Afterwards, she would be off on her own adventure and we planned on meeting up at Google’s cabin in the evening. I walked Weston and headed to the motel lobby by 8:45 to catch the 9:00 am shuttle. Trail Magic Moments: 7 Today was a pretty slow day. The snow continued to fall and the wind howled. My friend, Kyle, had suggested I start listening to Jason Isbell so I had his tunes pulling me up the hills. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. OK, very jealous here. I wonder if they are black?…”. This hike had Momma Puma shuttling me to a trail head for the last time. The peak elevation for this section was 5,342 with lots of ups and downs along the way. I was looking forward to getting back home even though the mountains in NC have been delightful to hike. MY. The trail passes by a campsite at 0.9 miles and reaches 4100 foot Swinging Lick Gap at 1.2 miles. After three nights in Franklin I was getting restless and I was ready to get back out on the trail. End Time: 2030. North Carolina continues to impress. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Back to Maryland, back to everyday life. As I said, we had started out at Winding Stair Gap, and our destination for the day was 11 miles north along the AT, at Wayah Shelter. I made it to Gatlingburg. Reply. The mountains are just so darn dramatic! And I missed the turn-off for Siler Bald!!! Hiking the AT – Winding Stair Gap Waterfall / Wayah Bald My pops dropped me off for the final time at Rock Gap near Franklin, NC. There was a father son duo waiting on a shuttle (not a cheap one) at the gap. Length 52.8 mi Elevation gain 12,998 ft Route type Point to Point Easy to get in, hard to get out. Day 11 – Winding Stair Gap to Wayah Bald Shelter. So overgrown! Definitely break worthy, so I found a nice log and had a snack. He said the expected temperature that night was going to be in the single digits in the mountains with a wind chill of -10. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. The parking area is down a gravel road at the Wayah Crest trailhead and picnic area. I got everything back into my pack, grabbed a quick breakfast in the lobby, and sat and waited for the shuttle to arrive to take me back to Winding Stair Gab. I moved on down the trail with a smile…yes, wildlife, finally! As I climbed higher into the mountains things began to change. So the total mileage for the day will be around 16 Miles with over 3000ft elevation gain. This is why I missed the turn-off. This section of the AT begins at Winding Stair Gap where the trail leaves US 64. Today we all woke up at 6:45am to jump on a free shuttle from the hotel that would take us down the road to First Baptist Church in Franklin. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! GAWD. They offered us to join them. I knew I would be in for one frigid night. However, I had to cross through Panther Gap first…and I was in a silly mood by then as I was on a very warm and humid mile 8. I reassured them that while it would be absolutely miserable I would be okay. I mean, seriously! So I backtracked. 129.6 miles, 373,030 steps, 3468 stories climbed. 07-01-2010, 01:15. Offering astounding views in all directions from the end of a short paved path, Wayah Bald is a great choice when you're just looking for a quick adventure. I walked over to the shelter to cook dinner and visit with the other hikers. A quick spur to the clearing is worth the panoramic views of the Nantahala National Forest. My knee started giving me trouble a little before we reached the Wayah Bald fire tower, so we took an abnormally long break there (of course I didn't tell the Ks I was having knee pain because they would've been worried - I just told them my old bones were creaking and I needed to rest). Starting Location: Winding Stair Gap. We found a campsite on the ascent to the side trail to the summit of Siler Bald. I think it was exactly 11 miles. If not for Geronimo I would have gone into Franklin, although I’m glad I didn’t, and saved money for the NOC. He looked surprised when I told him I was returning to the trail today. They don’t make their presence known often. At one point I took step and went sliding. Winding Stair Gap to Wayah Shelter Again, breakfast at Miss Janet's was great. The hike is going well and I’m feeling stronger everyday. He turned back around and began to trot down the trail. The highway at Winding Stair Gap was busy enough that we had to watch carefully and move quickly before crossing the road to resume hiking northbound. Destination: Wayah Bald, Stone Tower. She had split it up into three sections that would make the shuttling easier: 1. Start Time: 1330. Winding Stair Gap on Highway 64 is the starting point for this spectacular backpacking trip through the Nantahala National Forest. In these conditions with the temperature quickly dropping into the single digits I could find myself in serious trouble very quickly. So I hoisted my pack, which was now fat from a fresh resupply, onto my back and I set off into a winter wonderland. But soon enough I topped out on Wayah Bald. Day 10- Winding Stair Gap to Wayah Shelter Total Miles Hiked: 120.8 Miles Hiked Today: 11.0. The trail was easily visible and the climbs were decently graded. Yeah, there are still some big cats in the east…despite what anybody’s DNR might tell ya. On a windy snowy day these markers easily disappear. I was a day ahead of them in March and had already hiked those miles before I left the trail last time. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking. The shuttle was smack full of hikers; one person in each available seat with a pack in each lap (and some hikers standing in the aisle). Sunday school was on the … So of course there was a healthy amount of snow falling all around me. I said I was a sketch drawing for where I am in my life right now. I felt so blessed, wow, so, so blessed to have this cat make his presence known. ( Log Out / There is a parking lot at the Gap if you need to leave a car. Sunday we will pack up camp and hike 4.2 Miles back down to Winding Stair Gap. ( Log Out / Lord help me). I took a little break there. OK, very jealous here. There was a family providing some “trail magic” in the form of a hot cooked breakfast in the parking lot when we arrived. BoobOnARock says: July 27, 2017 at 4:35 pm. I questioned my sanity several times that night but by morning I was still there. A little snow was not going to shake me! Meanwhile, let’s move on to the last day of March… Huge day on the trail for only 11 trail miles. It got worse, before better…and I was separating grasses with my hiking poles to check for snakes before plowing through! It seemed that even since yesterday there were more wildflowers in bloom. Winding Stair Gap to Wayah Bald. More people, actually a lot of people were on this stretch of trail. Winding Stair Gap to Siler Bald via Appalachian Trail is a 9.