Get Outside Campaign 13
Mt. Mitchell State Park
Mt. Mitchell is the highest peak east of the Mississippi (6,684 ft) and the setting of yet another epic Buds vs Wild with a great fella from back home in Cincinnati. This was the maiden adventure for my bud Ty, a former colleague that has been chomping at the bit to hit the trail and break in the new pack he’d gotten a year earlier!
The hike along the Blacks are the highest mountains in the Eastern United States. Beginning at Mt Mitchell and traversing over Mt Craig, Big Tom, Balsam Cone and spending the night at Cattail Peak. Not the longest possible trip to take this rookie on at roughly 4.5 miles, but definitely a fun one! The trail is littered with craggy scrambles, roped drop-downs, plane wreckage and awing vistas looking east toward Tennessee and south to Linville Gorge. Notorious for rain, high winds, cold air and dense cloud cover, we could not have been any luckier with the weather! It was a balmy 70-75°, gently but steady breeze and clear skies all day! A perfect scenario to have a first timer out testing his mettle, Ty rocked the trail. An avid road cyclist, Ty was plenty strong as a hiker and while the relatively thinner air had him suckin only a little bit haha, he and I made great time motoring through to camp in only two hours 8-)
The grove of moss covered trees surrounding our campsite was a great wind break and made great accommodations and we had the whole afternoon to prep camp and just relax and drink in the great nature that never quit. An all around fantastic first time out for Ty.
It’s situations just as this one that make all the great places and experiences that I’ve been so lucky to have over the years so special. Sharing the great outdoors with some great buds is always the highlight of any location we travel to. Getting someone outdoors and having such an awesome experience is the absolute tops and only further encourages them to make and take adventures of their own even without me! And that is the biggest reward of all. Preach nature like an apostle ;)