Archive for August, 2012

First Game

TCA 2009

Tonight is the first game of the season for the North Paulding Wolf Pack Varsity Football team. They will be playing Kennesaw Mountain at their field. Wyatt is on the freshmen team and will not be playing tonight. His first game is September 8th. Sarah will be cheering for the Junior Wolf Pack 7th grade team at East Paulding tomorrow. Can’t wait to see some football. Once we get rolling we will be going to freshmen games on Thursdays, Varsity games on Fridays and Junior games on Saturdays. Through some cheer competitions in the mix along with practice and painting the field for me and we have a full plate. Go Pack!

Update:::::::: NP 17  – KM 0

6th grade won

7th grade won in triple OT 48 – 46

8th grade won for the sweep!

Lets hope varsity can do the same the Friday.

BY SARAH TIBBITTS (10 years old)

It was right before Christmas and my granddaughter, Meredith asked me to tell her the best Christmas story I know. So I began, I was a young girl doing the things I normally would do, but then an angel appeared to me and said “Marry you will bring forth a child and his name will be Jesus. He will be the son of God and he will be the Savor.” I could not belive something so amazing would soon happen. I soon Married a man named Joseph and he did not understand that Jesus would be born soon. Then in one of his dreams an angle told him that he was to be the earthly father of Jesus. Joseph now understood me, and that God commanded me to be the earthly mother.

A few days later there was news that every man had to go to his birth place and pay taxes. Joseph had to go along way, but I wanted to go with him. I could not walk the entire way so I rode a donkey to Bethlehem. It did not feel that great riding that donkey for days. The donkeys back was going up and back down. We went over hills and valleys. That ride was not smooth and easy, but it’s apart of the journey. We could see the city and there was not far to go. When we arrived there was not much space. I couldn’t see an empty house in sight. Then we spotted a small man half asleep in a window. He was the innkeeper of the place. He said that there was not an empty house anywhere. All we needed was a roof, but he could not think of anything except the little stable in the back. So the small innkeeper led us to the barn. That was enough for us.

The stable was small and smelly. It was full of animals like cows, sheep, chickens, goats and horses. hay was thrown everywhere and a broken manager in the middle of the room. The only lights were the candles glowing in the distance, but something different shown that night. The brightest star shined right over the stable. In the stable I laid in the floor on some hay. It was all pushed to the corner so it was like a bed. We did not have the things like the inns would have so we tried to make things work.

After the baby was born shepherds came from a nearby field and they had said angles sent them here to worship the new king. Then three kings came to us with gifts. The kings traveled very far and they followed the star that was above the stable. Jesus was wrapped in swaddling clothes and put in the manger as a bed. As I fell asleep I was thanking god for this little Savor.



The Art Loeb Trail is 33.1 mile Trail in the Pisgah National Forest. It is called the mini A.T.

I first learned of the trail from reading an article in the “Blue Ridge Magazine”. One of the editors had ran the trail in one day, in the rain, gotten lost several times and finished in 13 hours or so. Crazy, right? It was his description of the trail that got me interested, especially when he said it was a mini A.T. I have hiked a fraction of the A.T., but being a solo hiker it is difficult to do a long stretch. Most of the time I combined the A.T. with other trails to make a loop. Very few time do I double back. This affords me half the distance on the A.T. for the time invested. So the idea of a mini A.T. got me hooked. I started my research. I checked web sites, I checked blogs but not much was available on the web. I order two hiking guide books on the area but still there was not a good trail description. So I had to make my own or at least an outline with mileage from one point to the next. Best way to reach a big goal is to set small ones along the way. That is what my guideline does for me. It is much easier to walk to the next over look 0.6 miles down the trail than it is to the end of the trail 25.8 miles away. I gleaned as much information as I could from what little sources I could find and came up with a three page outline.

I have a few friends who like to hike, although we tried in the past we have never been able to get together. This was going to be our first trip and it was going to be big. I asked several people to go and at one point we had 6 signed up but there was only three of us that made the trip. Brandon is my best friend from childhood and he was the first on the list. He is an Eagle Scout,  has done a lot of hiking and is in great shape. But he had never done a trail this long before. Brandon kept his supplies simple and did not over think things. We have stayed in touch over the years with phone calls, the occasional lunch and two or three visits at family functions per year. It was great to speed a few days reconnecting. John was the next one on the list. He is also a cousin of mine that is eight years my younger. He has just recently started hiking. He had done a few over night trips but nothing like this. When John does something he goes all out and puts everything he has into it. He and I also got reconnected during our training. We were not in as good of shape as Brandon so John and I started a training program.

