Thursday, February 21, 2013

Summit # 59 and # 60 - Wildcat Mtn. and Cowrock Mtn, GA

I woke early this morning (aided by 2 hungry cats and a dog), took a quick look at the weather forecast for the next few days (more rain), and decided that I just had to head to the mountains. After all, it's February and I'm in the pool business - It won't be long before things are far too busy to blow off work mid-week for a carefree trip up to my Appalachian playground. After consulting with my guide (aka Google) I picked a spot on the Appalachian Trail just north of Cleveland, GA that was perfect. We picked up the AT at Hogpen Gap and climbed over Wildcat Mountain and Cowrock Mountain, both of which had great views on this sunny, clear day. The skyline of Atlanta was even visible, over 100 miles to the south (It's amazing how quiet and peaceful a city with millions of people can look from a silent, faraway mountain top). We hung out for a bit on the summit of Cowrock before backtracking to the truck and heading home.

we had a bit of snow left over from a late winter storm for the climb up
Wildcat Mtn.

view of Cowrock Mtn. from the Wildcat summit. The large open "table" where we would later stop are just visible near the summit.

start of the climb up Cowrock Mtn. from Tesnatee Gap
southern Appalachian "glacier"
the AT near the Cowrock summit

view from the Cowrock Mtn. summit. Wildcat Mtn. on the far left. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Summit # 43 - Tray Mountain, GA

Tray Mountain, GA - Elev. 4,430 ft.

I woke up early this morning and took a trip up to Tray Mountain, the seventh highest peak in Georgia. It was a balmy 50 degrees when I left my house in Marietta, but by the time I had reached the parking area at Tray Gap the temperature had dropped to near-freezing and the wind had picked up quite a bit. Luckily my laziness from the night before paid off as I had an extra jacket in the truck. Jax and I climbed up the AT to the peak in no time and were rewarded with clear views of the Nantahalas to the north and the rest of the North Georgia mountains to the south. We hung out for a bit and headed back, Jax sleeping in the backseat and me debating where to stop and eat in the front (a pizza place in nearby Helen, GA won that debate). 

the view south from the Tray Mountain summit

North Carolina mountains to the north

the AT switchbacks its way down the mountain
obligatory dog picture

headwaters of the nearby Chattahoochee River

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thank You!

Just wanted to send a quick note to thank everyone that has been so supportive of my little adventure up to this point. I'm proud to announce that I have already gone past my $500 goal for the year and it's only the first week in February! Thank you so much to everyone. I guess the pressure is on me now to keep it up. (On a side note I did see a surgeon today about a hernia I have developed. It looks like surgery can hold off for now but that could change at any time - Keep your fingers crossed! Luckily the recommended recovery activity is walking, so the surgeon can't be too mad at me if I hike up a mountain, right?) I have gone ahead and raised my goal for the year to $1,500 and hope to have to raise it again. Also I'm working on some t-shirts or maybe some other fun giveaways if those work out so stay tuned. I'm still planning to get to as many mountains as I can, including some in the Smokies and Shenandoah National Park in the next few months as well as many others here in the southeast and will be blogging (that still feels weird to say) when I do so. If anyone has any mountains or great hikes in mind or wants to join me, just let me know - I'm up for anything. Again, thanks so much to everyone for your support.