Saturday, August 1, 2015

Trombatore Trail

Today was an Asheville day! With our recyclables piling up, we just had to make the trip across the mountains to take our metals, plastics, and glass to the recycling center. Visiting Asheville is a tough job, but some family has to do it. After dropping off our recyclables, we headed over to Luella's for lunch.  Noelle and I both had pulled pork sandwiches, which we both thought were very good. At least they were better than any of the barbecue here in Greeneville.

After lunch we made the drive out 74-A towards Bat Cave. We did not go as far as Bat Cave though, as our destination for the day, the Trombatore Trail, was just outside the small community of Gerton, North Carolina. We made the drive up to Bearwallow Gap and, after getting ready at the car,
Sierra at car
we hit the trail. The trail begins with a steady descent through the woods.
hiking Noelle
There were not many wildflowers in bloom in the wooded sections of the hike, but we did see an interesting blue flower in bloom.
blue flowers
Just off to the side of the trail was an interesting tree with a crooked trunk.
weird tree
Sierra said it was a good tree for monkeys to climb.

Th Trombatore Trail follows both single track trail and old roads. There are many intersections with old roads, but each one was signed.
trail with signs
Eventually Sierra fell asleep in the backpack as we started to ascend.
sleeping beauty
We crossed a barbed-wire fence on a stile
Noelle on stile
and soon entered the meadow, known as Blue Ridge pastures, at the end of the trail.
hiking in meadow 3
The Blue Ridge Pastures offered great views of the surrounding mountains. Luckily the humidity was low today, so we got great views without all the haze that is typical of the eastern mountains this time of the year.

The meadow contained lots of wildflowers, mostly Queen Anne's Lace.
queen annes lace
The wildflowers attracted a lot of butterflies.
butterfly on clover
Unfortunately, there is also a lot of poison ivy in the meadow, so if you make the hike, be careful where you sit. We walked to the edge of the meadow where there is a fire pit with logs to site on.
resting Noelle
We drank some water, rested and admired the beautiful view.
mountain view
Sierra woke up in a somewhat cranky mood, but Noelle was able to turn her mood around by playing with her a bit.
playing 2

After our short break we started to make our way back to the car. We headed back through the meadow
Noelle hikes back
and down into the woods.
Noelle on trail again
The last section trail had me exhausted and thirsty. We did not bring enough water for the three of us. When we had returned to the car I nearly polished off a full bottle of coffee-temperature water. I was feeling the effects of dehydration. We stopped for some drinks on the way home. Overall, I would highly recommend the 5 mile round-trip hike on the Trombatore Trail. It is a new trail, having been opened at the end of last year by the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy.

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