 17, 2013

    • Jim N.

      They have been up there before and both teenagers wanted to go back, which should tell you something.

      June 20, 2013

  • Bernard C.

    I didn't come with the group but it was great to run into Jim! Fantastic place with incredible scenes. Just wanted to share with the group my video I did from this past weekend.

    http://www.timescapes.us/Timescapes/Videos/30044732_z9npnR#!i=[masked]&k=HPwfksc

    1 · June 17, 2013

    • Bernard C.

      Thanks Jim! I'm trying incorporate backpacking and photography and it's not easy. I think I might have to develop my own pack for such adventures. After getting so close to the blooms and missing it, I'm going back to Roan at the end of June.

      June 19, 2013

    • Jim N.

      It is a very special place so understand Bernard.

      June 20, 2013

  • Jim N.

    Amazing in every way, thanks everyone for your commitment and all the fun we had together on one of my favorite trips of the year!

    June 19, 2013

    • Dwayne J.

      Jim. I have been tracking the result of your trip, enviouslessly I might add, via the comments and photos. Congratulations on a great trip. i will jump at the next opportunity! Take care.

      June 19, 2013

  • Alan

    Jim,

    Thanks again for being so generous with your time and efforts for putting this all together. I had a great time with you and the rest of the gang and look forward to seeing everyone again soon!

    Alan

    June 17, 2013

    • Jim N.

      You're welcome Alan glad you could make one of our premiere trips and you could see why. You add so much to the group so thanks for your help!

      June 19, 2013

  • Kelly P

    thanks, jim:-)

    June 16, 2013

    • Jim N.

      Always great to get out with you and Buddy Kelly as you are both such great company, thanks!

      June 17, 2013

  • Jim N.

    Time to talk about group dinners since we should have a pretty firm number on our group now. I would suggest we do a stove dinner one night and fire dinner the next as firewood takes some effort up there as it is not very plentiful. Options include getting packets from Sam's Club which are sealed (there are bears in the area), so Chicken Florentine, Blackened Salmon, Moroccan Chicken, Orange Chicken, or Chicken/Beef Fajitas are 5 things that are doable. For home cooking, Gumbo, Jambalaya, Tacos, and Chili are 4 things that come to mind, or just grill meat over the fire. For Friday we can take something in and not have to worry about refrigeration as it is only 3 miles to camp. So get back here with me and let's get the menu taken care of. Everyone will be on their own for 2 breakfasts and lunches. I know of a water source near camp, but will require filtration, which I will bring one water filter.

    June 12, 2013

    • Alan

      I just found a package of flour tortillas for the fajitas...they are now in my pack.

      June 13, 2013

    • Mignote

      Dinner sounds great! Anything you!d like us pick up along the way?

      June 14, 2013

  • Tom

    Looks like we need drivers. I can drive and take 4 others, meeting at 9:00 a.m. Centerville. I have a big car and a roof cargo bag, so we should be set.

    June 7, 2013

    • Mignote

      I am at the centerville park and ride.

      1 · June 14, 2013

    • kemeria

      Aww konjo,lol

      June 14, 2013

  • Jim N.

    Running an hour late. Just leave & I will catch up.

    June 14, 2013

    • Tom

      Carvers gap is at the intersection of NC 261 and Tn 143, right? Are the coordinates at the website link (above) good?

      June 14, 2013

  • Sara

    Anyone coming from NW with whom I could grab a ride and share gas costs? If not I will find a carpool picking up at metro. Thanks!

    June 11, 2013

    • Sara

      Appreciate the offer, Tom, but I already have a ride.

      June 13, 2013

    • Tom

      :)

      June 13, 2013

  • Ted

    Can't do this weekend trip - hope you all have a great time - should be spectacular. But was planning on driving down Sun 6/16 for a 5 day backpack in the Roan Highlands. Now considering delaying by one week for possibly better blooms at elevation.

    June 13, 2013

  • Alan

    Quick question...for the day hike, what are people bringing along? A small day pack perhaps? I have one that can carry lunch, a rain jacket, and a liter of water but I'm looking for better suggestions and/or advice. Thanks!

    June 13, 2013

    • Jim N.

      I will bring a day pack Alan that can carry water, lunch, etc. I will strap to my backpack. The weather is supposed to be clear and sunny for Friday into Sunday and we will be exposed to the sunshine all the time on the balds, but the highs are only supposed to be 70 degrees.

      June 13, 2013

    • Alan

      Great, thanks Jim.

      June 13, 2013

  • Heather C.

    Plantar fascia acting up in my left foot, can't go the distance. next years bucket list. Have loads of fun!!

    June 12, 2013

    • Jim N.

      Will miss you Heather!

      June 12, 2013

  • Dwayne J.

    I'm surprised (and a little disheartened) by the number of people backing out of this hike as the time draws near. I know things come up in people's lives, etc., but this appeared to be a premiere trip with an extensive waitlist. Seeing that, I made other plans for the weekend and am not going to back out of those. The distance to travel and the time committment to go to NC doesn't lend itself to last minute change of plans. Is this typical for a WBMG event or more of an anomoly for this specific trip? For those of you going, have a great time. I look forward to viewing your pictures! DJ

    June 11, 2013

    • Jim N.

