Monday, May 19, 2014

Forney Creek

Day One: 7.9
Forney Ridge Trail 0.5
Forney Creek Trail 7.4

Day Two: 10.8
Jonas Creek 4.1
Welch Ridge 2.4
AT 3.8
Forney Ridge 0.5

Total Miles: 18.7

Lora and I headed out to Clingmans Dome for an overnighter.  As always the Dome's parking lot was full of cars and people.  We started down Forney Ridge and got rid of all the people when we hit Forney Creek. We saw one couple on this trail.  Forney Creek is a steep down hill with lots of beauty.  We experienced Spring again as we went down the trail.  Early Spring flowers at the top and late Spring flowers on the bottom.  There is some good creek crossings which the last three were waders.  There were a couple of guys at campsite #69 and a group of high school students from Wisconsin at campsite #70 where we stayed.

We listened to the owls talking as we sat by the campfire.  The guy from #69 had talked to some through hikers the night before and they had been in half inch hail two days ago and snow the day before.  It was really nice weather for us.

We got up the next morning and hiked Jonas Creek trail up to Welch Ridge.  We walked the first half in Crocks for the water crossings.  The second half switches back and forth up the mountain.  Lora did a spectacular fall on the way.  She made it across all the creeks and a huge tree across the trail only to fall over a small rock and into the mud.  She got some bruises from that.

We stopped along Welch Ridge for lunch and then continued the climb to the AT.  There was lots of bear sign on Welch Ridge.  We saw are first person of course on the AT.  You never the hike the AT by yourself and we passed lots of people on the way to Clingmans Dome.

We felt that we have not climbed a mountain in a while as our baby cows got a good workout!


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