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  1. #21
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    Cool, will you be passing Hazel Creek Cascades? It's probably one of the most untouched and peaceful places in the entire park, seeing as it's one of the farthest destinations from any parking lot.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omaha_Ace View Post
    I understood that. I'm still bringing the Tyvek though. I'm sure there will be squatters.

    DryBones and Ox - awesome stuff - thanks. I love this site. It's like I have forward observers.

    After talking to my aunt, I'm leaning towards:

    8/31 Clingman's to Derrick Knob
    9/1 Derrick Knob to Russell
    9/2 Russell to Fontana (AND A FREEEEEEE SHOWER!?!?!)
    9/3 Fontana to Brown Fork
    9/4 Brown Fork to ??? - this is where I get stuck. Hwy 143 / Sweetwater Road is only a couple of miles south, then there is a 7 or so mile hike to Sasafrass Gap shelter. On my map, it looks like the hike from Sasafrass to Hwy 19/74 is another 5 miles? 5 miles is too risky to do on our final very short morning hime on 9/5 as we'll need to get trucking to get back to ATL. So, on 9/4 should we go from Brown Fork and overshoot Sasafrass by a few miles and camp on the trail, which would only leave a 2-3 mile quick turn-n-burn on 9/5 to be picked up on highway 19/74? If you're familiar, let me know how the 9/4 hike would be and how far it actually is from Sasafrass to the highway.


    At the start of your trip at Clingman's Dome, there are bathrooms, don't miss the opportunity to use these. Also, make the short trip to the Clingman's Dome tower to potentially affort some beautiful views of the surrounding mountains.

    As Ox97GaMe mentioned, from Derrick Knob there are some great views during the stretch from Thunderhead Mtn through Rocky Top. If it's clear, you will be able to spot Fontana Lake (where you're headed) as well as many views of the surrounding mountains.

    From Russell Field down to Fontana, I would also suggest the short, but steep, side trail to Shuckstack Tower where, on a clear day, more magnificient views of the surrounding mountains and Fontana Lake can be viewed. As a backup plan, campsite #113, Birch Spring, is also along the way from Russell Field if things don't go according to plan.

    As you've already noted, bathrooms and showers are available at Fontana Dam. I'm not sure, but if you want that cold Diet Pepsi, there may be a coin machine here as well. If not, the visitor center offers snacks and such if it is open when you get there.

    Good luck and safe travels....

  3. #23
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    There is a campsite and small spring at Grassy Gap, about 2 miles S. of Sassafras Gap Shelter. There arent any good camping options between there and NOC. If it is dry (not likely this year), then you might want to fill up with water at the shelter.
    ----------------
    SMHC Trail Maintainer
    Volunteer in the Park (VIP) GSMNP

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox97GaMe View Post
    There is a campsite and small spring at Grassy Gap, about 2 miles S. of Sassafras Gap Shelter. There arent any good camping options between there and NOC. If it is dry (not likely this year), then you might want to fill up with water at the shelter.
    Bingo! Grassy Gap it is! So the trail south of Sassafras goes right to the NOC from what I can see - that will be a convenient rendezvue for our driver.

    Hey - dumb question - are the shelters marked with some kind of signage to indicate what shelter they are? LOL... I hate that thing where you SWEAR you've put in 10 miles but it's only been 6...

    I'm working my tail off getting ready. I did a 9.2 mile local hike this weekend with a 36# pack. I'm freaking out I'm so excited for this.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Omaha_Ace View Post
    Bingo! Grassy Gap it is! So the trail south of Sassafras goes right to the NOC from what I can see - that will be a convenient rendezvue for our driver.
    Just a heads up. Things around NOC might be a bit busy that week.

    http://www.noc.com/noccom/festivals-...s/2013-worlds/

    Quote Originally Posted by Omaha_Ace View Post
    Hey - dumb question - are the shelters marked with some kind of signage to indicate what shelter they are?
    In the Smokies, the shelters have signs with the names so indicated.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by sliderule View Post
    Just a heads up. Things around NOC might be a bit busy that week.

    http://www.noc.com/noccom/festivals-...s/2013-worlds/
    That is EPIC! I'll have a crowd to greet me at the end of my section hike! lol...

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omaha_Ace View Post
    That is EPIC! I'll have a crowd to greet me at the end of my section hike! lol...
    True, but trying to get a cold beer or some good food may be very frustrating with the crowds. That place really jumps during events. Oh, and if the train pulls in while you are there, good luck!

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by daddytwosticks View Post
    True, but trying to get a cold beer or some good food may be very frustrating with the crowds. That place really jumps during events. Oh, and if the train pulls in while you are there, good luck!
    I see it as an opportunity to hop into a party for a little bit after a long week on the trail. Hearing it for the final mile or so will be great motivation to bring it on home.

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