If life gives you lemons …

Kitsuma hike - train tunnel

If life gives you lemons, make lemonade. But how much lemonade can you drink?

On Sunday, Lenny and I went scouting our Kitsuma Peak hike located outside Old Fort. Yes, we had had freezing rain on Friday but it had warmed up nicely–but apparently not enough in Old Fort. Even though our starting altitude was 1,600 feet, the parking area and trail were still icy.

We plodded up the trail for about a half-mile but kept slipping back. Of course, our creepers, Yak-tracks, were still home instead of in our packs, where they should be. We turned around and called it a day.

Tuesday, I was scheduled to scout a hike in Cataloochee with Keith, the intern at Friends of the Smokies, for our classic hikes of the Smokies series.Cataloochee closed - Keith Hoffman

On Monday evening, he called to say that he had heard that Cataloochee was closed because the road up to the park entrance had suffered a slide. We cancelled the hike. See the picture above taken by Keith Hoffman.

But with the promise of a high of 65 degrees, I was going hiking. With Sawako, an enthusiastic Carolina Mountain Club member, we scouted Kitsuma Peak. The snow had disappeared and the sun was shining.

The hike back on Point Lookout Trail is the most interesting, even if you are walking on a (closed) road. The bends and curves of the Swannanoa tracks through many tunnels are visible. At one point, you can walk up to the tracks. See the picture above.

Kitsuma hike - CSA graveAnd I always learn something new.

Sawako took me on a side trail and showed me a lonely grave of a Confederate soldier. The gravestone looked amaterish.

The circle insignia was not a great circle but I never knew that grave was there.

Now, all I have to do is figure out a hike to lead for our March kick-off hike.


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