Appalachian Trail - NC - Siler Bald - David Whitaker Memorial Hike

October 29, 2013

Today's hike was a special memorial hike for Dr. David Whitaker. David was one of our regular hikers for many years. Siler Bald was one of his favorite hiking destinations and we dedicated this hike to his memory. Dr. David L. Whitaker - November 6, 1934 - October 24, 2012.

HIKERS - Wayne Barios, John Bellamy, June Bellamy, Rev. Mary Demmler, Stephen Gales, Dave Hinson, Bill Hunt, Martha Hunt, Ann Jones, Mike Jones, Dick Metzgar, Wayne Miller, Wanda Miller, Bruce O'Connor, Jeanne O'Connor, Rick Porter-Whitmire, Lynne Porter-Whitmire, Bob Presley, Donna Presley, Tony Presley, Gerald Richardson, Vic Robson, Doug Russell, Lynne Saporito, Marvin Tabor, Geri Whitaker and Carole Wintle.

TRAIL INFO. - This portion of the A.T. is very nice with awesome views along the trail as well as the top of Siler Bald. The distance to the gap at Siler Bald is 2 miles. Then there is a quarter mile hike up the grassy slope to the summit. It is a short but moderately difficult hike due to the large elevation gain. Some of our group did an extra two mile loop to the Siler Bald shelter for lunch. Distance hiked - 4.5 miles or 6.5 miles with the shelter loop.

Directions: Directions: From Franklin, travel west on US 64 for 3 miles to Old Murphy Road where there is a Wayah Bald sign. Turn right and drive .2 mile to Wayah Road (SR 1310). Turn left and continue for 9 miles to Wayah Gap and FR 69. There is an Appalachian Trail crossing sign. (Wayah Crest Picnic Area is on the left.)

Another great day for a hike! Fair to partly cloudy and cool with temperatures ranging from the upper 40's to low 60's F. Total distance - 4.5 mi. Moderately strenuous.

FLOWERS IN BLOOM: Mountain Gentian, Bushy Aster, Heath Aster, False Aster, Grassleaf Golden Aster, and Witchhazel.

BIRDS IDENTIFIED: American Crow, White-breasted Nuthatch, Downy Woodpecker, and Yellow-rumped Warbler

SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOS FROM TODAY'S HIKE!


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Today's trailhead at Wayah Crest Pinic Area.
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Another great day for a hike on the Appalachian Trail!
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Climbing the grassy slope to the summit of Siler Bald!
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Down in the valley below, we see Nantahala Lake.
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Geri arriving at the summit!
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Awesome views in every direction at Siler Bald!
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Yes!
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Rev. Mary Demmler leads the memorial service.
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A beautiful location for David's memorial service.
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Daughter Ann (left) and Wife Geri.
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Headed back down the grassy slope.
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An all-around beautiful day!
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Lunchtime at the Siler Bald Shelter.
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The OFHC gang for today's hike. (l-r kneeling) Lynne Porter-Whitmire & "Honey", Rev. Mary Demmler, Mike Jones & "Barney" Bruce O'Connor, Bob Presley, Lynne Saporito & "Angus", Dave Hinson, Stephen Gales, Vic Robson and Ann Jones. (l-r standing) Marvin Tabor, Rick Porter-Whitmire & "Frisco", Carole Wintle, Jeanne O'Connor, Bill Hunt, Wayne Barios, Dick Metzgar, Gerald Richardson, Martha Hunt, June Bellamy, John Bellamy, Doug Russell, Geri Whitaker, Donna Presley and Tony Presley. * not pictured - Wayne and Wanda Miller.

VIDEO FROM TODAY'S HIKE BELOW!


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Appalachian Trail - David Whitaker Memorial Hike 10-29-13

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