The hike was going to be in April and it was still February when I stared making the planes for the trip. A few days after asking John to go along, he called and suggested we start building up our endurance. I agreed. He lives a few doors down from me, so meeting up in the afternoons was easy. We live on our granddad’s old farm, with lots of family around. The family lands also boards a wildlife management area or WMA. We may not have mountains that top 6000 feet but we do have some that are just as steep. John moved to the farm a few years ago, but did not grow up here as Brandon and I did. So, he did not know much about the family land. Each day I would take him on a different loop, on old logging roads, four-wheeler trails, dirt roads and some bushwhacking if needed. After a few weeks we had covered the farm pretty good. We then started making our way on to the WMA. The days started to get longer and so did our afternoon hikes. Most, if not all, ended in the dark. We got where we could walk those trails in the dark with no light. We would talk about what we thought we would expect to see on the trail. What equipment we should take. What we were going to eat. If we were going to use tents or ENOs hammock. How many shirts to bring. How heavy our packs were. We reviewed and reviewed our plain. After three weeks or so we started hiking with our packs. John got new boots and started breaking them in. We did a few field trips to Kennesaw Mountain. The only real challenge near by us. John meet me there after work one day during the week. We did a few miles and finished up in the dark to find we each had a ticket on our windshield. Who knew the park closed at dark. Luckly it was just a warning. We came back a few Saturdays later with full packs and did a test hike. Stopped and ate some trail food for lunch and everything. It was a very cold day that day. I did the trails around Kennesaw more than John, because my office is right next door. Somedays, I would do a few miles during lunch. A coworker was also training for a hike on the A.T. and he and I would meet there a few times. After mastering the trails around the house, we took a day trip up to Hellen Ga. We hiked Raven Cliff Falls trail, with full packs we did another test hike. It is an out and back trail with no connections, but the falls are amazing. There is no place like it on earth. I will have to write a blog about it some day. The training paid off and I enjoyed the time I spent with John. We have a lot more adventures ahead of us.

(Raven Cliff Falls, Hellen, GA)

It was now time to make the trip. Brandon and John meet me at my office on a Wednesday afternoon after a short day at work. Brandon drove his truck for us. It was about a 5 hour drive from Atlanta up to Daniel Boone Boy Scout Camp where we were to stay the first night. We made a stop at a Wal-Mart to pick up a few last-minute supplies; beef jerky, candy bars, oak

Oatmeal, 8 pack of Mountain Dew, gummy bears, all the essentials. When we got to the little town Waynesville, we stopped at a fast food place to eat dinner. It was already dark and had started to rain. We took all the packs and supplies that were in the back of the truck and put them in the back seat. We were now riding three across in the front seat. Off into the unknown we went. We fount the side road that the Scout camp was on but we had to drive past it several miles to the Blue Ridge Parkway. We had planed to drop a pack of supplies there. When we cross the parkway we could resupply and not have to carry so much food. In the dark we missed the small sign marking the trail crossing. We turned around at the Grave Yard Fields overlook and then fount the crossing. We were in high elevation and it was a little cold. We loaded the bag with goodies and fount a tree to hang it from. We didn’t thing anyone would take it, but we were in bear country. Back down the mountain we went and all I kept thinking was that we would have to climb this same amount of elevation to get back to our supplies at the parkway on foot. We fount the Boy Scout camp with no problem. I had called ahead and talked with the director about our plans to leave a truck there over a few days and stay the first night there. We would have a shuttle pick us up in the morning. It was still raining off and on when we pulled up, but luck would have it that the Scouts were building a little pavilion between the road and a mountain creek. It was perfect. This would be our shelter for the night. Brandon was using a tent, John and I had our hammocks. We set up camp in the dry.

Next morning I packed up and tried my flavored oatmeal. I never liked oatmeal before and I fount out that I don’t like strawberry flavored oatmeal

either. I finished it because I knew that we had a big day ahead of us. The Scout director came by, offered us coffee and told us where to leave the truck. We checked out the end of the trail and the information board. Then our shuttle driver showed up right on time a 9 aM. It was still raining off and on so we had to ride with our packs in our laps. On the way to Davidson River Camp he told us about his business, an out-door adventure outfitter. Dream Job, right. He was a little bit of a hippy but most of thoes guys are, it goes with the live style. Fly fishing, rafting, kayaking, mountain biking, you name it and he does it. Davidson River Camp it just outside of Brevard. Another great mountain town.

We are now at Davidson River Camp parking lot at 2200 feet above sea level. A few photos and we are off in the rain. We have some rain gear, jackets, ponchos, pack covers but we are not to worried about it. Davidson is the last water source for the day. The next water is at Butter Gap Shelter 8.6 miles away. We all have about 64 oz each. Because the Art Loeb stays on the ridge tops, there is not much water on the trail. After a short walk along the river and one last crossing at 0.8 miles the trail starts its up hill climb. More rain off and on, fog roles in and out. We see a dog on the trail up a head and think there may be other hikers coming our way, but never see anyone.  We make it to our first major mile stone, an old forest serve road, F.R. 5062 at 2.4 miles in.

