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  1. #1
    Senior Member Running Feather's Avatar
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    HB & RF on the Art Loeb 9/8-9/10

    HB and I did section 3 of the Art Loeb Trail some time ago and finally got around to finishing this wonderful beast. Sections 1 & 2 together are
    about 20 miles which doesn't seem like much for three days but the Art Loeb Trail is about as tough as it gets, trust me!

    Mama Bear was kind enough to drop us off at the section 2-3 trailhead up in the Black Balsam Knob area. It was a brisk 55* and a thick fog/cloud
    cover. We found two Foster children and decided to take them along for the hike (well maybe).


    It took us over an hour to make the Blue Ridge Parkway (1.4 miles). Art made no bones about telling us what the rest of the hike was going to be
    like. Rocks and roots, trail becomes the stream becomes the trail becomes the stream, nearly vertical drops down eight to ten feet of slippery
    moss covered rocks. At times we just had to laugh.




    Once below the Parkway the trail was not nearly as steep but was quite over grown. We were soaked within several hundred yards. It wasn't
    until we reached Farlow Gap (11:15AM) that we saw the first hints of sunlight.






    We reached the Deep Gap Shelter at ~12:45 and had ourselves a hardy lunch and refilled our water bottles as water sources are at best
    unreliable. The "reliable" water source at the shelter was a mere trickle.


    I neglected to get pictures at the shelter. Here are a few pics of Looking Glass Rock on the way to Pilot Mountain.




    We had a nice heart thumping climb to the summit of Pilot Mountain. Here is part of the 360* view.
    As you can see, we're still above some of the clouds.






    We reached our goal, Gloucester Gap, by 3:30PM, hiked about another mile and then departed the trail on FSR 471 another seven tenths of a mile
    to a water source I had previously noted on a recon trip. (It was a wise choice. Once back on the trail the next morning we didn't see any
    water sources for miles.)

    We set up camp, gathered fire wood, made our bushcraft chairs and settled in for
    a nice hot meal and great campfire conversation.




    Friday morning we had a nice warm fire, a nice hearty breakfast, broke camp and started out on our second leg.

    We hiked over Chestnut mountain, through Low Gap, reached the Butter Gap Shelter around 2:30PM, and had lunch.
    Lotta switchbacks happening. Art doesn't miss a rock, a root, or any hill/mtn he can take you over!




    The hike up along Cedar Rock Mountain is grueling. Pretty much straight up - no breaks.
    At the top of the trail, Cedar Rock still towers hundreds of feet over us.
    The trees at the top of these pics are only the beginning of the top of the pluton.




    We marched another three and a half miles and came upon a nice campsite at about 5:30PM.
    It was at this point we realized we had somehow missed the last reliable water source
    till the trails end. NOT GOOD. Between the two of us we had just over two liters of water for
    dinner, breakfast, and the next day's hike out.

    After much consideration we decided to detour Saturday morning onto the old Art Loeb Trail, now called the connector trail.
    This trail makes a bee-line for water.

    We made the best of things and went about our normal camp routine. Made a nice dinner. Had some great camp conversation
    and went to bed thirsty.

    (sorry - no pics. We were now in survival mode)

    We had about a half liter of water each when we broke camp early Saturday morning.

    No breakfast, no coffee, just lite out in search of water.

    Fortunately we found water a half mile down the trail. We had made the right decision the night before to look in earnest
    for water the following day. The water source was along a downhill part of the trail, that went on for another mile, in a mostly
    boggish setting. Not a pleasant place to make camp.

    The rest of the hike out was a pleasant stroll along the Davidson River back to the car. We headed back to Hendersonville
    and had a voracious meal at Hannah Flanagan's.

    Many a beer was hoisted to Art and his wonderful trail.


    Thanx for reading!

    Happy Trails!


    Last edited by Running Feather; 09-12-2011 at 05:29.
    2015 John Rock Spreadsheet.

