To Hike or not to Hike – that is a common question. Shakespeare may not have asked but I do, quite often.
On Sunday, the Carolina Mountain Club leader had scheduled a hike to Whitewater Falls on the North/South Carolina border. Yes, it was at a lower altitude than most of Pisgah National Forest, but it was a long drive. With all the snow, the leader hadn’t scouted the hike, a requirement on CMC hikes.
The knee-jerk reaction was to cancel the hike.
No, don’t do that, I cried out. So he substituted a simple Mountains -to-Sea Trail hike east of the Folk Art Center. It was 5.5 miles up in snow, ice and mud but it was great. I was grateful to be out for the day, no matter what we did.
Good, old reliable MST.
It can rain, snow, ice up. The Blue Ridge Parkway could be closed but we can always hike on the MST close to Asheville. We kept shedding clothes as we climb.
Today, I was not supposed to be at home writing a blog post. I was meant to be scouting a hike with Anna Lee of Friends of the Smokies.
We postponed the hike last week and it was a good thing too with the snow dump on Thursday. We rescheduled the scout for today. But I’ve been looking at the weather forecast obsessively.
Who should I believe?
WLOS, our local ABC-TV affiliate, loves to hype up the weather. So I take it with a large grain of salt and check Weather.com. You can spend hours on its hour-by-hour forecast. Here’s what it said. The weather today was going to be fine, even warm, in Asheville. But in Bryson City, the closest town to our trailhead, there was a significant chance of rain. Anna Lee and I hemmed and hawed and she suggested that we postpone the scout. I agreed.
Well, if I look outside, it’s 76 degrees and sunny in Asheville. It’s 67 degrees and just as dry in Bryson City. Obviously we had made a mistake. I rarely overreact to a weather forecast but I hate to encourage someone to hike and then have it pour on them.
But spring is here and we’re not going to cancel as easily anymore.
To Hike or not to Hike. Erring on the side of hiking is always the answer.