Echols Dorm: Brick Wall By Side Door
Pitch: Imagine traversing rolling highlands through grassy, sun-drenched, wildflower-covered fields, with 360-degree views of the sun setting and then rising on a high-mountain Appalachian bald?
From what I’ve read, this is an apt description of Roan Highlands in the springtime. (Please do your eyes a favor and google-image “Roan Mountain sunset” before proceeding further, just so we’re on the same page here). Part of the Appalachian Trail, Roan Highlands is oft-considered the most scenic stretch in the Southeast.
My thought is to do a short backpack (~3 miles) to find a nice camping spot on one of these balds, where we can catch both a sunset and sunrise the following morning. There is a ~5 mile loop from the trailhead which I was thinking we could do with our packs. The AT continues North after where we’ll we camping, so we can explore more of it (without packs) in the morning!
We’ll be back at the main group campground (Grandfather Campground) on Saturday in time to get on departing day trips, worry not.
-12 pm – Leave Cville
-5 pm – Arrive at trailhead
-Backpack for a couple hours
-Set up camp somewhere purdy
-8 pm – Mind-blowing sunset
-6:30 am – Transcendent sunrise
-‘Sploring and hiking around balds
-Drive to Grandfather Campground to meet up with crew
* = Club can provide
I can drive us, but we may need another driver to fit all the gear. I can also get club tents for us and provide stoves and group dinner + breakfast if we each throw in a couple dollars.
Note: We could leave later than noon, but the earlier we can get out of C’ville, the more smoothly this will go, and the more daylight we’ll get! Besides, it’s that time of year when outdoor temperature and Friday class attendance rate are inversely proportional (but there’s nothing we can do about that, it’s just a law of nature – like Newton’s Law of Gravity)