Wouldn't you know it but Saturday brings the day riders as they do 2 trails off limits to horses---the Licklog Ridge and the complete Big Frog trail down to FS road 221.
DAY ELEVEN TRIP 141
67 HOURS OF RAIN
It never stops and in fact it's harder thru this night than the last 2 so I'm approaching 72 hours of continuous rain and it surely sucks yet there's no escape but to sit put and don't be an idiot and pack to move. Where would I go, anyway? It's warmed up enough to sit in baselayer tops (t-shirt over silk long sleeve turtleneck) and the turtle fur hat. Some kind of tropical monsoon system has stalled over the Frog and it's getting damn old. These zero days were not planned as certain though I wanted to zero out the weekend on the Frog anyway to see if it gets any visitors but it turns out these zeroes are required to get thru these 4 days of true crap. Thankfully I'm in a Hilleberg which keeps me dry from the wet and the wind whipped rain. Chattanooga weather says it'll be in the 70F's today with a "better chance of rain on Sunday." Good God but "turning colder on Monday with more rain." I could be breaking another record, boys.
They're active on the Frog and I could be here another 4 days but let's pray not. There's no way my food bags would be outside thru this 72 hour rainstorm and the Frog has a healthy rodent population so figure you'll get some visitors. There's nothing which keeps backpackers away than this kind of weather so I'll just have to bear it alone.
FULL LIGHT WITH HOT TEA
I'm now into my 73rd hour of rain and I got here on Day 8 and I'm still here on Day 11. It's a Saturday but the Frog is empty of hominids except for me.
25 DEAD TREES
I went thru all 4 camps and counted a total of 25 dead trees of significant size which shows a healthy mountaintop forest. The sky is dark and portending rain but it stopped so I got to hike around as if I'm a normal bipedal.
Florida's python slaughter---the state is cutting lose its citizen-death squads to hunt down and "harvest" the pythons. The idiot who gets the most gets $1,500. Here's a better idea---Get rid of Floridians and leave the snakes. Have the snakes fouled the air with car exhaust and jet pollution? Have the snakes drained the wetlands and caused unbridled sprawl? Have the snakes bulldozed forests and built highways and Interstates? Have the snakes ruined the coast line with cities, beach houses, no trespassing and development? And who brought the snakes into Florida to begin with? You got it---bonobo motarded anuses we call humans.
So once again death squads are given free rein in state sponsored ethnic cleansing. At least it's ethnic cleansing if you're one of the pythons. Once again it's the killing of the innocents by the same people who caused the problem to begin with. A much better solution would be to track down everyone who ever relased a python into the wild and throw them into a pit of pythons but no, they get off scot free while the snakes pay the ultimate price. How come now the state of Florida is so dang concerned with ecology when it never was before in the '50's and '60's and '70' and '80's and '90's?? Where is the state ecologists to mandate limited growth or a reduction in air traffic or population or turning Miami into a bicycle city and kicking out cars?
Nope, let's put on our ecology hats and pick on the snakes. And then there's a snuff film show on TV about going out and killing alligators while the bonobo Florida humans replicate like bacteria. We live in a human centrist world and have become the tyrants of the age. Can we somehow be humbled? No. Here's an ecological fact for you---In 1492 the state of Florida (or the landmass later known as Florida) had 350,000 humans. Now it has 27 million. Where are the ecologists to fight against this abnormal, unnatural and unsustainable growth? They're loading their shotguns against the snakes. Whatever the pythons are eating will never be as bad as what us humans are eating and have eaten.
We've eaten up the whole state of Florida but it's the snakes who get targeted. Hey scientists---we're animals too and no different than the mammals and reptiles. We play God because we've been brainwashed to believe we're not mammals or animals and we believe of course that we're made in God's image. How flattering and convenient. Now go out there your lordship and get to slaughtering. This is just a baby rant, I could get really steamed if I thought about it.
NATIONAL PARK PIG SLAUGHTER
It's the same thing with the slaughter of pigs in the Smokies. Where were these same ecologists when the Park got completely ravaged by logging? Where are the ecologists as 10 million cars enter the Park and pollute the air? Nope, let's pick on the pigs cuz we're as gods and nothing we do in the Park can be judged or stopped. But those damn pigs! Do the pigs have bumper to bumper traffic on a road they built thru Cades Cove? Did the pigs build a blight to humanity called Gatlinburg? It's a Saturday sermon. See, when I don't have visitors I rant.
What would happen if Tennesseans found a people they hated and wanted removed? Oops we already had that harvest and they were called Indians.
Try to swift boat Chuck Hagel, idiots.
BEAR LINE REFUGEE CAMP
I see blue sky and so a water run is done and the bear line strung 20 feet across and on it hang my bag, rain jacket, tent sack, pole sack, pack cover, pillowcase, meltdown jacket, down parka and down pants. Everything is airing out after days of rain. Today I could move as the rain stopped 2 hours ago but it's a Saturday and time to sit put just in case and on a very slim chance Hootyhoo or anyone else pops in. I gotta give the Frog a full Saturday just to see what quality backpackers we have in TN and Georgia.
JANUARY IS THE NEW MAY
Just as December is the new October, so is January the new May because it's around 70F atop Big Frog Mt on January 12. Crazy, boys. The sun's out which is excellent and I hear voices coming up the Licklog trail and they may swing over the Frog soon enough or they could be B Mackers coming up from Double Springs as it's a real nutbuster climbing 800 feet in .8 mile.
They come up the Licklog---not allowed---and go down the Big Frog---not allowed---and probably will be taking Fork Ridge to Rough Creek and back out on Licklog, all illegal routes for horses. I told them so but they blazed on. The horsemen make me want to pack and do a nighthike somewhere else but they leave so I'll either see their sign going down the Licklog or the Big Frog as both trails will take me north back into the wilderness.
PEYTON MANNING REDUX
Remember what I said about Peyton being over-rated because he seems to throw interceptions at crunch time? Well, he does it again tonight (Jan 12) during the 2nd overtime which allows the Ravens to kick the playoff game winning field goal. One mistake and the Denver season is over.
LITTLE MITTEN ON THE HORN
My last night on the Frog gets me to pull a nokia reach out whereby I speak to Mitten and touch base with my little valentine zygoat. I hike back to camp with a clean heart and plan tomorrow's hike to new trails I have never hiked and so I pull out the map and get the wheels turning. Will it be Licklog or Big Frog? I won't know until the pack is on my back and the first step out of camp occurs. Will it be down to the Jacks? Naw, let's stick with the Frog side as I can do the Cohut in February. I need to come up with some plan for the next week. My route will be determined by rain possibilities and I'll breeze to Low Gap on the Big Frog. If it's partly sunny I'll take Licklog.
big frog mtmere dayhikers