18 Day Return to the Nutbuster Trail Trip 145
In May 2013 I pull an 18 day trip which begins at Beech Gap in the Citico wilderness of Tennessee.
May 13-30 2013
** 18 DAYS ON THE NUTBUSTER TRAIL
** SVEA BOY AT WATAUGA CAMP
** INDIANA FIELD TRIP
** FOLLOWING A GIRL AND 2 GUYS DOWN THE BIG FAT TRAIL
** 7 DAYS OFTRAILWORK ON THE NUTBUSTER TRAIL
** 29TH CLIMB OF THE NUTBUSTER
** MEETING BACKPACKERS GARRETT AND JOHN ON THE NUTBUSTER
** THE NUT EATER EATS MY GLASSES AND RETURNS THEM THE NEXT DAY
** PATMAN CAMPS WITH ME IN BUCKEYE CAMP
** PATMAN AND I CLEAR LEGS 4 AND 5 ON THE NUTBUSTER TRAIL
** COY WILLIAMS PASSES THRU BOB BALD
** CHANTILLE AND THOMAS ON HANGOVER MT
** 30TH CLIMB OF THE NUTBUSTER WITH FINAL TRAILWORK
** 14 MILE DAY
** GRASSY BRANCH TRAILWORK
Entrance Beech Gap
**Bob Bald Hutnons Camp**
Four Mile Ridge
**Hangover Mt Clearcut**
**Slickrock Creek Little West**
**Naked Ground Landon (2)**
Four Mile Ridge
**Bob Fir Camp (2)**
Four Mile Ridge
Four Mile Ridge
**South Fork Brush Mt**
**Grassy Branch Indian Cucumber**
Grassy Branch and OUT
DAY ONE TRIP 145
TRAIL Fodderstack/54A South
CAMP Hutnons on Bob Bald
JOURNEY TO THE NUTBUSTER TRAIL
The month of May brings warmer temps but you wouldn't know it standing in Beech Gap in Tennessee on a Monday afternoon with a brisk cold wind blowing into your flesh. Little Mitten and her son Blade drive me up the Skyway to Beech Gap at 4,600 feet and we say our goodbyes as I strap on an 85 lb pack with a real book and 8 internet book rolls of 70 pages each. While in the gap I cache an emergency Thermarest wrapped several times in 2 large garbage bags and it's my old 1980's era Thermarest Ultra Light 20x72 inch pad of ancient linage. After the stash I move north on the BMT/Fodderstack to Cold Gap where I sit in a cold wind from the west sipping an Odwalla superfood fruit smoothie at 12 fluid ozs. When it's empty it becomes my all important mini water bottle which becomes a water cup with a lid and so much easier to drink repeatedly out of than the platypus 2 liter bladder or the 48 oz nalgene white plastic bottle.
This trip is a monumental one because on this trip I brought 3 trailwork items and want to start at the bottom of the Upper Slickrock Nutbuster trail and work all 10 sections to the end in the high gap of Naked Ground. The tools are---
** A pair of soft tough leather gloves.
** A Felco #10 hand lopper.
** A Corona sharp-as-s*** folding saw.
So, the plan is to stay on the Nutbuster for a week and both camp and work and slowly move upwards. Ergo the goal now is to find the quickest way to Slickrock Creek and the start of the Nutbuster and the best way from Beech Gap is to go over the Bob to Hangover Mt and down the South Lead trail to Big Fat Gap and down the Big Fat trail to the Slicnic Camps on Slickrock Creek. The challenge today is to hump a thousand feet to the Bob on trail 54A South which won't be easy or fun so let's quit jawing and burning daylight and let's gird thy crotch hairs and pretend I have a pair and get the hell up this mountain. It's only 3.5 miles at the most but it's a climb and with the weight I'm humping it's nasty. See you there.
300 YARDS FROM THE BOB
Okay boys, I pulled the 54A South climb with no problem and now sit past the Tee and past the spring and at the start of the Bob Mt trail as it enters a rocky ditch and emerges from a heath tunnel-ditch onto the first bald which is lower than Raven Camp and the top bald, my home for the night.
GEAR AND NEW ITEMS
Well, I have nothing new except a new Hiker filter pump handle given to me by Bob Butterfield, and a new mouse trap and the new Hilleberg inner tent (used only once) and Asolo Fugitive boots completely scrubbed clean inside and out with a water hose. Oh and I washed my G6000 pack in the bathtub using bronners soap and it was dirty. Now it looks dang wonderful. Let's get to camp and quit jawin'.
BACK ON BOB MT
I was wrong in my last trip report when I described capture myopathy as killing animals by lowering their heart rate---instead according to quigleyscabinet.blogspot.com,
"Capture myopathy---also known as exertional transport strees or degenerative myopathy; exertional rhabdomyolysis or white muscle disease---is a non-infectious disease characterized by damage to muscle tissues brought about by extreme exertion, struggle or stress. It is incurable and caused by a change in metabolism that causes a buildup of lactic acid in the bloodstream that causes muscle to die. It can occur in mammals . . . . and birds anywhere that wildlife is trapped or captured . . ."
"It often results in death, and a necropsy will show swollen kidneys and hemorrhage or edema in the muscles and lungs."
So there it is, boys. Leave the damn creatures alone. See---
FINALLY AMY'S BOOK
Yes, it's time to read Amy "Willow" Allen's book about her 2006 thruhike of the Appalachian Trail titled "Summoning the Mountains: Pilgrimage into Forty". I first met Amy in 1985 or '86 and we did many backpacking trips together thru the years to places like Lost Valley and Pisgah. She says
"I built a debris hut on the ridgeline below Howard's Knob in Boone, NC and I learned to walk thru the woods in the dark simply by the way the path felt beneath my feet."
I know the spot well as I spent several years myself camping there in 1982 and '83 and showed her the spot. She goes on---
"We met up with college friends and organized summer gatherings in Pisgah National Forest, sometimes camping for a week at a time." Ah yes, these would be the illustrious Upper Creek Pisgah trips Johnny Be and I organized every June solstice at Burnthouse Creek on Upper Creek. Amy was one of the early participants along with a few select others.
On page 14 Amy starts a section called "2006" and it goes like this---
"Email from my friend John, affectionately known as Johnny Be---
Sounds to me like you are getting your gear squared away and your base weight of 24 lbs sounds great. I had a call from Uncle Wally on New Years Eve and we talked about trying to link up to hike a portion of the trail with you somewhere on the NC, TN, or VA leg of the journey. We were envisioning how you would be breezing along with your squared away thirty five to forty lbs while we would both be carrying about eighty lbs and carrying a Walmart bag in each hand . . . . also, I would be wearing a cast iron skillet for a hat and Walter would be balancing a watermelon on his head! We got a good laugh out of that . . . even though it is probably TRUE!"
Johnny perfectly describes two truthful backpacking experiences we both had in Pisgah---him with a smashing dutch oven hitting him in the head when his pack slipped and me carrying in a full watermelon on top of my pack. Here are some other aspects of her book---
** The sad death of her dog Blaze.
** The Osprey pack fitting.
** The start.
** The blown knee and getting off the trail.
** The return at Hot Springs.
** She dumps the Osprey and gets a Granite Gear Vapor Ti pack at 2 lbs.
beech gapheavy packs