Last week, we extolled the virtues of basecamp backpacking : that is, hiking in a short distance with your camping gear to establish a basecamp, then doing day hikes from there. You get the advantage of backcountry camping minus the burden of hauling 35 pounds with you wherever you go.
Summer is opening up: we’re beginning to travel again and, though our tendency is to still stay close to home, still focus on the great outdoors for our recreation fun. We hear you, folks. So far, here’s our regionally focused lineup for the summer of 2021:
Some workweeks last longer than others. We’re guessing this will be a long one, even though for us it’s only four days. Friday, we’re turning on the “out of office” reply and slipping out the door for a wild weekend in Wilson Creek.
Wilson Creek, Linville Gorge’s little brother. It may not have the gaping chasm of its better-known neighbor, but it does have numerous smaller ones that offer intimate, less crowded and more accessible (somewhat) access to the bracing waters that drain from Grandfather Mountain’s southeast flank. Cascades and their resulting pools, where relief from an onslaught of 90-degree summer heat is found in so many spots, not just in the main gorge. And many of these pools are rimmed by polished granite, ideal for sunbathing. Take a dip, sunbathe until dry. Repeat. Imaging spending an afternoon — or the entire weekend doing — just that.
We’d both been quiet for a while, too hot, sweatyand drained for chit chat. In two and a half days we’d hiked 25 miles, most in full pack, most in 90-degree heat. We were nearing the end — hopefully, of just the hike.
I looked over my shoulder and saw a rare downcast look on Alison’s face. “They aren’t gonna like this,” she said.