We ate lunch here. John and I had one of our MREs (meals ready to eat) . A military work of genius. You need no camp stove to have a hot meal. Everything you need is in the box. You put your meal pouch into a special bag along with the salt water provided and it gets super hot. So hot you can’t hold it. There are cookies, peanut butter, crackers, drink flavoring and your main meal. The down side is they weigh a pound each. I have used them before but only one per hike,  now I am over weighted with extra food. That is why I wanted to get one out of my pack. My pack was around 35 pounds with water. It gets heavy after a while. I fount I did not need my camp chair either. I would ditch it at the parkway. We made a small fire and burned all of our trash. Back on the trail it was more of the same. Off and on rain and we were in the woods, which was nice but very little views. After another 2.5 miles we came to Sandy Gap at 6.3 miles in. Up to this point we had not seen anyone on the trail. A church mens group of 20 to 25 guy were having a meeting at the gap. As soon as we walked through, they brook the meeting and hit the trail right behind us. Oh No! we thought. We just pass a huge group of guys, it’s raining, more storms are coming in, the shelter is not going to be big enough, we have got to pick up the speed. It was now a race to the shelter. If we could just get there to clam one corner it would be okay. The group was pushing us. We could hear them just a few yards back. Brandon was in the best shape and took the lead. John has a longer stride than me and soon I was in the rear. I fell further behind when I stopped to put on more rain gear. I can see their lead guy now. It is really raining now. How much further is that shelter. Will we make it first. I was starting to doubt. The group must have stopped at a dry stream bed that was now flowing to fill water bottles. They were not on my heals any more. The rain is coming down in buckets. I am socked. Where is the shelter, it has to be here somewhere. Then I here a shout for joy from John and Brandon. We collapsed into the shelter and stake out a spot. A few minutes later the group of guys start walking pass in small pockets, in the heavy rain. No one stops, not even to fill water bottles from the spring. After the group passes and I rest for a little bit, I go fill my water bottle. We hang a line in the shelter and try to dry out. John and Brandon talk of bailing in the morning. I strip down to briefs and slid in to my sleeping bag. Nothing else to do. Rain turns to hail, lighting all around. I go to sleep with out dinner.

Butter Gap Shelter

More storms throughout the night. Next morning I get up first. I find enough small dry sticks under the shelter to start a fire. I then started adding wet wood from the old fire pit. This caused a lot of smoke that was blown into the shelter and woke the guys up. I took our wet cloths and started drying them over the fire. Then the talk on bailing out started up. They were both ready to go home. The day before was a hard days hike up hill most of the day in rain with no reward. John had gotten sick a few times and was now dehydrated. He really did not need to go on. When Brandon ask me what I was going to do, I told him finish the Hike and get Wendy to come get me if need be. They could call for the shuttle if they wanted to, but I was here to hike the whole thing. Brandon decided to stay, but we decided it was best for John to head home. He was close to being in a bad condition. He needed to be at full strength to finish. Not dehydrated and sick. We got a call into our shuttle driver and he told us where to meet him about a mile away. We packed up and headed out. It was just a few yards and we came to an old road crossing the trail. The drive told us go to the old road and take a left. He would pick John up where it came into a useable FS road. We said our goodbyes and departed. The Art went up a ridge and the old road went down a valley. We could hear John walking in the woods so I steeped over the side of the hill and asked if he was okay. He said he had lost the road. I showed him how the bank hand been cut and that was the road. It was very hard to see. I sent him on his way. Back on the Art, Brandon asked for the map. I could tell he thought something was not right. We had read about how hikes get lost easy on the Trail. It is not marked very well. Brandon was right, it was not but a minute that we topped another hill and there was a nice FS road that you could drive a car on. Oh Crap! I drop my pack and make a Bee line through the woods to where John should be, two valleys over. I get to the ridge top: JOHN, JOHN, JOHN  I holler. I find him quickly and get him on the right road. He is off again.

