Twenty Miles in the Smokies – for two new miles

ATtoHughesRidge

Yesterday Lenny and I did 20 miles in the Smokies so he could get 2.2 new miles for his Smokies 900 mile challenge. He needed the top end of Hughes Ridge from Bradley Fork to the A.T. He almost got those 2.2 miles last week but he turned around when it started thundering.

So he decided that going up and down Bradley Fork Trail was too steep. Instead he enlisted my help and we started from Newfound Gap and walked about 10 miles on the A.T. to Hughes Ridge. Ten miles, that’s about the length of a hike and we reached that at 2:30 P.M. But of course, that was only half the hike. We then needed to go down Bradley Fork Trail.

Horse up Bradley Fork

How steep was it? Well, we met a horse rider coming up who wasn’t riding his horse. He said that it was so difficult that he needed to give his horse a break.

ATfall2009The Smokies were decked out in their best fall colors. It was a little past its prime at the top on the A.T. because we were above 5,000 ft. with fog and wind.

As we came down, we were enveloped in a whirlwind of gold, brown and some green. Then we passed the reds of the sourwood trees. Normally, sourwood is not a very showy tree but now this is their moment. They are pure reds.

We reached Smokemont at 6:30 P.M. and then had to go back up to get Lenny’s car at Newfound Gap. We then fell in to the Big Boy in Cherokee, the best place in town. I was exhausted.

I’ll be at REI in Arden this afternoon at 2 P.M. Come on by.

 

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