The trail along Lynn Camp Prong on the Middle Prong Trail was nice. A wide smooth track with an easy grade. This was once a logging rail bed and there’s still evidence remaining of the people who lived and worked here along the way to the junction with the Lynn Camp Prong and Greenbrier Ridge Trails.
Lynn Camp Prong was flowing fast and there were plenty of opportunities to get shots of the cascades and shoots throughout this part of the hike.
Things changed once we turned onto the Lynn Camp Prong Trail. LYNN CAMP PRONG WAS NON-EXISTENT ALONG THE LYNN CAMP PRONG TRAIL! We could hear it throughout much of the hike but rarely saw it. Made camp the first night at site 28 and that was nice. Right next to the stream and low and behold, the synchronous fireflies showed up and put on quite the show…just for the two of us. At one point we just stood outside the tent and were surrounded by them, all blinking at once and then all shutting off together. VERY COOL! The show continued even after we hit the sack and we watched them from the tent until we drifted off to sleep. Beats fighting the crowds in Elkmont any day! Excellent!
The deep forest hike continued throughout most of day two with the only exception being when we went over Dripping Spring Mountain. Here we got the only views of the surrounding mountains, along with a few rhododendrons in bloom.
We were the only ones at site 27 and except for a young couple from Wisconsin that were also at site 28 the first night, we didn’t see another soul until the afternoon of day three. This hike did deliver one thing in spades – solitude. That was awesome, especially considering this is the busiest national park in the country and at one of the busiest times of the year.
Bears were non-existent. Go figure. People are getting chased by them. People are getting mauled by them. Crap, they’ve even had problems with them right here at the resort and yet the only one we’ve seen thus far was a cub on the hike down from Gregory Bald. And we didn’t get a picture of that because I dropped a stinkin’ trekking pole and he ran off into the forest (not a single word Deep Woods!). Momma and two other cubs were nearby but we couldn’t find ’em. Other folks we ran into that day reported seeing all four. Not us though. Bummer.
We’re off to Oconaluftee over on the other side of the the mountains today to check out the Mountain Farm Museum, Chasteen Creek Cascades and the elk. Maybe we’ll be fortunate enough to run into some bears but we’ll see. The hike to the Avent cabin is out for this trip as the park service isn’t allowing any parking in the Elkmont campground area due to the congestion from the firefly shuttles. Porters Creek and the Greenbrier area will have to wait for another day as well. Just not enough time remaining. I need to win the freakin’ lottery so we can just stay here!
One last thing. Sara Sue, you should tag along sometime and see all of this for yourself, especially up on the AT. It takes some work but the payoffs MORE than make up for it. I’ll even carry Puddin’ Pie.
More to come…