      No it is not the way it used to be here Dwayne and yes, it is a premiere trip. Maybe some people not fully understanding the commitment it takes to do such a trip is one reason. That being said, I have simply let things ride as I only want 100% committed people on my trips as it makes for a more positive experience for those of us doing it. However 17 people for such a long trip is still a pretty sizeable group. Of course the 16 mile day hike on Saturday has helped convince a few people back out as well and work does get in the way for several.

      2 · June 11, 2013

  • Kathleen

    While it greatly pains me, for variety of reasons, I have won't be able to make it this weekend ... making me doubly sad that I didn't make the beginner's trip this past weekend. Some day!

    June 10, 2013

  • Jim N.

    Weather for this trip as of today is purrrfect! Sunny with highs around 70 and lows of around 55: http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=36.099780007917964&lon=-82.08126068115234#.UbYiSEPD-70

    So get ready everyone!

    1 · June 10, 2013

  • Alan

    I can take two people comfortably. Three not so comfortably.

    June 10, 2013

  • Aileen

    Any room in anyone's car? Can meet at any Metro stop.

    June 6, 2013

  • Jim N.

    First long range weather outlook is for sunshine on Saturday, but way to early to put faith in the forecast yet.

    2 · June 6, 2013

  • Huong

    Apologies I can no longer participate. Hope you will have fun.

    June 5, 2013

  • Tanya G

    My family is going out of town/out of country and I have to play babysitter and chauffeur. Won't be able to make it :(

    June 5, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I have to fly out to CT for work on that Sunday.

    June 4, 2013

  • Andrej

    Does anyone have a spare seat for the ride to and from the trail. My ride bailed on me and I am looking to get one from someone else who is going. I am willing to meet wherever and whenever on Friday and will pitch in for gas.

    1 · June 4, 2013

  • Emerald

    I wish the schedule worked out, but I have another obligation with friends!

    June 4, 2013

  • Sami

    SO bummed I can't make it. Hopefully next time!

    June 4, 2013

  • Larke W.

    so bummed to miss this one!

    June 3, 2013

  • Ginger Q.

    Sorry I have to back out of the trip. Have to stay local that weekend due to work obligations.

    June 1, 2013

  • PaulD

    Looks amazing. Maybe next year.. *sniffle*

    May 28, 2013

    • Jim N.

      Paul, if you read above it says leaders are welcome....but will put you to work, since you are so good at it! :-)

      May 29, 2013

    • PaulD

      I can't make it. That stupid work thing in the way.

      May 29, 2013

  • Larke W.

    I will also be looking to carpool from the DC area and may be able to leave around ~ 3pm from a metro station.

    May 15, 2013

  • Amy

    I can drive, room for 5

    January 25, 2013

    • Christy

      And share gas $?

      May 12, 2013

    • Amy

      Thanks Sully. Sorry for the confusion guys; I deleted my last post saying I still had room...

      May 13, 2013

  • Amy

    I was sooo looking forward to this trip, but just found out that my daughter starts camp that Sunday morning and I have to get her to SU early. Have a wonderful time for me!!

    May 10, 2013

  • Becky R.

    My school schedule just wouldn't cooperate, so sad!

    April 8, 2013

  • Heather C.

    will brig dogs if that's ok

    January 25, 2013

    • Jim N.

      Sure Heather

      March 13, 2013

  • Jim N.

    Will work out details for this event, stay patient everyone!

    February 12, 2013

  • Clark

    Can I change number of guests later?

    January 26, 2013

    • Jim N.

      Clark just give me a call or shoot me an email. [masked]

      February 12, 2013

  • Bernard C.

    I might see you guys down there, will be there for 4 days.

    January 24, 2013

    • Bernard C.

      Jim, when is the next meeting? I'm on the list for Feb.9th trip but I can make your next monthly meeting too.

      January 24, 2013

    • Jim N.

      Both soudn good Bernard, I just want to learn about pictures from you a bit. I am so busy running trips I want to learn much more about my T2i DSLR, thanks.

      January 25, 2013

  • Steve M.

    Got a special wedding to go to!

    January 24, 2013

  • Jim N.

    Rick I did add 3 but the people are helping me run the trip. I did not expect such an overwhelming response....next time I will put up bad pictures!

    January 24, 2013

    • Jim N.

      OMG 10 minutes after this listing and 20 on the waiting list! I will try to work something out....just did not expect so many people wanting to take off a Friday to do this trip. Let me bone up on the details but we will have to break up into groups.

      January 24, 2013

  • Katrina

    Yea!!! I can't wait for warm weather! your trips fill up in minutes now. :)

    January 24, 2013

  • Lynette

    Jim, Is there room for two more? I turned around for a second before signing up and the rsvps were already full. :(

    January 24, 2013

    • Jim N.

      Yep, it sure filled fast....must be the pictures, lol!

      January 24, 2013

    • Lynette

      Thank you thank you! Yes, the pictures are gorgeous.

      January 24, 2013

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