Alex and I got away from the monotony of the Charleston winter for a bit last weekend. Plan A was to drive up to Fletcher Friday night, stay with the Watkins and go Backpacking the rest of the weekend. Yeah- we knew there would be a ton of snow left from the last 6 month's terrible weather up there and were prepared to handle it. We'd been out in the snow before and were not worried. We woke up Sat morning and headed to Brevard, then up 215 to the Parkway. The plan was to park in one of the pull offs on 215 on the Waynesville side of the ridge. We would then hike up the Mtns. to Sea trail up to Graveyard Fields, Black Balsam, and then Sam's Knob- camping somewhere in between. However, there were no pull offs. 215 was still snowy but passable. The plows had piled all the snow 2-3 feet high in the parking areas though. So...with nowhere to park we retreated back to Brevard for lunch. It was then decided that we would do a dayhike up Looking Glass Rock, go back to the Watkin's for dinner, then go to the Indoor Winter Motorcross at the WNC Ag Center.
The hike was great- tough, but good. The bottom half of the trail was shin deep powdery snow. The top half was crap. The last 1/2 miles to the top was all ice. Blowndown and broken trees were everywhere and what wasn't down was hanging down in the trail. We had to go over, around, and under so many trees and bushes that we were beginning to wonder if the hike was worth the effort. Finally we made it to the top, descended a tad to the rock face, and an incredible view. The snow made the landscape beautiful- you could see every bit of terrain, forest road, and tree. The pics. do it no justice. Long story short- we made it down in less than half the time it took to ascend-much better when you are not postholing back down!
The Motorcross was awesome as well and didn't disappoint. WNC culture was well represented in the stands. We spotted an elusive 8" Rat Tail on a kid but were not quick enough to snap some photographic evidence. After asphyxiation from the fumes occurred in a few hours we left for the house and some sleep. Alex must have been delirious and suggested the $4.99 all you can eat pancakes at IHOP. We must have all had temporary mental retardation and decided that it was a great idea. Off we go.
Bad idea. An hour and a half later and 40+ pancakes heavier we all left for the house feeling less than stellar. Surprisingly, I slept well on my basketball stomach.
After a late start and hanging around the house we decided it was time to head for Charleston. Not without eating at 5 guys burgers first though! After the tour of Restaurants in the Asheville area was done, we were off- East bound and Down. We made it home in 3 1/2 hrs and headed straight to a friend's for the SuperBowl. And more food.