Hiking trip gone awry

Discussion in 'General Gallery' started by panzershreck, Oct 25, 2006.

  1. panzershreck

    panzershreck TPF Noob!

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    This past weekend was my fall break and my dad had scheduled a fall hiking trip (which he does every year) on the Appalachian trail. In sections we had hiked about 600 miles (starting in Georgia) up to this point; he planned on hiking for another week and i planned on heading back after we finished hiking 14 miles on monday. Normally cold is expected this time of year on the AT, so we planned for the cold. We started Friday afternoon, highs in the 50's lows in the 30's

    we took an old very cheap wal mart digital camera (i believe retail years ago for it was $40), no lcd, viewfinder the old fashioned way (through an eye piece), max resolution isn't even enough to fill your average computer desktop, buttons include: power on/off, flash on/off, shutter; takes 1 tripple A battery to use, often times when you aim at something you don't necessary get what you want, so framing is a matter of luck... nice thing was that it weighed about the same as a pencil

    First couple of days:

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    first shelter (with me in picture - as well as a hiking stick)

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    second shelter (with my dad in picture)

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    then the fun started on sunday... the previous day we had hiked 12 miles and we didn't get into the shelter (above) until around 4pm, with just enough time to fix a fire, eat dinner, and goto sleep... on sunday however, the terrain was mostly average, but by average i mean jagged (like a saw), so we had to constantly go uphill then downhill, uphill then downhill... at the end of the day we also had to look forward to two major climbs, one very steep, the other insane (i believe around 4000 foot climb in about 1.5 miles)

    at the first major climb's peak:

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    At this point it was already around 2pm and we had the big one ahead of us (Roan Mountain), we debated hitchhiking out of there instead of bothering but decided to keep going... the end result was that we were both totally exhausted by the time we got to the top, i myself was so drained of energy that i had to take a stopping break every 100 feet or less... by the time we got to the enclosed cabin it was 6pm and getting dark fast, we threw all of our stuff inside and secured the doors and windows from wind, thankfully i had by chance an extra lighter with me (otherwise we wouldn't have been able to eat as my dad's lighter didn't work and the matches were wet)... hot water w/ sweet tea mix was perfect (makes you really appreciate modern technology), despite putting on all of our clothing while in our sleeping bags inside an enclosed log cabin, we were still freezing all night - temperatures got down to 8 or 9 degrees (minus wind chill)

    next morning:

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    Everything covered in ice, high around 15 degrees

    We didn't get much sleep, so we didn't know how far we could make it on monday (with 14 miles ahead of us), didn't know how far the ice and snow went... began heading down the north side of Roan Mountain:

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    Everything still covered in ice (even the dirt in the picture above). We made it to the ridge north of Roan where we really really encountered problems, there was very little tree coverage and major fronts were passing through, and since we were at the height of the clouds we not only could see the clouds pass in front of us but also feel the chill - temperatures got down into around negative 10-15 with 50mph wind gusts, not to mention we were still hiking uphill then downhill then uphill etc.

    Roan Mountain hidden monday morning (looking north to south)

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    heading on (my dad in picture):

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    About as far as we made it (me in picture)

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    We hiked on another quarter mile or so before deciding it just wasn't worth it, we were both freezing up and unable to move much, i had to use my dad's knee pad as a mock-face cover to keep my nose from freezing off, my ears also felt like they were burning and we both feared frost bite so we decided to quit and hike back to a road we passed that ran between Roan and the ridge... thankfully there was a vacationing family there in their big SUV that had just driven up and were debating on hiking or not, we ran to them and asked if they could give us a ride to our cars (which they did)... by the end of the day we would be in warm beds

    we had only hiked maybe 3-4 miles on Monday before being totally exhausted and still had another 7 miles in the freezing cold to go before we would eventually walk down out of the 'ice zone' (although even down in the valleys it was cold)

    yikes! oh well, i lost a bunch of weight from that trip, and we learned a valuable lesson: hike the AT before October if you're going north :confused:
     
  2. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Cool report! I really enjoyed to read this although I was learning in the course of my read that the trip was not always and only just "enjoyable" (well, the "gone awry" in your title already suggested as much) ... would you not thing this rather belongs into the Photojournalist Forum? I think this is a really nice, and well illustrated (given the "shape" of the camera you were carrying) REPORT! Hm?
     
  3. chris82

    chris82 TPF Noob!

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    You didnt happen to buy your cam from firebox.com?
     
  4. lostprophet

    lostprophet No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    for a cheap little cam those last 3 shots are really nice
     
  5. panzershreck

    panzershreck TPF Noob!

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    thanks!

    yeah i wrote it up at 2am so i wasn't thinking about it

    as for the camera, my dad bought it at wal mart, but you can find it here:http://www.largan.com/products/chameleonMega/chameleonMega_main.htm

    although that version looks better than ours, and to correct myself it's 2 AAA batteries
     

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