Saturday, July 17, 2010

Closing the Gap

MST – Day 24 – 5/21/10 – Sleepy Gap to French Broad River – 5.5 Miles

Low mileage today but a very important section – we were finally closing the gap on the west side of Asheville. Back in December we hiked the miles eastward from the French Broad to Bull Gap when the sections further west were inaccessible because of severe weather. It feels good to fill in the missing piece.

Another reason that low mileage was desirable today – rain. As I’ve said before, getting caught in the rain during a hike is one thing, but starting out that way is another head game altogether. Your goal has to be something other than a nice walk in the woods.

The lush forest kept the wet at a tolerable level and we concentrated on wildflowers once again. At the end of this post is an attempt at a comprehensive list of flowers identified during the week.

Multi-flora roses (non-native but beautiful)

We saw odd-looking black mesh contraptions set up in the trees and Danny explained that they are for collecting mast to study how much the forest is producing this season.

Before reaching Highway 191 the trail passes through the North Carolina Arboretum.


View from the French Broad River Bridge After the hike I headed to Camp Occoneechee for a weekend full of energized little girls. What great fun to spend time with tomorrow's women!  

Wildflower list:
Dwarf cinquefoil
Yellow stargrass
Pink lady slippers
Canadian violet
Wild lily of the valley
Solomon’s seal
Solomon’s plume
Hairy buttercup
Rattlesnake hawkweed
Squaw root
Wood betony
Wild geranium
Crested dwarf iris
Mountain spiderwort
Wood anemone
Mountain laurel
Flame azalea
Clinton’s lily
Michaux’s saxifrage
 Dwarf ginseng
Beard tongue

Read Danny’s story of the day here.  

Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day. ~Winnie the Pooh

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