Arrived home last night from a 3 day backpacking trip in Shining Rock Wilderness up in Pisgah National Forest, NC. Alex and I had a great trip. Started a little rough- we started hiking at 10 pm friday night and made it to the top of Black Balsam (6,240 ft) at the same exact time as an enormous wind and rain storm. (Wouldn't be a trip of mine without fine weather!) After fighting the wind, rain, and tent we finally had a somewhat dry and safe shelter to hole up in until daylight when we could get off that mountaintop. The night was pretty rough, with the tent getting pushed down on top of us and the constant wind and rain it felt like a jet engine on top of us. Sleep eventually came however, and we woke at 9am to calmer wind. Visibility was still 3 feet as we were still in the clouds.
Cooked breakfast, got packed , and got out of there. As we descended, the weather improved and the day turned out beautiful. Made it out to Shining Rock for lunch and a nap. 3 times on the way there I got stopped to give directions and answer questions. Do I look like mapquest to you? After telling the last guy directions twice and orienting his map rightside up we were on our way for awhile. Looped back on Ivestor Gap trail, then on to Graveyard Ridge, then down into Graveyard Fields for the night. Found a great campsite by the river and got set up. I think we were about 20 feet from where I last camped up there with my dad in 2001. Hiked downriver to the falls where alex jumped off a huge rock into the water. Once. Too cold, lets go eat.
Cooked dinner, made a fire, and Alex went to bed at 8pm. He would not move again until 8am. I messed with the fire till around 10 then turned in myself to a much nicer night than the last one. Woke up at 8am, cooked, packed, and we were out of there by 9:15. Beautiful morning as we headed up and out of Graveyard Fields. The hordes of blueberry pickers were already descending as we made our escape. Had a great hike up the Mtns. to Sea trail, back to Black Balsam Road by 11:00. In the car and on the way to Cieleto Lindo for some much needed Mexican food immediately. Overall a great trip and we are already planning another. DH Out.