Let’s play Never Have I Ever.
Never have I ever eaten a glob of sap from a pine tree because Attean does it in Sign of The Beaver. (Yes. It was supposed to be what I imagined a delicious pine tree gum would taste like. It wasn’t.)
Never have I ever slipped on ice, fallen on my face with a 30lb pack on, and almost given up on the whole outdoorsy thing. (Yes.)
Never. Have. I. Ever. Forgotten. Tent. Poles. (That’s right, me. The Type A Outdoorsperson. Reference last post.)
Forgetting tent poles will be something I will never forgive myself for. I HAVE NOT ONCE DONE THIS! Until two weeks ago. Never have you ever had the feeling like you left something behind? I have premonitions like this all the time. And usually they are spot on. BUT THIS DAY… I didn’t even blink as we drove 3 hours up to Black Balsam Knob, dog and friends Kelly and Connor in tow. Having a grand ‘ole time, even hauling a cooler up the mountain! We get to the top, break open the Bulleit Bourbon (‘course) and chat with the temporary neighbors. I start setting up the tent, just so, and get it all ready for magnificent sleep. You know this girl don’t mess around. And then I turn to set up the tent I let Connor and Kelly borrow. Tent? Check. Rain fly? Check. Useless things that come with it and I never use? Check. Tent poles? Shit. Sticks? Barely. It’s a bald.
BUT HERE COMES THE GOOD PART! Connor was crippled that weekend. We got a call the night before we left to go camping from Connor, who said he tweaked his knee and was using a crutch. Needless to say, he was not going to miss out on some outside time so alongggg he came. And along came the crutch. Do you see where this is going? No? This should explain it:
When in need, ya’ll. Do as the Romans do?
P.S. If you want more information about this hike, look up the Art Loeb Trail. It is one of my favorite hikes, and we usually start the season off with it. To get to where we camped (Black Balsam Knob) you just hop on the Blue Ridge Parkway just a bit south of Asheville and take the Parkway south until you turn right at mile marker 420. (Not a joke) From there the trailhead is pretty easy to find on the right side of the road. It’s about a .5 mile hike to Black Balsam Knob… and ya’ll… its gorgeous. Balds all the way up. I’ve also hiked up at night with no problem. The stars are gorgeous. Few tips: Once you get closer to Shining Rock and get more into trees, you might smell a bear or two. Or they might smell your food bag. We’ve run into stories of bears hanging around grabbing food bags. Bring your rope and tie up your bags! Don’t let this deter you from camping further in, just a casual mention. Anywho, no fires. Gets pretty crowded in peak season. And there isn’t a water source on this particular stretch of trail until you get past Flower Gap and closer to Shining Rock.
Happy camping, guys.