We keep going up and over knobs and ridges and back down into gaps and saddles. Slowly gaining elevation. We pass by a rock overlook, a sheer rock wall and a boulder field. We cross a dirt road and cross it again in a tenth of a mile before starting our assent of Pilot Mountain. We rest here for a little. From here it’s 2 miles to the summit. This is the most difficult climb of the trail for us. We start to have views of the sounding area. It is midday and it’s hot. I have cut the legs off of my paints and made shorts out of them. We stop at a sheer rock overlook, Brandon goes Bear Grills on me and squeezes water out of the moss into a water bottle. Then filters it in to another bottle. It tasted like crap but it was clean water and we were starting to run low, especially Brandon. I had 24 oz left.  We got to a false peak and the trail leaved out for a ways. We stopped here for lunch and another break. We drank most of our water here and had not reached the peak. After we got going and as we got closer to the top. We fount rain water seeping out onto the trail. Brandon funneled the flow by cutting a notch in a log that crossed the trail. We then collected the water in a bottle and filtered it into other bottles. We were able to fill all of our bottles. What a live saver. The final climb to the summit was very steep. Root grabbing, hand over fist stuff. The top of Pilot mountain is 5095 feet above sea level. From here we could see Black Balsam, one of our goals for the next day. We could see Looking Glass Rock along with 15 other mountains. We took a lot of photos and made phone calls, taking advantage of the cell coverage on the peak.

It was just 0.8 miles down to Deep gap, the next shelter and a good source of water. The last good water was 6.5 miles back at Butter Gap. We don’t want to run out of water again, fill everything we’ve got. This shelter was in far worse disrepair than the last. There was still a lot of daylight left so we decided to keep moving. It was an easy walk to old FS 229 another 1.2 miles down the trail. At the intersection with the Farlow Gap Trail there was a large clearing and a good camping spot. This is where we would stay the night. We set up camp with plenty of daylight left. We got a good fire going, ate our dinner and enjoyed relaxing for a while.

The next morning, day three on the trail, we packed up not knowing all the adventures we would have and sites we would see. Nor did we know how long of a day it would be and how many miles we would walk. We had walked 16.3 miles so far in two days from Davidson River, and it seamed so far away. Other than the summit of mount Pilot, most of our hike has been in the woods with very little vistas. From our camp it was a 1.5 mile climb up to the Blue Ridge Parkway where we had left supplies like food, water, cloths and what was to be my favorite, Mountain Dew. Making it to the Parkway was such a sence of accomplishment. It was the symbolic half way point of our trip. We took the bag down from the tree and resupplied our snacks, beef jerky, filled water bottles and dropped things we fount we did not need, extra food, extra cloths, that camping chair. If we only had known what all we could have dropped. We each down a Dew and I put the rest in my bag. What an energy rush and we will need it. We hung the bag back up and left the unused gallon of water on the trail next to the marker by the parkway. Maybe we helped out a thirsty hiker. Up to this point we had only seen the mens group at Butter Gap and a small family camping a few yards back. We had the trail to ourself 99% of the time. That was about to change.

We cross the parkway and I’m glad I had that Mountain Dew, what a climb we have, it’s like going up a wall. I open another Dew, going to need it to get to the top. We climb several hundred feet in under a half mile. Switch back after switch back. Don’t fall off the edge, it’s a long way down. As usual, Brandon is up to the top like some kinda mountain goat. He is paying me back for all of those hikes I would take him on when we were kids. Once on the top of the ridge, the trail levels off and the fog starts to lift. We start to see what we came to see, long vistas and big mountains. We soon came to our first clearing and could see Black Balsam Knob. We were about a mile away from the summit. We went through a small stand of timber, crossed the road that leads to a parking area for the Knob and started the climb for the top. We had never seen a bald mountain before, where you could see for miles and miles in 360 degrees. It was amazing. We kept taking photo. We would thing this view was so cool and then walk a little more and the view was even better.

That is Pilot Mountain between us. We are on the summit of Black Balsam Knob, 6214 feet above sea level. It was Saturday and with the close proximity of the Parkway, the area was teaming with day hikers and passerbys. We got a few goodies from John when he left, like his camera and his solar charger. We had not been able to use it much until now due to the tree cover. We took turns charging our phones and making a call back home. Our next goal was Tennent Mountain just a mile away. Tennent rises to 6046 feet. We stop briefly for a quick look and down to Investor Gap we go. The Gap is the entry point for the Shining Rock Wilderness. Several trails intersect here. In the Wilderness the trails are not blazed or marked and can be hard to follow.

We soon learned how easy it is to take the wrong turn. I had on the outline that we needed to take a left just 15 yards down the trail from the sign. I even saw people on that trail, on the side of the hill. But I led us on the nice flat trail that went around the side of the hill. I guess I did not want to climb that Hill. A few minutes later we noticed the outline was not matching what we were seeing and the trail was no going in the direction it was supposed to go. We stopped, checked the map, checked our outline and fount we had missed our turn. Studying the map we fount a connecting trail a little ways up. We took it up the hill and dead ended into the Art Loeb. We asked a group of scouts who were stopped on the trail just to make sure. We walked another mile to Flower Gap and ate lunch there. The gap was a grassy high meadow. Great views. A group of guys came from the direction we were going, they were lost or at least bewildered. We compared notes and checked maps, then figured out where they missed their turn. Told you people get lost here a lot. After lunch we stopped at the spring 0.4 miles up the trail and filled our water bottles. Another 0.2 miles up the trail we came to Shinning Rock Gap where multiple trails come together in a small meadow. This is a very confusing junction.   So we took this photo with us just to make sure.

