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Thread: Russell Field

  1. #21
    GoldenBear's Avatar
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    Unhappy Don't repeat my errors at this place!

    It's been 13 years since anyone seems to have posted details in a forum with this shelter in its title, so I figured I'd do so in order to (1) note it's gotten a nice upgrade, (2) report last week's water availability, and (3) help hikers avoid the stupid mistake I made last week, when arriving here while going south towards Fontana Dam.
    1) https://hikinginthesmokies.files.wor...ry-30-2012.jpg
    shows that the shelter now has a covered eating area, SOMEWHAT separate from the sleeping area. The Whiteblaze A.T. guide correctly states that the shelter sleeps 14, has bear cables, is located at a trail intersection, and that there is "Water (spring) 150 yards down the Russell Field Trail towards Cades Cove." UNLIKE ME, I suggest you take note of the last two statements.
    2) That water source was flowing well last week.
    3) So what was the stupid mistake I made last week? Simple: when I was going south on the A.T. on that day, I went down THE WRONG TRAIL -- specifically, the Russell Field Trail (RFT) -- and didn't even begin to catch my mistake till I had traveled three miles. This was BY FAR my worst mis-direction in the almost 1700 miles I've walked on The Trail.
    This happened due to my making two newbie mistakes AS WELL AS two more mistakes that I should have avoided.
    I created this sketch map
    https://whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/sho...?i=63926&c=565
    to help in my recounting of my mis-adventures.
    When approaching the shelter from Spence Field, I should have noted the signs that gave VERY clear directions for both the A.T. & the RFT. Sadly, I was so tired that I just wanted to sit at the shelter, and didn't even look at these signs. Mistake 1.
    Because I had made a right turn from The Trail to get to the shelter, I presumed The Trail continued in that direction. This error is very common, and very easy to catch, simply by looking for the white blaze on the route you are planning to walk on. But I didn't even bother to look for the blaze. Mistake 2.
    I quickly came to the water source for the shelter -- there's even a sign labeling it -- at which I should have recognized that I was going down the RFT. But I just kept walking. Mistake 3.
    I use & recommend FarOut to ensure you know where you are on The Trail. Unfortunately, as critics point out, no apps work when your smart phone has a batter down at 2%. This SHOULDN'T have been a problem, as I carry an Anker recharging battery. Unfortunately for me, I had allowed my pack to get so disorganized that I couldn't find the Anker the night before (I found it later that day). Mistake 4.

    When I got back to this shelter -- long & sad story -- I found the directional signs unambiguous, and a white blaze very clear on the southbound A.T.

    I would LIKE to think that nobody else could possibly make as many mistakes as I made here, but my figuring is simple: if I can make them, someone else is bound to also do so. Since I'd prefer that people learn from my errors rather than repeat them, I'm posting this confession & advice here.
    Last edited by GoldenBear; 08-06-2022 at 12:30.

  2. #22
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldenBear View Post
    ...there is "Water (spring) 150 yards down the Eagle Creek Trail."
    No, that's 150 yards down Russell Field Trail. Your sketch has it labelled correctly.

    Eagle Creek Trail is the trail you take to get to Spence Field shelter. Where Russel Field is right on the AT, Spence is about 0.2 miles down Eagle Creek from the AT, and the water source for Spence field is another 0.1 miles down Eagle Creek.

  3. #23
    GoldenBear's Avatar
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    Unhappy Oops!

    You are, of course, correct -- I copied & pasted info from the Spence Field Shelter, whose water source is ALSO 150 yards down the connecting trail.
    I have since corrected my error.

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