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Franklin, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Walk along the Appalachian Trail to climb this grassy bald for one of North Carolina's best short hikes. I piled up snow around the base of my tent to keep the breezes out much like I had done with the leaves a few days before. 8 - Carter Gap shelter to Winding stair Gap (Franklin, NC) 9 - Winding Stair Gap to Wayah Shelter 10 - Wayah shelter to NOC. Siler Bald via Wayah Gap At less than 4 miles, Siler Bald in Nantahala National Forest makes for a fantastic day hike with expansive 360° views. Today the four of us started back on trail where Insight & Carebear came off in March. That made the trip up seem shorter and the variety of body types made me think this “up” wouldn’t be too bad. I repeated the 11.2 miles from Winding Gap Stair to Wayah Bald Shelter where we are staying in tonight. It is one thing to get a little lost in normal conditions. The bad news is that the trail was treacherously covered in snow and ice. I had heard that the trail was a little tricky up there. Shortly after heading out, I met a man and his dog on the trail. Day 2 - We left Wayah Bald and made our way to Wesser Bald Shelter (MM 120.8 to 131.4). It was getting humid, whew! Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Video link: Winding Stair Gap to Wayah Bald. ( Log Out / Having had my most excellent view from Siler Bald, I was ready to hoof it down to Winding Stair Gap. Day 12: Winding Stair Gap to Wayah Bald Shelter 11 miles (side note: this hotel's computer is on dialup and using IE6. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. We arrived at the Gap and piled off the shuttle. (No need for him to get too curious.) I was up early and ready to roll this Monday morning. Day 12: Winding Stair Gap to Wayah Bald Shelter. After I got everything cleaned up I boiled a pot of water and poured it into my Nalgene bottle so that it would keep me warm in my sleeping back at least for a few hours. It was then that I got a little spooked. Though they looked a little ragged their spirits were bright. Once we got on the trail it started climbing out of the gap right away, but the ascent was not steep. Change ), Wayah Bald to USFS 69 (Beating a retreat), Winding Stair Gap to Wayah Bald Shelter ( What the hell was I thinking? There was also a significant amount of wind. It was delicious and everyone there was really nice. Once climbing to the top of Siler Bald, I was happy I had backtracked! You don't always have to make a grueling trek up a mountain for an amazing view. I put on every scrap of clothing I had and snuggled deep down in my 15 degree sleeping bag. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Such a chill cat! Today’s Miles: 10 Trip Miles: 128.60. They had been hiking all through the winter. I couldn’t stomach another night in a hotel so I stuck to my guns to get back on the trail. Elevation 5,342. I just couldn’t get moving today. It was yet another beautiful day. The trail passed by a campsite before the Bartram trail diverged to the right. The highway was clear but there was snow covering all the surrounding ground. Had a nice rib dinner at the Blue Ridge Roadhouse Grill in Franklin. I kept hiking and the weather got worse. I … It was tough to leave our warm hotel this morning because we knew that it was going to be freezing tonight. 8 thoughts on “ AT – NC Wayah Bald to Winding Stair Gap ” Anonymous says: July 27, 2017 at 3:55 pm. Now I feel super lucky! Show all posts. The uphill did go up for a good ways, though! It’s moments like this when I begin to question the wisdom of marking this trail with white blazes. I got everything back into my pack, grabbed a quick breakfast in the lobby, and sat and waited for the shuttle to arrive to take me back to Winding Stair Gab. The AT crossed the fire road a few times before reaching the paved road at Wayah Gap. I started hiking at 0930 hours this morning with How About. Being there at 3:00 am didn't make it any easier. I looked over at the shuttle that was lingering, waiting to pick up any hikers coming off the trail, and for a moment I considered getting back on it. The starting elevation was 3,690 feet, and we finished at 4,712 feet. March 31, 2015: Winding Stair Gap (US 64) to Wayah Bald Shelter, 11.0 miles, 9:30am to 4:30pm. The cat, kitty, panther, cougar, mountain lion, whatever you want to call it was about 25 yards in front of me casually walking down the AT away from me!!! Volunteers at the church prepared and served a free breakfast daily and all hikers were welcome. ( Log Out / New Favorite Drink- Hawaiian Punch "Red" Flavor drink . They were worried about me spending a night on a mountain in single digit temperatures with a windchill of -10. Restocked with food, I got on the trail about 11:15. ( Log Out / Winding Stair Gap to Wayah Shelter - Strenuous 11 miles in 7 hours After a good night’s sleep at Sapphire Inn, we were ready to go again. Winding Stair Gap to Wayah Bald Shelter Yesterday I had a nice restful day. From Wayah Crest Picnic Area to Siler Bald is a very popular day hike along the AT. Winding Stair Gap to Wayah Bald Shelter ( What the hell was I thinking?) The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and backpacking and is best used from March until October. We all share this one world. He has been reading my … hahaha. jeremiah j. Thanks for sharing! I sent a few text messages to my folks to let them know I’d made it to the shelter. Why not kitty cat gap? The First Baptist Church in Franklin served us all you can eat pancakes and bacon. 11.0 miles, 30,676 steps, 371 stories climbed. All creatures great and small. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. The views today were panoramic and striking from atop two balds. The peak elevation for this section was 5,342 with lots of ups and downs along the way. Love it! Change ). Day 1, we hiked from Winding Stair Gap to Wayah Bald shelter. Day 2 - We left Wayah Bald and made our way to Wesser Bald Shelter (MM 120.8 to 131.4). I stood there and organized my things preparing for the hike to come. So what if things are a little out of order. 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