This trip was a joy, and a joy for many reasons.
Trip details including map and elevation profile can be found below.
The crew was excited. It’s hard to contain the enthusiasm of 7 people who are all gathered to dominate a mountain.
The first day was a long, 6 mile climb to the top of what the locals call “Big Bald”. The trail was fairly direct with few switch backs, instead opting for the more aggressive straight up the mountain approach. The trees generously served up great summer shade in the late June heat. Smalls streams trickling from the rocks offered clean, glacier like water.
Upon indulging in the satisfying, sweaty victory over the roughly 5,500 foot mountain, you’re rewarding with a soft waiving grassland bald high above the valleys. The 360 view entangles with the breeze, cooling bodies and lifting spirits. Here, we camped. Big bald.
The falling sun brought rising moral with the sunsets and late evening mountain top dining. We gathered in a ring of tents and rested our tired, yet spirited bodies. Laughter and rowdiness made an easy chore of keeping away any potential critter activity we may have otherwise had.
The night sky chuckled with flashes of heat lightning, and fireflies returned with brilliant flashes, seemingly just in front of a twinkling night sky.
The next morning, the sunrise glistened across the dew kissed mountain tops. It was indescribable.
The day rounded out with a swift 6 mile downhill hike across the opposite side of the mountain, descending into the dark cool valleys. Along the way we happened across interesting rock formations, and various views across the valleys.
The trip was amazing. Beautiful views, and generous camping options. Plenty of water despite the hot conditions. Few other hikes joined us on this trail, which provided some much desired solitude. This trip, is highly recommended.
2 thoughts on “Trip Review, Sams gap to Spivey Gap. Appalachian trail. Flag Pond, Tn.”
Great trip Michael. It was awesome. A great description and review. It was an awesome and fairly mixed group. And although us noobs had our issues, few complaints were heard. My first backpacking trip despite many dayhikes. And as my first trip it was physically brutal which was expected. I was questioning Sunday night if I would do it again. As of today, Monday, I am still hurting like a son of a gun, but I’m already forgetting the struggle and considering another trip. And I will go ahead and say I’m calling it 6.8 miles each day. If for no other reason, then for self gratification. I will say, I have a newfound strong respect for backpackers.
You were a great and gracious leader who never had a problem helping people with adjusting packs, packing, food prep, filtering water, etc… You are definitely a prize for the group.
Thanks Jim! I certainly hope you will find it in you to come out with us again. It was a real treat having you with us on this one. For a first trip, you did great! It wasn’t a short one, 12-14 miles is great for anyone. My first trips were around 6 miles total trip. I was quite impressed with how well you handled the weight.
I have more photos if you want them, I can get them to you.
Thanks for all the kind words. For me, it’s more about the companionship than the hiking. Great friends make amazing trips.
Thanks for promoting my blog! It’s much appreciated.