|Ample parking (with a view) at Sawmill Gap off FS 711|
|Views for large stretches of trail along the ridge.|
|White snakeroot as far as the eye can see|
|Doll's eyes (Actaea pachypoda)|
The Bartram diverges from the AT just north of Wayah Bald, and I filled up on water a short distance past where the Bartram splits off. This was the last water until I returned to this spot the following day.
I'd read that the 6 miles between Wayah Bald and Harrison Gap were difficult, and that was indeed true. My legs actually got sore as I rollercoastered up and down the endless knobs along the ridge. All the elevation change took me through constantly changing vegetation types from high elevation heaths to rich coves with turtlehead. Always something new.
|Touch Me Not at lower elevation|
|Stalked puffballs in aspic on the side of Wayah Bald|
The next morning, I turned around and retraced my route back to my car. On the return trip, I was really struck by the difference between the Bartram and where the Bartram runs along the AT. What a contrast between the two trails! Certainly no need to look at the color of the blazes to tell if you are on the AT or Bartram. Large campsites and frequent water sources? That's the AT. Feel soft trail under your feet? Bartram. People on the trail? Must be the AT. Does the trail just take off at a steep incline up each and every knob, without benefit of switchbacks? Oh how I love the Bartram Trail!