Mid-South Loop (sort of) trip report.
Conley-LGT-Spence-LTR-MST-Cambric-Pinch in-105-Conley TH (Missed Rock Jock TH)
I posted this trip report on the Linville forum, thought I would share it here too.
Well our 5 day 4 nighter turned int 4 days 3 nights.
Friday: Conley Parking Lot- Grabbed our gear in a down pour then hit the Conley Trail at 2:30. Conley is a sweet trail. All the boulders and rock features welcomed us to the gorge. We headed down to the LGT and upstream and camped directly across from cathedral falls. Now that was an awesome spot to hang a hammock. Not so great for my ground dwelling buddy, but he made do.
Saturday: Cathedral Falls- We played around the falls and river for a couple hours then headed out later that afternoon for Spence Ridge Trail. I didn’t realize coming in that Spence was such a heavily used trail, virtually a highway by comparison. We made up to the parking lot and realized that we passed the Little Table Rock Trail, so rather than road walk to the MST we headed back. LTR was an awesome hike. The unbelievable grade was rewarded by the end with spectacular views. The rewards kept on coming as we headed down the MST. All I have to say about the MST is WOW! We elected to camp at Saddle Camp since we were out of water and it also appeared to be outside the wilderness boundary. We got plenty of water at 4AM with a 30 min down pour. It flooded out my ground dwelling buddy, and nearly flooded us hangers.
Sunday: Saddle Camp- We spent the better part of the day drying out, resting up, and just flat out enjoying camp. At about 3PM we continued south on the MST and went down Cambric. It was pretty thick and steep, but a needed change from going up to going down. The rain had dried up by then. Otherwise I believe we would have skied all the way to the bottom. We found a nice camp on that side of the river that we now call “Rolling Jerry’s Campsite.” My ground dwelling buddy is named Jerry, who did a slow motion head-over-heels roll in the river through a rapid. Then, my fellow hanger Jerald (aka Jerry) was sharing a bite of spam with Jerry. They were sharing a back rest on a tree next to the fire when Jerald’s rock seat gave out. It sent him slowly rolling around the tree to the other side of Jerry, sporked spam in hand in a failed attempt to save it. Of course he ate it anyway.
Monday: Cambric @ Linville River- Jerald had a USFS map and I had the Map provided by the forum. The USFS had been a good resource with exception to the LTR. For some reason I didn’t take a peek at the forum map and we put all our faith in the USFS map. After crossing the river and heading a couple miles south towards what we thought was Pinch In. We were clued in when we found no trail and we were pretty much in line with Shortoff. I decided to take a look at the forum map and promptly u-turned. Pinch In, now that was awesome. I still haven’t mastered hiking backwards. I certainly got some practice on this trail. By the time we got to the parking lot it was pretty late. We went down the road attempting to meet up with Rock Jock. We expected to see a parking lot with a pretty sign. Unfortunately we didn’t see either of those. We did see a trail next to a turn-around but we were unsure. The waypoint was labeled MCRT which threw me off a bit. At the point we were ready to just lay on the side of the road a truck came up behind us. Since it was already dark we got a ride back to the Conley parking lot to finish the loop. I am totally disappointed that we missed out on the pie.
This was an awesome trip. I can’t speak for all of us, but I will most definitely be back ( For Rock Jock and pie).http://youtu.be/-ffU5h728pA