Smoky Mountains Page Three
Andrew’s Bald Trail
Another leisurely start this morning. Big breakfast and on the road to a trail. We were headed over the Newfound gap to Deep Creek and the Indian Creek loop trail. Part way up the road a rebellion broke out. Apparently, the plans had not been discussed thoroughly and the long drive was under dispute. After some intense discussion, we re-routed to Clingmans’ dome and the trail to Andrew’s bald. One advantage to the new plan is that the temperature at 6,000 feet is 15 degrees cooler than down lower. A bag of sun chips we had with us also testified to the altitude by inflating in the decreased atmospheric pressure.
The trail to Andrew’s bald is rated moderate. So is Porter’s creek. There is no comparison. Porter’s creeks should be rated Easy Plus . Andrew’s Bald should be rated Moderate Plus. The first third of the 1.7 mile trail, is strewn with large rocks. This trail is not for the weak of ankle. As you step your way from rock to rock, it dawns on you that your are going almost exclusively down hill. That is not really a good thing when you are going out. Andrew’s bald is a nice area with high elevation varieties of rhododendron blooming already the first week of June. The are also bright orange flame Azaleas. The view is hard to see with all the bushes. All in all it is a nice hike, but I don’t see the top ten rating it often gets. And of course, the hike back is primarily uphill.
Back to the cabin and lazy time to the rest of the afternoon. Home made tacos and black bean and mango salad tops off a great day. Well, actually the Ghiardelli brownie, ice cream and hot fudge tops the day. The aches and pains drive us to the hot tub again.