We started up the Old Butt Knob to see the Shinning rock but we ran in to a large group of kids and we really didn’t want to spend too much time there, so we turned back. Using our photo we got back on the Art Loeb without getting lost. Down the trail we saw some of the “shinning rocks”. We had walked about 8 miles so far and Brandon starts talking about finishing today. He didn’t want to spend another night sleeping on the ground. I told him I would see how I felt when we got to Deep Gap our planed camp site for the night. We had 2 more miles to Deep Gap. We have the Narrows to cross before we could think about getting to the Gap. The Narrows are just that, a narrow, knife-edge ridge that runs for a mile. In some spots the hillside falls away on both sides of the trail. We climbed boulders and skirted around rock ledges. It was a highlight of the trip. We could see the Boy Scout camp in the Vally below and Cold Mountain was in front of us.

We had planed to climb Cold Mountain just to say we did but our planes we evolving and I was wanting a hamburger.

After the Narrows, it is a steep decent down to Deep gap. We reach the gap and a small clearing with large trees. This is where the side trail goes to the summit of Cold Mountain 1.5 miles up the trail and 6030 feet above sea level. We stop to weigh our options. Do we stay the night here and climb Cold mountain tomorrow before leaving. I don’t think that was an option for Brandon. Or, do we walk the 3 miles down the mountain to the truck and head home. We seen a lot of views and I had seen the same mountain back on the Narrows as I would see from the top of Cold Mountain. I had climbed a lot of mountains so I didn’t think one more would help the hike be any better. Brandon said if we leave now he would buy me that hamburger. Afraid Brandon would leave me on the trail, I decided I would go with him to the truck and be home that night. I prepared for the new challenge by changing socks. Man did they fill good. After a short break we headed down. Normally a 3 mile down hill hike wouldn’t take that long. But we had been hiking all day and had walked 10 miles already. It took what seemed like for ever to get down. When you keep going down, down, down, your knees will buckle with you. This is when I use my walking stick a lot. The trail kept going around the ends of ridges and the back into the sides of the valleys as it snaked its way down. Around each corner we would think we would be at the end of the trail. You know when all the cool stuff is behind you and you just wish the trip was over. That is the way we were. Nothing to motivate us, just get off this mountain and into the truck so we don’t have to walk anymore. Hiking is great and inspiring when there are wonders to see and new places to explore. But this was painful, there would be no grand view at the end of the trail, no majestic water fall, no natural wonder, nothing pulling us, nothing driving us, just the thought of get it over as fast as we can. These woods looked like all the other woods I had ever be in. Hamburger, was my new goal. To get it, I had to get to the truck. Eventually we heard the campers, the noise grew and became louder and louder. Hundreds of scouts were at the camp, swimming, playing, laughing. It was a welcoming song. Then there it was, we could see Brandon’s truck at the bottom of the hill. One more switch back and we would be out. We made it out with a little daylight left. What a fun Hike!

We had to get our bag from the Parkway. It got dark on the ride up and the fog was very dangerous. Once we had the bag, we had to back track and get out of the high elevation. We couldn’t see the road. Back down off the mountain it was time for Brandon to pay up and get me my Hamburger. He was a man of his word. Next stop Atlanta. We were both home around midnight or a little after.

John, remember John, was the only casuality of the trip. He fount his way to the shuttle driver and got a lift to town. Poor John paid all pain but got none of the reward. Wish he could have made it.

Thanks to our wifes and families for supporting us during the training and the hike.

START OF SECTION ONE (Davidson River Camp to Gloucester Gap)

Distant                                                                                                                        Total

Between                                  Key Points                                                                  Distant

Points                                                                                                                          Travel

0.0       Davidson River Campground parking lot – 2200 feet above sea level           0.0

0.2       Mountains-to-Sea Trail                                                                                   0.2

0.1       Swinging bridge over the Davidson river                                                       0.3

0.5       Wooden footbridge – Davidson river valley – last WATER till butter gap    0.8

1.6       F.R. 5062                                                                                                        2.4

0.5       Crest a knob on Shut-In Ridge                                                                       2.9

Neil Gap                                                                      N16’26“, W44’57”

North Slope Connector                                               N16’22”, W45’20”

Large Campsite                                                                                               3.8

0.8       F.R. 475C                                                                                                       4.5

Chestnut Knob – small campsite under hickory trees N16’1”, W46’35”

