Who: Richard(au), Tim, John, Zach, and Trey

What: Backpacking

When: September 2008

Where: Great Smoky Mountains, NC

Weather: (high/low)
Friday        57 / 28
Saturday    57 / 28
Sunday      52 / 37

        I traded in the Suburban, so we had to take two cars this time. John drove his Cherokee and I drove my father's PT Cruiser. Tim and Trey stayed at John's house near Birmingham Thursday night while Richard and Zach choose to leave earlier Friday morning. Richard and Zach made it a point to stop and get something to eat before hitting the trail. It rained on us off and on during the whole trip. A couple of miles in, we took a short break. Tim found a lizard and put it on Trey's pack. While we were all laughing at Trey freaking out, I noticed a deer up the trail from John. John decided to taunt it and the deer decided we were in its way. It charged down the trail at us and jumped a log where the trail took a 90 bend on to a bridge. I guess Iím not the pro-photographer type; my instinct to get out of the way overruled my desire to snap a picture. After a soggy night with light rain, John and Trey decided they'd had enough. Tim took off down the trail with John's keys while the rest of us were still packing up. When we caught up to Tim, about a mile down the trail, John and Trey still wanted to leave. Tim gave John his keys, we made fun of them, and they left. The hike wasn't that bad until the last mile and a half to the summit of Mount Sterling. The old fire tower was cool, but the cloud cover made it impossible to get any good pictures. Tim, Zach, and I listened to the Auburn/Tennessee game on the radio while relaxing in camp. The hike wasn't too bad, but the rain took away from our enjoyment of the trip overall. There are several possible day hikes to the fire tower and would like to go back when the weather is nicer.

Waterfall we came across early on.

Short break at the waterfall.

There were several pool sized areas along the stream.

Bridge right before the deer incident.

Everyone laughing at Trey.

John with the deer in the background.

Everything in camp was wet. John used my tarp to sleep under.

Camp the next morning. The dry spot is where my tent was.

Another bridge. These were wide enough for a car.

Taken from the bridge of the stream.

Trey and John deciding they have had enough.

Trey and John getting ready to leave.

Zach and Tim taking a break near the fire tower.

Tim trying to feed the wildlife.

Zach at the base of the fire tower.

Zach climbing the tower.

Zach's GPS on Mt. Sterling.

Mt. Sterling fire tower.

Saturday night's camp. Trying to dry out the tent fly.

My tent. You can see my mp3 player and speaker hanging on the tree.

Tim under his poncho.

Were my tent was. Luckily the water didn't pool too bad.

Zach getting ready to leave.

One last look at the fire tower.