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  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Trip report: Linville Gorge - September 16th &17th

    We arrived at the Pinch-In trail head around 10 in the morning on Friday, September 15th. Our intention was to hike down Pinch-In, turn north on the Linville Gorge Trail and camp somewhere between there and the Conley Cove Trail. We enjoyed a quiet lunch at the bottom of Pinch-In and then pressed on until around 2:30 or so, just taking our time picking our way up the LGT and enjoying our first time in The Gorge. We found a campsite about a mile south of the LGT/Conley Cove intersection, setup the hammocks and just relaxed for the rest of the daylight hours. Around dinner time, we heated up some water and re-hydrated some Southwest Lasagna from Hawk Vittles. For those of you that haven't tried meals from them, I highly recommend this one. It was amazing! Fast forward to bed time. We both got cozied up in out hammocks, she in a WBBB 1.7 SL, 3S Incubator and DIY Top quilt and me in a WBBB 1.0 DL, 3S Phoenix and 3S Burrow. It was the girl's first night in the hammock, but she said she slept great and slept very warm. We had temps down in the low 50's that night.

    Day two started out with a light rain and another meal from Hawk Vittles. I learned that I don't really care for anything with re-hydrated egg in it. After we broke camp, we headed on up to the LGT/Conley Cove intersection and began the climb to the Conley/Rock Jock intersection. Not a bad trail, but it still took us the better part of 2 hours to make the climb out. We hit the RJ and headed south with the intention of camping at the Lost Dog camp site. Well, here's where things got stupid. I wish I could blame someone other than myself, but I completely missed that loop. We ended up doing the RJ all the way to the south trail head. For those of you that know...that trail is brutal on it's best day. While I found the trail mostly easy to follow, the number of down trees lead to constant cries of, "Godd**nit!!" or, "Mother **&$!!" and a few "Sonofa*$#!@!", as well as a few prayers to just get me and my girl through this. It was absolutely, 100% without a doubt the most demoralizing and humbling trail experience I've had. We ended up getting out around 7pm or so. It was a long day...much longer than we anticipated, but I was glad we got to do the loop we intended even though it wasn't on the schedule we had planned on.

    Things I/we learned:
    1. We will never use Pinch-In as an exit unless there is no other option.
    2. Check your watch batteries before the trip.
    3. I snore like a champ when in my hammock.
    4. We will never hike Rock Jock in it's entirety again.
    5. I've got the best girlfriend in the world.
    6. I was/am absolutely amazed at the gorge and will be returning as soon as my schedule allows.

    I know you guys have seen the sights before, but here's the ones we took. https://picasaweb.google.com/1155903...eat=directlink
    Holy S$*t Extenders!! - Courtesy of Bearfinder

  2. #2
    Bruciehi5's Avatar
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    Hi there dpitalo,

    Youíre a good story teller! It flowed well and the trip was well covered! The things I/we learned part is a great idea. Readers can learn from your experience that way. Especially the snore like a champ part... mental note, hang far from dpitalo! lol Sounds like you made a major wrong turn too. 7pm is a late get out! As you say, a long day! Thanks for the report! I liked the photos, so Iím glad you posted them.

  3. #3
    New Member
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    Well you know you and your girlfriend can handle one of the most difficult sections of trail in NC. Congrats. After first tackling Rock Jock as an exit I too vowed never to use it again. However a couple of years later while hiking with some friends from out west and enduring their opinion that the Appalachians are small mountains and they thought were in for a challenge. Not having 3k elevation of scree to offer I rerouted our exit for Rock Jock and a hike down the utility road. My friends well deserved pain in some way made my discomfort amusing.

  4. #4
    Old Gorge Rat Hawk-eye's Avatar
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    You definitely have yourself a keeper in that lady!

    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 Hangin' Burrito's Avatar
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    Ahhhhh..the Gorge, every time I see a TR I feel it calling me! That's quite a first time route. Congrats on ya'll doing well and I'm glad you had a great time.
    Nice looking hammock setups too!
    "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)

  6. #6
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
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    It is easy to miss the Lost Dog.......and the RJ will kick a buttocks for sure. Sure hope the sun was not beaming on you all day.
    Pinch In can make a feller whimper going up.
    Shug
    Whooooo Buddy)))) All Good in the Backwood Hood.

    Shug's YouTube Videos

  7. #7
    Senior Member Pipsissewa's Avatar
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    Great report and pictures, Dave! I particularly like the photo of the pink turtleheads and the "lovebirds" shot

    So glad you had a great trip. Thanks for sharing.
    "Pips"
    Mountains have a dreamy way
    Of folding up a noisy day
    In quiet covers, cool and gray.

    ---Leigh Buckner Hanes

    Surely, God could have made a better way to sleep.

    Surely, God never did.

  8. #8
    Senior Member MrTiles's Avatar
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    The Gorge humbles AND delivers.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Roche's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawk-eye View Post
    You definitely have yourself a keeper in that lady!
    Well said Hawk-eye. Any woman than tolerates a hanger is a keeper.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Hangin' Burrito's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrTiles View Post
    The Gorge humbles AND delivers.
    Well said and amen!
    "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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