Cat Gap                                                                       N15’53”, W47’21”     6.3

0.6       Sandy Gap                                                                  N15’33”, W47’47”     6.9

Large Campsite – lots of bush pea

Headwaters of Kuykendall Creek – WATER

Butter Gap Shelter – reliable spring – WATER next water is Deep Gap        8.6


Major trail junction,                                                    N15’12”, W48’43”

Small saddle and trail junction, AL connector trail                                        8.9

1.0       Crest Chestnut Mountain – campsite                                                              9.9

1.8       F.R. 471                                                                                                          11.7

0.6       Gloucester Gap                                                           N35’15”, W82’50”     12.3


START OF SECTION TWO (Gloucester Gap to Blue Ridge Parkway)

0.0       Gloucester Gap – moderate assent through phacelia                                       12.3

0.5       switchback sharply to the right, Rock overlook; sheer rock wall and

boulder field – stop for snack                                                                         12.8

0.8       Gravel road                                                                                                     13.1

0.1       Gravel road again                                                                                            13.2

The assent of Pilot Mountain follows a long series of moderate

to strenuous switchbacks

2.0       Summit of Pilot Mountain – 5095 feet above sea level                                   14.2

No Camp sites

Starting from the North:

Fork River Bald at 11* and 2.8 miles

Mount Pisgah at 35* and 12.2 miles

Green Knob at 37* and 6.9 miles

Rich Mountain at 53* and 7.1 miles

Looking Glass Rock at 67* and 4.6 miles

Black Mountain at 68* and 8.4 miles

John Rock at 89* and 4.3 miles

Cedar Rock at 111* and 3.9 miles

Kagle Mountain at 126* and 4.8 miles

Sassafras Mountain at 165* and 15.2 miles

Rocky Knobs at 209*             and 14.7 miles

Toxaway Mountain at 218* and 7.5 miles

Bruce Knob at 240* and 3.7 miles

Rich Mountain Bald at 286* and 7.5 miles

Mount hardy at 306* and 4 miles

Chestnut Bald at 336* and 2.6 miles

Black Balsam Knob at 358* and 3.8 miles

0.7       Campsite and Trail Junction, old roadbed, carsonite sign                              14.9

0.1       Deep Gap – A-Frame shelter – WATER                                                         15.0

0.4       Crest of Sassafrass Knob – Campsite – views to thesoutheast                        15.4

SECOND NIGHT (6.8 miles)

0.8       Old F.R. 229 enters from the right                                                                 16.2

Trail Junction in large clearing -To the right Farlow Gap Trail descends

to Shuck Ridge Falls and Daniel Ridge Trail

0.1       Farlow Gap – Old F.R. 140-A enters from the left     (N17’28”,W52’17”)    16.3

Assent Shucks Ridge through mixed hardwoods to the Blue Ridge Parkway

1.4       Blue Ridge Parkway                                                                                       17.7


START OF SECTION THREE (Blue Ridge Parkway to Deep Gap)

0.0       Blue Ridge Parkway                                                                                       17.7

1.6       F.R. 816 Black Balsam Parking area                          (N19’14”,W52’34”)    19.3

0.3       Top of small knob                                                                                           19.6

0.3       Crest Black Balsam Knob – Plaque – 6214 FAS         (N19’39”,W52’28”)    19.9

1.0       Summit of Tennent Mountain 6046 FAS                   (N20’13”,W52’9”)      20.9

0.25     Sharp left and descend to Ivestor Gap Trail                                                   21.15

0.35     Trail Junction – Investor Gap Trail                                                                  21.5

50 yards Art Loeb forks off to the right

Small but Great campsite

0.2       Investor Gap – Entering Shining Rock Wilderness     (N20’43”,W52’3”)      21.7

Multiple trail junctions – Art Loeb turns right on the dirt road, follows it

for 15 yards, then forks off to the left at a carsonite sign.

0.4       Trail Junction – Gressy Cove Connector to the right  (N20’49”,W51’43”)    22.1

0.3       Wooden sign – Trail rerouted                                                                          22.4

0.5       Flower Gap                                                                                                     22.9

0.3       Small Spring – WATER                                                                                  23.2

0.1       Spring – WATER                                                                                            23.3

0.2       Shining Rock Gap – multiple trail junctions                (N21’51”,W51’49”)    23.5

To see the Quartz outcroppins of Shining Rock take the Old Butt Knob Trail

0.4       Trail narrows and begins a moderate climb                                                    23.9

0.3       Crawford Creek Gap – old RR                                                                       24.2

0.5       Crest Stairs mountain 5869 FAS – spur trail leads to overlook                      24.4

0.9       Trail begins a moderate to strenuous descent                                                 25.3

0.2       Large rock to the left – views to the west                                                       25.5

Descent to small saddle, crest small knob, strenuous descent to Deep Gap

0.75     End of Descent                                                                                               26.25

