Hey all, I wanted to give a quick run down of my most recent trip. It won't be as cool as some but fun nonetheless.
4 of us started out Saturday September 11 and drove north from Atlanta to the Jacks River Trail. After leaving a vehicle at the end of the trail we drove into TN to get around to the beginning. Man what a beautiful drive past lake Ocoee, white water rafting and all! We got a late start and didn't make it to the trail head before dark cause of the torrential down pour so we stopped off and camped in the National Forest somewhere.
I have a WBBB and a Superfly so my tarp went up before everyone else and for hours that was the place to hang out until the tent campers went to their leaky tent, which happened to be one I lent them woops. I slept like a baby and was dry as a bone the next morning. Above is actually a shot of my buddies Blackbird with his MacCat tarp, it was his maiden voyage as a hammocker!
After a nice breakfast we hit the trail the next morning. Now this was the first voyage for quite a bit of my new gear as well. My shoes (Keen Voyager non waterproof), my pack (Aarn Peak Aspiration with Sport Balance pockets), and a home made under quilt from an old lap blanket I had. They all were great.
It was such a nice trail, beautiful weather and A LOT of water to cross. The Jacks River Trail is the wettest trail in the Cohutta wilderness. We quite literally forded the river 42 times over about 14 miles!! The total hike was somewhere around 16.7 miles. It was a blast!
here are some pics of the trail and the Jacks River falls
The Jacks falls is actually a series of three water falls with swimming holes at the base of each falls. This is the second falls
A pretty typical crossing along the Jacks, some were about ankle deep and some were waist deep. All in all a very fun trail.
Here is a couple of the guys about to fall in! I actually think the guy on the left lost his shoe on this one
I kept my shoes on the entire time, 42 water crossings and all. I can happily say that I never fell nor did my feet get any type of blisters...they all thought I was crazy but by the end of the trip they all were just slogging through with out changing into water crossing shoes.
It's hard to describe and my photo skills my not be as good as some but it was a great get away. We camped the next night at a big campsite where several trails converged but were the only people there, no pics though. I learned there that my home made under quilt was not quite enough to keep me warm in the hammock so I'll need to bring some sort of top quilt next time. I also learned that spilling boiling mashed potatoes on your crotch right before bed time is not the best way to keep warm...though at the time it got me pretty hot
Below you can see my Aarn Peak Aspiration...I got some funny looks on the trail, but man oh man what a joy to hike with. Even after 16 miles with it packed down and fording a river 42 times I never got shoulder strain or back pains!!! I can't say enough good things about this pack. I had taken it on some day hikes but this was the first over night multi-mile trek. I have one complaint about it, the center stay kept popping out of it's home causing the pack to droop down a bit. I've looked at the newer models that a local store, Going Gear, has and they seem to have fixed the problem area...so I just have to "customize" mine to lock in place.
at the TN/GA state line, the end of the trail
Here is a cool mushroom along the way
Here we all are at Jacks Falls me on the left with the crazy front pockets