Backpacking Roan Mountain Part II

Catch up on the backpacking adventure by reading Part I here.

After our delicious, nutritious breakfast on the second day, we set off to hike.  Roscoe again forgot most of his leash manners and had to be body blocked.


We quickly got back into scraggly forest after Little Hump Mountain.  The trail twisted and turned through the shade, but the sun continued to peak through.  I worried that we had hiked past all the best views the first foggy day.  Not to worry!  The trees soon cleared and we were faced with meadows of tall autumn grass and a view of our next challenge:  Hump Mountain.

There it is in the background, you can just make out the trail climbing steeply up.  We could see a couple of women who had passed us earlier, halfway up the climb.  It took us the rest of the morning to make the ascent.  We took a break halfway up and we had a summer sausage and cracker lunch at the top.

Roscoe is thinking some mutty thoughts.

There was only a slight breeze at the top and the day was warming up to a nice 70 degrees.

View from the descent of Hump Mountain.
The view from the top was worth admiring.  From this point, the trail begins a downward descent that continues until 19E.  The terrain became less grassy and the trees become taller the further we descended.  Doll Flats was another great view, with goldenrod in the foreground, we could see pastures and a Christmas tree farm.  A sign adorned with cow skulls announced that we were leaving North Carolina.  Of course, there had been no sign to tell us where we had entered NC.  The AT hugs the Continental Divide and the state line so it was likely we had crossed the line multiple times.  A nice looking campsite was in the forest at Doll Flats.

We thought now that the descent had started we would make good time.  However, the footing was very difficult with a lot of rocks and roots.  Roscoe didn't seem to mind, he's great at climbing up and down rocks and very sure-footed.  I am not as steady on my feet, especially with the pack and trying to keep Roscoe from getting ahead of me.

There were some impressive rocky ledges and cliffs in the forest and we took a break near one of them.


We were starting to get a little tired, and we realized that we were not making the progress I had originally planned on.  We had originally planned on hiking past 19E and Jones Falls the second day and camping near the Elk River the second night and then meeting my sister at Elk Falls in the morning.  That was obviously not going to happen.  Ian was able to text my sister to meet us where the AT meets 19E instead.  One good thing about this trail, you can get a cell phone signal on most of it, especially near 19E since it is near a town.

We continued to descend into the valley, the foliage was gradually changing to more bottomland forest.  I saw Apple House Shelter on the map and figured we could camp near it or somewhere along that stretch.  Ian made some comment about Apple House Shelter being dismantled that thoroughly annoyed me.  I was telling him that doesn't really make sense to dismantle a shelter and I don't really care where we camp, I'll take the next available campsite, even if it's right around this bend.  What do you know, there was a campsite around that bend.  That shut me up.

The campsite was a nice little spot surrounded on three sides by steep rocks, with room for maybe 4-5 tents around.  No one else was here so we picked the spot furthest back for our tent and used one of the fire sites closer to the trail for cooking.  That night we all slept much better, the air was probably 15 degrees warmer and we hardly needed our sleeping bags.

The next morning we had a cold cereal breakfast and headed out to meet Marissa.  It wasn't long before we heard the sound of vehicles on a road.  We had camped probably only half a mile from the end of our journey.  We had completely used all our water, so we stopped and filled up again at a charming little stream.

Roscoe was completely unafraid of the log bridge with one railing.  It was pretty wide.  I wonder how well he'll do with really narrow ones?