    "If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing you should do is STOP DIGGING "

  2. #2
    Senior Member icedfire477's Avatar
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    I've been meaning to do the Art Loeb Trail for awhile now. So far I've only hiked a few miles near shining rock wilderness, but it sure was gorgeous! Thanks for the report guys!

    p.s. Love your chairs.
    Last edited by icedfire477; 09-11-2011 at 17:24.

  3. #3
    Gumbo's Avatar
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    Beautiful Pics! Thanks for sharing.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Hawk-eye's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    OH MAN Boys ... looks like a great trip. Heck ... I know it was with your fellers together!! Best looking "Foster" parents I ever met!

    And here I though a "Pluton" was those britches you were wearing HB!

    Great pictures guys ... thanks for sharing.

    WARNING: Will discuss Rhurbarb Strawberry Pie and Livermush at random.


    "A democracy is two wolves and a small lamb voting on what to have for dinner.
    Freedom under a constitutional republic is a well armed lamb contesting the vote." ... B.Franklin


    Home of the Gorge Rats: Linville Gorge
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    You fellers ain't right. Great report and photos!

    Ken
    http://www.linvillegorge.net

    "You can't hem up a Rat!" Malcom Johnson, ca. 1970

  6. #6
    Senior Member Running Feather's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by icedfire477 View Post
    I've been meaning to do the Art Loeb Trail for awhile now. So far I've only hiked a few miles near shining rock wilderness, but it sure was gorgeous! Thanks for the report guys!

    p.s. Love your chairs.
    It's a great trail to do when the trees have shed their leaves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gumbo View Post
    Beautiful Pics! Thanks for sharing.
    I wish I took more pics. I got preoccupied with trying not to fall
    The chairs are easy to make. My actual 'chair' wt is 1.75oz.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawk-eye View Post
    OH MAN Boys ... looks like a great trip. Heck ... I know it was with your fellers together!! Best looking "Foster" parents I ever met!

    And here I though a "Pluton" was those britches you were wearing HB!

    Great pictures guys ... thanks for sharing.
    Yes, we're proud parents on many Foster children Can't understand why they seem to die so young
    The britches are from his misspent yute (Judge Chamberlain Hollar: "What is a yute?")

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken View Post
    You fellers ain't right. Great report and photos!

    Ken
    Thanks Ken. We're in serious training here, but still not quite right. It's a subculture kinda thing
    Last edited by Running Feather; 09-12-2011 at 05:34.
    2015 John Rock Spreadsheet.

    "If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing you should do is STOP DIGGING "

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Pluton.

    one of my favorite words.

    I'm gonna say it again.

    Pluton.

    You might think in a part of the state where it rains so much water would be easier to find. But you'd be wrong. Looks like you had a great hike.
    Genesis 16:12

  8. #8
    Senior Member Running Feather's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seuss View Post
    Pluton.

    one of my favorite words.

    I'm gonna say it again.

    Pluton.

    You might think in a part of the state where it rains so much water would be easier to find. But you'd be wrong. Looks like you had a great hike.
    Your mouth to Gods ears. We figured after Lee went by we'd be hiking in mud for days

    It is a fun word, isn't it? Kinda like behemoth. You just don't get to use these words often enough
    Last edited by Running Feather; 09-12-2011 at 01:27.
    2015 John Rock Spreadsheet.

    "If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing you should do is STOP DIGGING "

  9. #9
    slowhike's Avatar
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    Very nice.
    I didn't realize there was another Pilot Mountain in NC. There is a well known Pilot Mountain near me jutting up out of the rolling hills of the Piedmont.
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Hangin' Burrito's Avatar
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    Thanks RF for putting this trip report up.
    Yeah, it was a great hike, good weather, & cool temps.
    This is a trail that would definitely train you for the Gorge!
    "Is this the best you've got?!!" (Shortoff Mtn., Linville Gorge 2010)

    "Life is tough.....it's even tougher if you're stupid!".....(John Wayne)

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