The drive was non-eventful until we made our way through the town of Roan Mountain and started to make our way up the mountain. There was a bicycle race going on and on the narrow, winding road it was difficult to safely pass the riders. If I were in charge of putting on the race I would think a closed road would be a lot safer. Eventually we made our way to Carvers Gap where we parked and hit the trail. Our trail was the Appalachian trail and it was my first time on this section of it since my thru-hike over 13 years ago.
The trail has been greatly improved since my thru-hike. Gone are the deep, muddy ruts that passed for a trail. The ruts have been replaced by a sturdy gravel footpath.
We slowly made our way up Round Bald and Jane Bald.
It was a great hike. It almost reminded me of hiking out west in the some of the high alpine meadows in Colorado and northern New Mexico. I will definitely be returning to the Roans, especially since 3 of the summits in the range are part of the South Beyond 6,000. Grassy Ridge Bald is one of these SB6K peaks, but the route I took today was not an approved one, and so I will have to do it over again. That’s okay with me as it is one of the most beautiful spots in the eastern United States and I’m looking forward to returning soon.