0.05     Deep Gap – Small Clearing                                                                             26.3

THIRD NIGHT (10.8 miles)

0.2       Spring on down the trail                                                                                 26.5

Cold Mountain Trail


START SECTION FOUR (Deep Gap to Daniel Boone Boy Scout Camp)

0.0       Deep Gap                                                                                                        26.3

Strenuous climb

1.0       Unreliable ephemeral spring – PVC pipe                                                         27.3

0.1       Small Campsite                                                           (N24’38”,W51’49”)    27.4

100 yards is an excellent campsite grove of beaches (back up 3rd night)

0.4       Summit of Cold Mountain 6030 FAS                                    (N24’35”,W51’25”)    27.8

Spur trail southern side of the mountain to rock over look. BEST VIEWS

1.5       Back to Deep Gap                                                                                          29.3

0.2       Spring                                                                                                              29.5

1.1       Spring                                                                                                              30.6

0.3       Stream                                                                                                             30.9

0.2       Old road bed – trail goes right                                                                     31.1

0.5       Old road bed                                                                                                   31.6

Trail switches back several times and heads north                                         32.6

0.4       Last 0.1 is a brutally steep drop down to the dirt road                                  33.0

0.1       End at Boy scout camp                                                                                   33.1

This is where I can talk about things I like and that are important to me. I hope you enjoy reading my thoughts.Image

By Trent Tibbitts

The Jack’s River, Penitentiary Branch, Hemp Top Loop is a 13 mile loop with no backtracking in the Cohutta Wilderness of the North Georgia mountains. It can be done as a day trip or a easy one night back packing trip. I did this trip on July 20 and 21 of 2012. The trailhead is at Dally Gap, a easy drive from Blue Ridge Ga. I got on the trail around 7:30 Friday night and started up the Hemp Top trail. This trail runs the true “Blue Ridge” that divides the Blue Ridge mountains. It is an old road, as is so many of the trails in the Cohutta. It was an easy, up hill,  uneventful, 2.3 mile walk to Penitentiary Branch Trail, that falls away to the left for 3.6 miles. A lot of storms had come through the area over the past few weeks and there were a lot of blow downs on the tops of the ridges. Penitentiary Branch Trail is a wide trail and it is a steady down hill walk. I made it another mile or so before making camp at the first small camp site I came to. It was now 9 PM. I sat up my Enos hammock, inserted my air pad, put up my rain fly, and got to work building a fire. Not that it was cold but when you are alone in the middle of nowhere, it helps to calm the soul.  It was also a personal challenge for me. It had been raining and I love to start fires in wet condition. Like I said it was a challenge. I collected dry sticks that had not been on the ground, along with dry pine needles and worked my way up. The wet wood was really smokey. So much so I had to but it out because the smoke was collecting in my rain fly and I could not breathe. After that I hit the sack. There was lots of lighting around and two owls who keep on hooting. Could have been spooky if you didn’t know what they were. The next morning I was up and back on the trail by 9 AM. The rest of the trail was easy and down hill. A total of 5.9 miles from Dally Gap to Jack’s River. From here back to Dally Gap there are 18 river crossings. So many that you can’t keep them strate. Once on the JRT the first thing you do is wade the river. I hit the water at 10:30 Am. Jack’s is a wild river. All of it is in the Wilderness. Very amazing place. I would stop in the middle of the river at each crossing and take in the glory of the Lord. It wasn’t after to many crossing it started to rain. I started to sit it out but after about 20 minutes of hard rain and when I noticed that the river was rising, I decided that I had a lot more ground to cover and “Flash Flood” came to mind. I had changed in to my sandals at the first crossing. I now had on my rain jacket and cover over my pack. Even though the rain was coming down in buckets and lighting was flashing, I truly did enjoy the hike. I felt more connected to nature. The rain slacked off around 1:30 PM and I stopped to eat at the best camping area I have seen in the Wilderness. It was in a curve of the river and opened up into a large area of big trees with no under story trees. There was a water fall on the opposite side of the river. It was really flowing good with the water from the rain. While eating I watched the river rise four inches in 20 minutes. After eating, I passed a group of three girl, one guy and two dogs going down river. I really worried about them. They had a lot of crossing to make and the river was getting worse. I made the next crossing and noticed that the water was flowing a lot faster than before. The water was now brown and I could not see the bottom. I felt my way slowly across and really used my walking stick. I then entered the Jack’s River Gorge. It is over a mile long and with all the rain it was one long white water roaring rapid. I just knew that I would not be able to make the next crossing. So when I came to a hill-side that had washed away in one of the last rains, I took a nape on the exposed rock face over the river. 1/4 mile up the trail was the next ford. When I got there the river was racing and foaming. No way to cross. Much to fast. Much to deep. If you went in here it was a mile of white water before you could even think about getting out. What to do? I decided to follow the river up, off the trail. No way to get lost, just keep the river on my right. After changing back into my hiking shoes, I bushwhacked about a half mile or more. I fount a foot log and crossed there. I was now above where a major creek feed into the Jack’s and it was not as wild as before. It was still running fast and deep. I made it across with no problem. It was not but 100 yards and I came to my last crossing. I changed back into my sandals. Even though I was at the head waters, the river was still very fast. This was the toughest crossing yet. I had to lean into my stick and feel my way across. Once across it was a easy 2.3 miles out. I was off the trail at 5:30. One of the best and most rewarding hikes I have been on.

