On July 12 we hiked one of my favorite trail sections in the Smokies: Meigs Mountain Trail, from Jake's Creek Trail to just beyond backcountry Campsite #20. It is a relatively easy footpath through some nice forest with a brief, steep descent to the camp.
We've been this way several times before, but only in the 'dead' seasons. It is always something of a surprise how different the same place can look during each season.
An eye-popping burst of color along the way, tiny orange mushrooms just over an inch tall.
This area was historically home to about 20 farm families and logging communities. Some evidence of their presence along the trail..... a stone foundation or wall, and a metal can.
After about 2 miles we reached campsite #20. We've not encountered anyone camping out during our visits, and in fact today we didn't see anyone at all along the trail.
I hope we'll camp here someday.
Someone has done a bit of debris hunting since last we were here. They unearthed a rusted fry pan among other things....
An intact metal wagon wheel rim... where did they find that hiding, I wonder? The railroad wheel has been uncovered for some time.
I love this photo.
Following the trail beyond the campsite, there are a few more stream crossings and more interesting debris to observe.
This looks to be a railroad piece leftover from the logging era.
Closer inspection revealed the part came from Knoxville. Not a surprise!
Hungry, we turned back with thoughts of lunch on our minds.
Our only wildlife encounter of the day was a great one.
After hearing a couple crows in the distance, I got out my trusty crow caller and 'spoke' to them briefly.... the response was excellent! They flew in like stormtroopers and the warrior of the tribe (the loudest and with the most ragged feathers [maybe that's who the cast-off belonged to]) buzzed us at a mere 15 feet. They set up a perimeter and watched us from a fair distance as we finished the hike out. Must have thought I was smuggling a crow in my backpack :-) As always we depart empty-handed, but with my heart full of joy and a few photos to share.