Appalachian Trail - Deep Gap to Muskrat Creek Shelter

June 20, 2006

This week's hike was on the Appalachian Trail starting at Deep Gap (F.S. road 71) in the Standing Indian area, NC and hiking to the Muskrat Creek Shelter. This is the first A.T. shelter in NC and it is less than 3 miles from the GA line.

HIKERS - Melissa Anderson, Jeffrey Anderson, Ashley King, John King, Bob Magee, Leigh Ann Miller, Wanda Miller, Wayne Miller, Bobby Norris, Bruce O'Connor, Jeanne O'Connor, Donna Presley, Tony Presley, Dan Ross, Kurt Volker, Sharon Volker, David Whitaker, and Geri Whitaker and Carole Wintle.

TRAIL INFO. - This is a very nice section of the Appalachian Trail. Although the entire hike is at high elevations (4300 - 4600 ft.) and some hilly areas, there are no extreme hills and quite a bit of flat walking. There are some areas with rocky footing.

Total hiking distance - 8 miles r.t.

Directions: From Franklin, NC, go West on US64 13.6 miles (from overpass where US23 turns South toward Atlanta) to FS71 Deep Gap Rd. It is the first road to the left past the County Line sign (Clay County). Drive approximately 5 miles on this gravel road (FS 71) to the Deep Gap parking lot.

Another great day for a hike! Fair skies, temperatures ranging from the lower 60's to mid 70's F.

FLOWERS IN BLOOM: Flame Azalea, Mountain Laurel, Bluet, Tall Bluet, Goat's Beard, Fire Pink, Indian Physic, Tassel Rue, Foam Flower, Canada Violet, Spiderwort, Meadow Rue, Tall Meadow Rue, Sun Drop, Cow Wheat, Galax, Rattlesnake weed, Leather Flower, Blue-eyed Grass, Solomon's Seal, Cinquefoil, Micheaux's Saxifrage, Squawroot and Oxeye Daisy.

BIRDS IDENTIFIED: Grouse, Red Eyed Vireo, Oven Bird, Crow, Veery, Black and White Warbler, Pileated Woodpecker, Hooded Warbler, Towhee, Blue Jay, Carolina Chickadee, Titmouse and Broad-winged Hawk.


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Preparing to hike from Deep Gap, NC.
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"Bo" is ready and waiting!
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The intersection with the Chunky Gal Trail. (no further comments)
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You get a few views of the surrounding mountains.
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At this elevation, the temperatures are very comfortable and there is a nice canopy of shade.
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This mushroom is pushing up the moss on this log!
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Carolina Tassel Rue (Trautvetteria caroliniensis)
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Possibly the best hike ever for Flame Azaleas!
This near red is being enjoyed by a bee.
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We saw all shades from yellow to almost red.
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Heading up a rocky hill on the trail.
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We had lunch at the Muskrat Creek Shelter.
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The OFHC gang for today's hike. (front l-r) Geri Whitaker, Wanda Miller, Donna Presley, Sharon Volker, Melissa Anderson, "Bo" (asleep!), Jeffrey Anderson, Bruce O'Connor and Bob Magee. (back l-r) Tony Presley, David Whitaker, Dan Ross, Jeanne O'Connor, Kurt Volker, Carole Wintle, Wayne Miller, Leigh Ann Miller, John King, Ashley King and Bobby Norris.


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