Thursday, July 28, 2022

Hike up to Mount Cammerer

The Smoky Mountains  -  Saturday, July 16, 2022

Hitting a section of the Smoky Mountains I have neglected for some time I decided to finally get up to see the fire tower on top of Mount Crammerer. Mount Cammerer is in the Big Creek area on the North Carolina side of the national park. On this hike I did a there and back using the following trails...

Chestnut Branch................2.1 miles
Appalachian Trail..............3.3 miles
Mt. Cammerer Trail...........0.6 miles

Total Miles of hike............12.0 miles



Started on Chestnut Branch around 05:30 still in the dark. I know from on my way back that this is a very pleasant hike along the side of a creek. The elevation gain does start early on this hike and is constant until you get up to the Mount Cammerer Trail head. The last little bit of this trail up to the Appalachian Trial junction has quite the elevation to it, and it was at this point that the first light of the day started to creep over the mountains.

Heading west on the Appalachian Trail one continues to head up at a significant elevation gain. Trail crews at one time made steps out of dead trees but a lot of these have become washed out and have made the steps quite high in places. After about a mile you hit the junction with the Lower Mount Cammerer Trail that takes you to the backcountry campsite #35 and then on to the Cosby campground. Here I continued west and up where I heard something big moving about out of eyesight. I made some noise then I saw something brown moving in the bush. I couldn’t get a full look so it was either a bear or a turkey and with how heavy it sounded I would venture bear.

At about two thirds of the way to the Mount Cammerer Trail head you come to a rock outcropping with a fantastic view of the mountains. These views are hard to come by in the Smokies due to all the tree cover so I aways take some time to enjoy and take it all in. After this incredible view the trail becomes quite steep again finally evening out at the Mount Cammerer junction.

The Mount Cammerer trail is only about a half mile and leads you to the fire tower. It is a wonderful hike through mountain laurel tunnels and little rock scrambles which then drops you out in front of a small rock wall the fire tower sits on. The view from around the fire tower are amazing though the inside of the fire tower is a little less the desirable. With the structure sitting close to the Appalachian Trail you get a lot of hikers that use it as a shelter so there is a lot of rubbish lying about.

I found a nice rock with a view and took a coffee snack break before heading back down. There are a lot of flies, horse flies, and bees flying around this area, but they did not bother me too much. I did not run into anyone until I got to the Mount Cammerer trail, but on my way down the volume of people increased quite a bit. One of the reasons I always like to get started early.

This was a fantastic hike, and I would recommend trying it out. The elevation is not a joke so be prepared for a climb, but the view is well worth it. I am planning on doing this one again but turning it into loop with Low Cap and Big Creek and maybe an overnight at backcountry campsite #37.




YouTube Video: Hike up to Mount Cammerer


AllTrails Recording:

Click to go to my AllTrails Recoding of Hike

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Friday, July 1, 2022

Frank Turner & Atlanta, GA Road Trip

On Saturday June 25, 2022 the beautiful wife and I headed down to Atlanta, GA to see Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls on their 50 States in 50 Days tour. Frank Turn is and has been my favorite music performer for quite some time. His songs have such meaning for me, and his sound is unique. The energy he brings to all his shows spill over to the crowd that creates such an electric atmosphere.

 

When I am on a road trip, you can expect that a brewery visit or two will be worked in as well. For lunch, we stopped at Cherokee Brewing & Pizza in Dalton, GA. They have plenty of beer on tap along with selections they brew on site. I had a fruity IPS that was good, and Mary Ellen liked their pilsner. The pizza was delicious, and we will stop by again if we go through Dalton.


After checking into the hotel, we then headed to Sweetwater Brewing for dinner. I had a couple of their Hazy IPA selections that we do not normally get up in Knoxville. Both were very good, and Mary Ellen liked their larger. We shared some nachos and decided that we were full. Sweetwater is a fun place, and the nachos and beer were outstanding.


From here, we headed to the concert hall that was the Tabernacle. It is a beautiful place and I think a great place for a concert. Beside some poles holding up the balcony there is not really a bad spot in the place. Frank and the Sleeping Souls rocked the house as always and the crowd was energized.


On the way home we stopped at stopped in at Red Top Brewhouse for brunch. We had a nice breakfast, and the Hikers Haven Triple IPA was fantastic. The only thing on this trip I wish could have happened was being able to spend a little more time at these nice places. Hopefully we will be back down this way to stop back by and find some new places as well.

INSTAGRAM LINKS
  • Alex Hauck
  • Frank Turner
  • The Tabernacle 
  • Cherokee Brewing & Pizza
  • Sweetwater Brewing
  • Ret Top Brew House

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