Deep Creek Weekend – Carolina Berg Wanderers Friends
Our complete cast was assembled by late Friday night:
Carolyn, veteran Smoky Scout companion and major cheerleader for absolutely anything
Tarah, recent Berg joiner and training for a triathlon
Jeff, avid hiker, photographer, and coincidentally the only male in our group
Cathy, long-time Berg and waterfall enthusiast
Kim C, working on 50-states-by-age-50 (so she’s a young’un)
Kim M, a brave soul on her first Berg outing
Ronda, veteran hiker/backpacker back from a hiatus
Marta, AT southbound thru-hiker and fountain of knowledge for us all
Me, the grateful organizer who was excited to be in the presence of so much greatness
A sidebar explanation – a couple of times I mistakenly called Jeff by the name of Ken and then could not stop myself. We decided that the name did fit, as Ken is the cute guy with all the Barbie dolls. So Jeff was Hiker Ken for most of the weekend – except when I called him Kevin…It really was not intentional, it’s just that when you get older you just do these things...
So Friday night we spent a considerable amount of time by flashlight determining Saturday’s hike. Marta, Ronda and Kim M were doing a loop hike, but the rest of us finally chose Hike #1 in the Hazel Creek section of “Day Hiker’s Guide” because (a) it started from Clingman’s Dome, which is a cool place, (b) it ended at the tunnel at Road to Nowhere, which is also cool and no one else had seen that, (c) we had multiple cars available to do the shuttle, and (d) I really needed to do this hike before Nov 30 when Clingmans Dome Road closes.
But the shuttle was not easy, as it called for placing two cars at the tunnel, driving my car to Clingmans, and then going back to Clingmans at the end of a very long hike to retrieve my car. That night in my tent I did not sleep well as I tried to work out different scenarios, but it looked like Ken/Jeff and I were in for a long day of hiking and then fetching.
By the way, this was my first night in my new Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2 tent. I got to know it very well since I was not sleeping. It's hard to get used to a new tent, different way of organizing your stuff, where do you put your shoes and your car keys, but the verdict is that I like my new tent a lot. It is supposed to sleep two...if the second person is six inches tall and weighs two pounds and sleeps in the vestibule...