Skinning Chick-fil-A.

Solo Hiking.

By Trent Tibbitts

I love adventure and look for it where every I go. I do most of my hiking and back packing alone. I know, everyone is saying all the horrible things that could happen when you are alone. From getting lost to getting killed. That is a risk I am willing to take. The reason is for the freedom! Yes Freedom! Let me say it again Freedom! Most people know little of freedom. We like to say we live in a free country, but that is not true. We have freedoms but most people do not take advantage of them. They give their live over to other for the safety they fell when other take care of them. Like the Dr.,Police, fire, mom, dad, boss, government, big brother, military, husband, wife, friend and so on. All these things are good and are needed, but they take away from our freedom. They take away from the other thing I love about solo hiking, self-reliance. Relying on you self to get you through, no one else. In the everyday world we live in there are those safety nets. Not in the Wilderness. Just you. Just your brain, your hands, your back, and what you have with you. There is no calling for help. You have to dig down and find what you are really made of. Most of us can’t do that. For those of us who can it is a felling that cannot be told.

By Trent Tibbitts

How can we sit by and let big city mayors intimidate christians and privet business owner. This is a free country with freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of assemble. Isn’t it?????

Raham Emanuel said that Chick-fil-A values were not Chicago’s values. Well no joke, that is why Chicago is the most crime ridden city in the U.S. They are one-third the size of New York and have three times the murders. If the mayor and the city had more values of Chick-fil-A it would be a better place.

From LA Times:

(  In light of the ongoing Chick-fil-A same-sex marriage controversy, a Los Angeles City Council candidate sent a letter Friday to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, urging him to “lead a delegation of local clergy and representatives of the LGBT community” to meet with company President Dan Cathy and convey to him the “destructive nature” of his company’s stance.

“I think city officials must play a larger role. It’s a growing company with stores in 39 states. There is too much at stake here,” said Mitch O’Farrell, who is seeking to represent the 13th District, which includes all or parts of Hollywood, Koreatown, Silver Lake, Echo Park and Glassell Park. “The longer this drags on, the more pain and anxiety it’s going to cause people. I think it’s time for leadership to step in.”)

This gay thinks it’s groverments role to tell a privet buissnes own how to run his buissness. Wake up America and take a stand.

From The Chicago Tribune

(Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel defended his comments that Chick-fil-A does not share Chicago values as gay rights activists and supporters of marriage equality staged a national “Kiss In” at Chick-fil-A restaurants Friday.

Francis Cardinal George says city officials like the mayor should not be in charge of deciding the values of Chicagoans.

Emanuel is not the only city official expressing his views on the topic.

Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno has said he would oppose Chick-fil-A’s plan to expand in Chicago.)

This is not about guy rights, which there is no such think. All Americans are afforded the same rights. It is about government over stepping its bounds.

From the New York Times

(The mayor of Boston told the chain, “I urge you to back out of your plans to locate in Boston.”

The mayor of San Francisco, where the closest Chick-fil-A is 40 miles away, said, “I strongly recommend that they not try to come any closer.”

Harold Krent, dean of the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Kent College of Law, says the government cannot stop business from expanding based on an owner’s opposition to gay marriage.

“This is where a fine line is drawn, and you have to make clear that official decisions, permitting, licensing aren’t based on religious beliefs or political ideology,” said Krent.

Krent added that when elected officials express their opposition based on differing values, it draws more public scrutiny to zoning, permitting and licensing.)

Mr. Krent is right. Thank you Sir.

By Trent Tibbitts

When a people rejects a man who speaks the Truth about the Holly Word they are not rejecting that man but rather they are rejecting God.  1st Samuel 8:7

2nd Chronicles 36:16. “But they mocked the messenger of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy.”

Genesis 2:23-24 “And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

Read Ephesians 5:21 – 33. Men love your wife, Women reverence you husband.

Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience

Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

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