Saturday, March 09, 2013


The view north from Kevin and Kate's
Since we’ll miss the Dump 50K, Lily and I were excited to get an invitation to check out Kevin and Kate’s place up in Madison County last weekend. We got a tour of their awesome property and met their cows and chickens before heading back south through the flurries. Another snow day was called this Tuesday and Lily and I did our best to capitalize on it with a trek into Pisgah, but both of us have been feeling a bit run down.

I called in sick this Friday fighting off what may very well be bronchitis, but I wasn't going to let this interfere with the latest LGLA fast pack. Because of illness and the forecasted lows in the 20s, I chose to carry my 10 degree parka and half-bag, which occupied most of the real estate in my mesh pack and simulated a weight and volume more realistic to a four-day summertime carry.

Cedar Rock
Given the circumstances, Uwharrie and I were able to get started a little earlier than usual. By 2 PM, having chosen the clockwise direction, we were bound for the summit of Pilot Mountain from the house. We made it to the relatively calm summit a little after 6 PM and decided to camp on top to enjoy the sunset and sunrise. I fed and outfitted the dog with her new homemade jacket and cooked a dinner of fritos and frijoles. By 8 PM after enjoying the panoramic evening views, we were horizontal.

Sunset and shelter
U-dog with her new jacket
Sipping coffee and watching the sun rise
Sunrise from Pilot
I was up before sunrise enjoying hot coffee underneath 3+ pounds of down. Another goal for this trek was to continue to test the energy and edibility of a hypothetical daily menu, which currently works out to be about 30.5 oz. and 3700 calories. The takeaway is that although the energy seems sufficient, I could go for more salty snacks, which is a worthwhile lesson as I start to itemize the contents of my simple and somewhat boring mail drops.

The menu
The brainstorm...
We were hiking by 7 AM. It was my hope that the sunshine, fresh air and exercise would help heal me. The day eventually soared into the 60s and I made the mistake of going shirtless for the majority of it, something I’m reminded of whenever I rub my red shoulders. Although not hiking under full strength, we still managed to finish the 36-mile day in 10 hours and 45 minutes.

My favorite rhodo on the ALT
Snow lingers in the highlands
The icy Skinny Dip
Maroon galax
The Pink Beds
Looking Glass with Pilot beyond (from Clawhammer)
Rock house icicles below Black Mountain
As the days continue to get longer and warmer and the school year begins to wind down, I’ll hopefully find an entire weekend or two to upgrade to the PEAL (Pisgah Eighty Adventure Loop), which is essentially the LGLA with another 50K slapped on for good measure. We’ll see…


Jon Harrison said...

PEAL! Where do the extra 50 ks run?

mkirk said...

In the process of figuring that out... Lotsa options. Let me know if you have ideas.
Does it sound apPEALing?! (sorry, had to be done)

mkirk said...

Update: Jon, here's what I put together:

If it looks familiar, I borrowed heavily from Brandon's GPER route. Interesting that Pisgah Inn works out to be the exact halfway point...

Sean Lebow said...

That rhodo brings a smile to my face every time I see it, it was my desktop background for some time.

Denise Davis said...

Super impressed by the meal planning, but I guess that's one of the most important factors. Looks like you need a FedEx sponsorship!