A Break from the Norm (and Dorm)

Disclaimer: This post contains an inordinate amount of pictures (and two videos!). Proceed at your own risk.
(Barry, you asked for a post!)

Thursday morning...we left at 6:30 am.

Stopped at the entrance to the mountains to get a map...

...only to find that the place wasn't open yet, and the only map was this rather useless one that was fixed in place.

We continued on, undaunted, Rand McNally in hand.

We stopped several times along the way to take in the awesome views. This time David and Joel were in such raptures that they had to jump out into the view to fully experience it! (Don't try this at home!)

Picking a random mountain, we proceeded to bushwhack up it and back.

Arriving at the top, we found a random mowed field...

and a signpost with no sign but plenty of bear hair!

After that excursion, we located a place by a stream to camp for the night, a 10 minute hike from the van. We were treated to an all night downpour, but thankfully it let up about the time we were starting to think about breaking camp in the morning.

That day (Friday) we met up with the rest of the group, and headed off on the backpacking trip.

One of several "balds" that speckle the mountain. Stopping for a rest.

We stopped several times to climb a few rocks... Phil here was the only one able to climb WITH his pack on.

Our campsite afforded a spectacular view!

After setting up camp, we poured over Alex's map to discover where we would hike tomorrow.

Cooking up a Gourmet Meal

Sabbath morning we were treated to an amazing sunrise...

When Morning Breaks Eternal Bright and Fair

Sun reflecting off the lake

One of the main activities on Sabbath, which I unfortunately failed to really document, consisted of crawling through dense rhododendron forest in search of a rocky crag we had seen. This is the only picture I took during that activity. Joel is climbing into the bushes in an attempt to catch a glimpse of our goal. (I am standing straight up, to give you an idea of the size of these plants.)

Later on, we arrived at a lookout point, and reveled in the view for a while.

Back at camp. This is the last of Sabbath...we did some slacklining that John has a picture or two of on his blog, and I didn't take any more pictures, sadly. We had a long hymnsing that evening around the fire, and then hit the sacks.

Sunday morning fog in the valley

On the trail...much thinner rhododendron forest. (you may not want to watch the second part of the video... some may think the semblance of a hideous albino mountain gorilla was captured)

The long road home... The last part of the trail follows a roadway for about 1.5 miles.

The troupe. First ones back to the parking lot...what does that say about our love for the woods, I wonder?

All in all, an awesome trip!


barry said...

Thank you my friend.

Most gratifying to see you have not fallen of the face of blogspot

Nice pictures too

ragamuffin child said...

looks like you had a blast! Gorgeous pics! :) "When Morning Gilds the Skies" would be another good song :)

Christy said...

hmmm, i must needs get your pictures.

Paul said...

thank you for the update

Kristin said...

Thanks Jonathan :) I've returned to the blogging world (though I've not written a blog yet...) to find that much has happened since my last post during the summer... It was exciting to see the pictures from break and to reflect on good hikes, good songs, and good old campfire smoke :P

Joel said...

'Twas a wondrous excursion!

What happened to the two pictures that have suddenly gone missing?

Johonn said...

Which pictures? They all load for me...

Karissa Joy said...

Can I simply say that I am very...ehr...jealous? Yeah, this is a really late comment, but I must say, the event still demands an appropriate reaction.

Glad you all had fun.

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