AT Loop in Caledonia State Park - May 13-14, 2006

Trip theme - Great weather timing (for some of us)

This was a Wilmington Trail Club backpack May 13-14, 2006 doing a 16 mile loop, first on the AT and then back through Caledonia State Park via the Rocky Knob/Locust Gap trails. I needed the AT section from Michaeux Road to CSP so my plan was to do the 18 mile Saturday day hike first (which was scheduled for the same day), drive back around to a nearby road, then shoulder my pack to meet up at the shelter. I would then backpack out the 2nd day with the backpacking group.

I started with the Saturday hiking group. 5 of us showed up for the long haul out there. We moved at a good clip as is usual for a Saturday hike. We arrived around lunch time at the Birch Run shelter just about the same time as the skies let loose with a torrential down pour. Great weather timing. After lunch was over we waited around, but after an hour we needed to go no matter what. At the same time the rain quit falling. Great weather timing. Shortly thereafter we met George and Ping coming up the trail the other way, soaked to the bone. NOT great weather timing. Further down the trail we met up with some late comer backpackers, also very wet. NOT great weather timing. Even further down the trail we found $50 lying in the middle of the trail. Tried to convince a couple it had to be theirs, but they insisted it wasn't and that we had found "trail treasure". Party on! Got to the end of the trail and had to wait an hour for the last two to get there so we could leave. No matter, I was in no hurry.

Drove around to the nearest road to the shelter. Loaded up with a 6 pack of beer, 3 hot dogs, a bag of chips, and a bag of cookies for dinner. One mile later I was back at the Birch Run shelter again for the night. Cooked up the dogs over the fire and munched down the chips. Unbelievably I couldn't hardly give away cookies and beer at a very crowded shelter. In fact one guy was giving away hamburgers and couldn't find any takers. Very odd. Slightly drunk and with a full belly I hit the sack. Whereupon it started to rain all night. Great weather timing.

Next morning it was still raining and I was reluctant to get up, but then it stopped raining right about the time I was going to bite the bullet. Great weather timing. It threatened to rain on us during the backpack out but it never did. Great weather timing. It was a fairly easy downhill stroll through the park to get back to the cars. I had taken a number of pictures with my camera, in fact I had even taken a picture from inside the car on the way home. I seem to remember putting the camera on the computer desk so I could download the photos. A week or so later I went to download the pictures, but no camera. We scoured the house, the car, and all my gear. It's nowhere to be found. So these are the pictures George took and I have a new camera for the next trip....

The group hanging out at the XXX shelter I promise it won't rain next time.....
The group back at the parking lot afterwards  


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