Fall Frishmuths 2018 - Roan Highlands


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Back in late October we decided on a whim (sometimes these decisions are made less than 24 hours beforehand…!) to head out of town to enjoy some of the Fall colors in the mountains. We headed up to Roan Highlands on the Tennessee / NC border a couple hours north of where we live.

We grabbed a nice cabin that was perfect for our needs since Granddaddy and Nene would be coming with us…comfy cozy for them while we were out hiking…

Still some colors in the trees and green grass mixed in with the cool temperatures…

The cabin property was awesome…with lots of acreage to walk around on. Upon arrival, the weather was pretty miserable with a steady rain that alternated between misty and pounding down…

Beer, cookies, chili, margaritas, tacos…the standard fare for a Frishmuth weekend getaway…

The next morning, we got up early-ish to head down the road fifteen minutes to the trailhead at Carvers Gap. The road actually climbs up to the gap and as we started out in greenery and leaves turning, we ended up hitting ice as we neared the trailhead. Everything was covered in 1/2 to an inch of rime ice with some areas also accumulating snow…

Rhododendron coated with ice…

Our route…

To say it was cold, raw, and windy is an understatement. The boys and Marisa were troopers and put their heads down and drove into it until the temperatures started to moderate a couple hours later…

The trail leaves the treeline and heads up to the infamous “balds” that dot the southeast. Clear of trees, they are also exposed to the wind, which can tear across them…

Truly a winter wonderland up there…

Makes my heart soar when I see my boy taking after me and enjoying taking a moment to snap some pictures…

Footing in some areas was a bit slick obviously…but everyone seemed to do OK…

Kai making a mud (?) angel?

Once we dropped onto the north side of the mountain, we started descending down toward the Appalachian Trail shelter at Low Gap. The north side had been sheltered from the driving ice and the sun was actually warming the north slopes faster (that usually isn’t the case). As a result, the ice was falling from the trees in a steady tinkle and the trail was turning from frozen to muddy mush…

After a few hours we hit the AT shelter and stopped for sandwiches, pasta salad, and some drinks. We were a bit of a muddy mess…some of us more than others…

Heading back the way we came…a long slog back to Carvers Gap…

Very proud of the boys for keeping going through the tough conditions on a pretty long hike. They probably curse me when I’m the stick (Mommy is the carrot), but they really make me proud and I try to let them know that when it is all said and done. I really enjoy these days with them in our busy lives…

Some drone footage I took of the property…