Wow! I said...WOW! What an awesome time in the gorge. Teddy, Kbear, Zod and I loaded up and headed out Friday morning around 9ish. Stopped in for the classic pre-gorge romp grand slam breakfast at Denny's in Morganton and then drove on to the meeting point at the Pinch-in parking area. It was sprinkling and the clouds were looming around but you could see the sun peaking thru out west. From there, we did our favorite route, Rock Jock, to Conley and then descending down to the river to meet up our with our 5th member, Dylan aka Shiddz, who had camped solo the night before. He tent camped and got wet pretty bad from the torrential rain Thursday night. Good thing he brought his ENO! Shiddz had just caught a nice trout that he planned to feast on shortly. We set up camp down stream at real nice spot. I played around a lot with the Emberlit. All I can say is what a nice stove! We had a real nice fire going too. Everybody ate good. I brought the classic tortellini and some papa john's seasoning and parmesan cheese. AWESOME!
Tested out some new gear. First time I was able to hang with Raul's old zpacks tarp. Did great. Hung tight and never wavered. It was also the first time I used GLP's DIY 3/4 UQ. Between the UQ, my trusty Halo 25 and my REI sit pad in the foot box, I gotta say, this is the warmest I've ever camped and I also slept most of the night - go figure. The lowest we hit was 36 degrees.
Teddy was a hammocking noob. He was rocking the Hennessey set up. He got cold but made some notes so it doesn't happen again. We all have to start somewhere. In fine Kbear fashion, he slept in the hobotown hammock set up using trash bags and other things he picked up at his local landfill
We all packed up camp around 1000hrs Saturday morning after a fair amount of lolligagging, fishing and what-not. Shiddz headed back up and out Conley since his pack was well over 40lbs and we headed down river to hike out pinch-in. We wound up bushwhacking several times on the linville trail and everybody was pretty well beat up when we got the pinch-in trail head. SUCK IT UP! Hiking up pinch-in with a pack load is well...interesting! I thoroughly enjoyed it though. Breaking between panting and taking in the vistas is the perfect combo
I've rambled enough. I'm sure the other guys will pipe up with more pics, gps data, etc. Here's some pics I grabbed, I'll add some more later:
At the trailhead fixin' to take off (Zod, Kbear and Teddy)
kbear camelin' up
my new favorite piece of kit