Slickrock and a Legendary Cameo  6/18/16

We dove into the Slickrock Wilderness, primarily because it would serve as introduction to backpacking for Longstreet, the 110% pound hound.

AJ, who is getting older by the minute (he turned 50 last week and we were delighted to join him in the celebration last weekend in Marietta.  He put out quite a spread) drove up to accompany us along with Terri.

..longtime, childhood friend of Laurel.   And Longstreet, the pound hound is in the background.

He could easily be mistaken for one of the bear dogs in the area we have encountered on our Hangover trips. 

He is quite the poser. The creek was delightful after a sweaty backpack.

We dropped down Big Fat branch about a mile and a quarter, then turned back up Slickrock creek.  I told AJ to pick out a spot with good karma and we would channel him there.  I have camped at many spots along this creek, so was cognizant that any spot with a creek would be a good one.  AJ nailed it.  I later found out the name of this spot.

  Laurel says, "Howdy"  by the way!

So does Terri.

A squirrel had apparently dined on my belly.

AJ was a good sport for tolerating the hound hike.  Like me, we have always avoided the disruptive dog events.  Laurel and I tried to make sure he wasn't too disruptive.  And for his first outing, young General Longstreet won the first battle of Bull Run.  As an historical aside, following the civil war, there were three Southerners that President Johnson refused to pardon.  One was Gen. Lee, the other was Jefferson Davis and the third was General James Longstreet, because he kicked Yankee butt right outside of DC.  There is a Longstreet Museum near my hometown.   (General Lee called James Longstreet "my old warhorse".  He was also known as "Old Pete".  Ironically, Longstreet lost the battle of Knoxville after accumulating so many Confederate victories.)

There is a lot going on in this picture.  But know that I prepared a delicious cheese board, ala Muir Faction specs, with pineapple, despite Laurel's objection.  (ignore Longstreet's photo bombing)

  Gen. Longstreet didn't do well outside of the tent or is lousy at peekabo.  Either way, he was fine once we put him inside.  My other dog would have nothing to do with the inside of a tent.  Strangely, neither would Chunka, another famous Citico canine. 

Of whom am I speaking when I refer to a famous hiking cameo?  It is none other than the most notorious Slickrock denizen of all time, legendary Tipi Walter, sans beard.  Ironically, AJ and I had been speaking of him the previous night.  Unfortunately, AJ had departed an hour earlier and we were, quite characteristically, lounging about until half past coffee thirty.

Chunka was Tipi's dog and I had the pleasure of camping with them both on a couple of occasions.  Meeting Tipi in Slickrock is like meeting Ed Viesturs in Kathmandu in April.  Did I tell you about that?  Well, I did.  Tipi is to me a cross between Jesus and John Muir. So Tipi told me his name for this glorious campsite, Nutgate, as it is the portal to the Nutbuster trail, the most prodigious in the Southeast, apparently!  He had planned to stay there and apparently did after we left.  Great minds think alike.  Tipi told me it is one of his favorites.  He is fresh on the beginning of an 18 day trip in the wilderness.  What a life.

(yours truly and Ed Viesturs)  This article shows what Ed was doing while I was gasping for air on Cho Oyu.

For those of you who didn't see, we did a dayhike up to Leconte on Thursday.  Here is a link.  leconte_via_trillium__61616.html

The Slickrock trip was grand and company even grander.  Weather perfect and no snakes.  If I can get away without chiggers, it will be a perfect success.  (I got them pretty bad up on the Obed a week and a half ago.)

In other news, we will be in Central America celebrating my 50th birthday soon.  As a matter of fact, I expect to be in Nicaragua on that auspicious day, then back to Costa Rica for a week-ish.  Our plan is to visit several National parks and chase poisonous snakes, zip lines and volcanoes.  It was a surprise present to me from my wonderful girlfriend, Mountain Laurel.