Mt. Mitchell – after a hard rain

Mtmichell-FromPotatoknob

Sometimes a hike is just a hike. No agenda, nothing to check out or scout or write about. So Wednesday, after it had rained hard for a couple of days, I went on a Carolina Mountain Club hike to Mt. Mitchell.

The drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway was through a sea of color, awash with yellow, brown, green, red and other parts of the spectrum. Only five people had ignored the weather and started the bushwhack up Potato Knob. We walked on the Boundary Trail, an unmaintained trail that must have been maintained at some point since it had a name. It was slow going but the rewards were worth it. See the picture above.

Mtmitchell-ClingmanspeakWe came out on a private road near Clingmans Peak with its transmission towers. The field also had two private cabins. No one was sure who the cabins belonged to but some thought that the transmission towers were for a religious radio station in Black Mountain.Mtmitchell-privatecabin Whoever wrote the  sign on the cabin couldn’t even bother to spell “mountain” correctly.

We came out on the road at the ranger station and continued on the Old Mitchell Trail.

Mtmitchell-fromOldMitchelltrail It was steep and wet with precarious footing. But we got to the top of Mt. Mitchell without driving or being driven in a golf cart by a ranger.

The folks that were driven all got out of the golf cart and proceeded to walk up the ramp with no problems.

We went down the MST and Buncombe Horse Trail back to the cars, still congratulating ourselves for making the right decision to get out on the trail. 

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