Sunday, November 4, 2012

BMT Sections 3, 4, & 5: Gossamer and Winter Views

Late fall is an especially beautiful time to hike in the north Georgia Mountains.  The winter views through mostly-bare trees were exception on this weekend's overnight backpack on the Benton Mackaye Trail sections 3, 4, and 5.

Shadows fall on the forest floor now that most of the leaves are gone.
The end of Section 5 follows the scenic Toccoa River.
Crossing the bridge over Little Skeenah Creek to begin Section 3.  Sporting blaze orange now that it's hunting season.
Lots of shimmering gossamer here.  But gossamer, like bigfoot, is difficult to capture on film, which is part of its magic.
Shimmering silver threads were waving in the gentle breeze.  My friends and I call it "gossamer", and it is seen when hiking into the sun when the low angle of light catches broken spiderwebs streaming from twigs.  To me, it signals the arrival of late fall.  In summer the same spiderwebs tangling my face are a source of frustration, but this time of year they are a source of delight.
The climb up Wallalah Mountain in section 3 was especially steep but the views were worth the effort.
I tucked my hammock into the hillside below a fallen log to stay sheltered from the wind.
Since I camped down the hillside, in the evening, I hiked up to the ridge to watch the sunset.
Shadows advance across the mountaintops as the first golden rays of light hit the peaks.
The route:
Parked at Wilscot Gap (GA 60), and hiked BMT section 5 north to Shallowford Bridge.  Then got shuttled to Little Skeenah Creek (GA 60) and hiked sections 3 and 4 north to Wilscot Gap.  Got water at the signed spring north of Licklog Mountain (flowing very slowly, required going down pretty far), and camped about a half mile down the trail north of the spring.

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