Well, while I’m holed up at the house with some “head crud” as the doctor called it, I may as well get this blog done.
Seasoned hikers know to prepare for varying weather conditions. It’s why we look silly when we roll out of the house dressed in layers and packing rain gear despite crystal clear skies. The old boy scout motto of “be prepared” never rings more true than it does in the harsh environments of nature.
With that being said, it’s still easy to be caught off guard. We knew it would be chilly. We knew it would be a little windy. We were even aware that Mt. LeConte was predicted to possibly get some snow. But we weren’t going to Mt. LeConte. No, we were headed in a different direction and somewhere 1,000 ft less in elevation. We were heading to Charlie’s Bunion. Thankfully we talked our friends Joe & Liz into going with us. It was great to see them!
But that didn’t stop mother nature. Upon our arrival at Newfound Gap, we were immediately greeted with ARCTIC BLASTS straight outta the north pole. Seriously, it was like being slapped in the face with a brush full of needles….for 9 miles.
But it was so much fun! And here’s some pictures to prove it.
The leaves gave us a small preview of what was to come…
After the first 2.7 miles, we took a slight detour once we reached the junction for Charlie’s Bunion and headed up to the jumpoff.
For anyone who’s never been to the jumpoff: you need to make the detour someday. It’s not far out of the way and the views are breathtakingly dramatic. It’s a 1,000ft cliff face. Make a wrong step out there and you need to be making your peace with God. However, on a day like today we were treated to a frosty surprise. After climbing for 2 minutes we were rewarded with a snow covered mountain-top.
Making our way out to the cliff
As for the jumpoff itself, you couldn’t see past the edge of the cliff. But it was incredibly eerie to think that out there in the mist was certain death.
We huddled together for warmth and snacked on some delicious cookies and then made our way back towards the Bunion. But not before stopping at the Icewater Springs Shelter for our lunch.
Making the way out to the Bunion was indeed interesting. The snow was blowing in from one direction and had left the other face of the mountain untouched. A very unique site. It did however, clear up at the Bunion long enough to allow a view.
Sadly on the way back, we didn’t get any pictures because Kara had a nasty fall. Thankfully she was alright, just a little bruised and banged up, but we can’t say the same for the camera because she was carrying it when she fell. Oh well. C’est la Vie. Just glad she’s okay. I can replace a camera lens, can’t replace my wife!
Anywho, here’s the rest of the trip!