My journey on the Frog gets cold and is obvious with the ice.
DAY FIVE TRIP 141
TRAIL Big Frog/Wolf Ridge
CAMP Curbow Fields
A DEMON'S PERINEUM
It's cold as a demon's perineum but still the precip falls as rain. There's no way of knowing when any of this will stop since the Frog is now covered in a butt cold misty fog and at 5am it makes for a sour pack up and a "no, not me!" moveout. The radio helps to dispel despair as does stick incense and this journal. The journal occupies my time which would otherwise be spent twiddling my testes so hooray for the written report. No wonder I'm a wordy mofo---it's sublimation of more basic drives and desires. Thankfully the thrill of the hunt I had in my 30's and 40's has passed as all efforts now come from the thrill of a good pee and bowel mvt. It's sad, really.
THE BLIGHTED HISTORY OF THE CHEROHALA SKYWAY
** It started as a nightmare in 1958 and was to be a wagon train route thought up by Sam Williams from Tellico Plains, TN. He brought up the idea of a road connecting Tellico and Western NC to the Kiwanis Club and it was a very bad idea.
** Six weeks after the idea, 67 covered wagons and 300 horseback riders traveled from the TN/NC line to Murphy NC.
** "The politicians loved the idea, which would evolve into the construction of the Skyway." Never let politicians decide environmental issues.
** In 1962 it was decided that a road could be built between Tellico and Robbinsville entirely on federal land and the feds went along with the madness.
** Congress started coughing up money and it cost 100 million dollars and took 34 years.
** Opened in October 1996.
** US forest service estimated 5 million cars a year would use the road, or 10 cars per minute year round. "Extremely unrealistic."
** Average today is 20 cars and a hundred motorcycles a day. "Desolate most of the winter". Thank God. ALL QUOTES AND INFO FROM http://www.cherohala.com/
Yesterday's 2 backpackers hike past my tent at 10 in the morning but I'm half asleep and in a fetal ball so I don't get to say nothin'. Hot tea wakes me up as I have a crap load of water. It's time to lighten up my pack and eat my last red apple with almond butter and sips of hot tea.
BIG FROG TURTLEHEAD
My water broke at 10:43---I know cuz I wrote it down in my trip log and so in a fluster I grabbed 2 birthing towels and ran out of the tent into the woods where I ran in circles in a panic before the baby head of the turtlehead poked out and so I prepared a birthing station in a dug pit in soft dirt previously disturbed by wild pigs. In fact, a lone pig came up to assist in the birthing process as a left tusk hooked the baby stool head and helped to deliver, along with my pushing, a healthy 8 lb turd which we named Frog and which was slapped awake and then immediately smothered and buried. We covered ourselves in betadine and I got up off my back and re-dressed and invited the wild hog into my tent vestibule where I gave him a cigar.
According to Will Skelton in his book "Hiking in the Cherokee National Forest" and the Wolf Ridge trail description on page 457---
"A small stone monument commemorating John Curbow was formerly located on the Wolf Ridge trail on a level spot about 1.0 mile above the Chestnut Mt trail intersection. Curbow was an organizer of the annual Ramp Tramp, a walk to the top of Big Frog Mt. He died in a farming accident after returning home from the Ramp Tramp in 1968. The monument was installed in the mid-1970's but disappeared in 1980." WILL SKELTON
I leave the Tongue of the Frog and breezed over the top and took the Wolf Ridge trail down to the level gap I now call Curbow Fields where I set up the tent to wait for a sunny day tomorrow to continue down Wolf Ridge and pass the Chestnut Mt trail jct with the Grassy Gap trail which I hope to follow east by northeast to the Big Creek trail jct and beyond to wherever I end up for the night, hopefully somewhere by water in another trail nexus called Low Gap where Grassy Gap ends and Big Frog and Yellow Stand Lead trail cross. It doesn't look like Grassy Gap has a single campsite on its entire 5 mile length but we shall see. Low Gap might be my home tomorrow night in which I'll have a 6.7 mile day.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
This one comes from Wooly Bugger on Bushcraftusa.com thread titled "What is with Ultralight Backpacking?" (7/24/12)---
"If your wife wants to go then she carries a pack; at least with some lighter items in it. That's the way it works at my house anyway. That usually keeps my wife from wanting to go, so it's a win either way."
GOODNIGHT TO DAY 5
Dinner was Kashi pasta with goat cheese and some butter along with a bit of dehy spaghetti. The Kashi is called pesto pasta primavera and comes frozen which is thawed and thrown in the dehy trays to reduce it to nothing. It's a good system and opens up the prepared frozen food aisle to drying maniacs who want to backpack. Randy wants me to call him tomorrow and I got a call out to Little Mitten several hours ago so I should do the same with Randy. He'll either want to come out or he won't. If he does then I can meet him back on the Frog, if not it's down the Grassy Gap for me. Maybe. After 5 days my appetite is kicking in as I snack up to 11pm.
big frog mt