What are your comment regarding Little Sam Knob Trail? Is it there....?
Well, here is the story...and I am sticking to it! Hot, sunny Florida evokes dreams of the mountains, with rippling brooks and waterfalls. I had heard a lot about Asheville N.C. and decided that was the spot to go. For the past four months I have been training at the gym to make sure I had the stamina for hiking. When I picked which trails I would take, I went for the 5 stars as to scenery...nevermind that they were 4 stars as to difficulty.
At my age one garners a bit of bravado...so I went for it!
Well I drove the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway to my trailhead at Black Balsom Knob. I set out happily and was no more then 45 minutes in, out of a 9.5 mile hike, that I sort of twisted my ankle in a little fall.
What does anyone do but to brush themselves off and carry on. The terrain was intermittant rocky paths, deeply rooted and winding up and down. The vistas were great as was the flora in front of me. I stopped at Little Laurel Creek to soak my ankle and take a few pictures and continued on with my journey.
At bit further on I lost the trail two or three times, but found my way back, and by now was more than half way through my trek. Onward!
I was thinking of getting back to my car, heading back to my charming B&B (The Lion and the Rose) and going for dinner and I definately needed a glass of wine!
The time was approaching 5:30 p.m. (I was on the trail at 11 a.m.) and I was becoming a bit anxious as the last trail marked was not as described in my guide book! I backtracked out of that route and took the "white dot" trail (MTS) thinking it had to lead to a road...any road at that point was fine. I felt myself circling around and then headed towards the most light I could find as I needed phone reception ASAP before nightfall....now about 6-6:30.
I found an outcropping of rock at the edge of the mountain and called the police. Texted Laurie (sorry to scare her) and then my reception kept coming in and out. By then the light was fading and I was in contact with the emergency team and they finally let me know, around 8 p.m. that a team was coming for me. Before I had that news, I spread my rain poncho on the rock, but on my gloves and scarf, I had a hooded sweatshirt too, and laid down thinking I might have to spend the night!!! Lions and tigers and BEARS!! Oh my!!! Yes, I was scared, cold and it was dark.
After I was assured a team was coming (at 8 p.m.) I went to the path and sat down using my cell phone flash light....then the battery died. So from then until midnight, when the rescue team arrived, actually at 12:07 to be exact, I sat in the dark and cold yelling "help", HELLLOOOOO, Car 54 where are you!, and HEEELLLP.
When I finally heard my name being called I was beyond relieved.
Six wonderful men were here to rescue me! One I had actually asked directions from earlier on the trail. When we realized I could not walk at all, they called for a stretcher. They built a fire and they shared food and water with me and put my ankle in a splint. The stretcher finally arrived with 4 more recuers.
Onto the stretcher, just another 2.5 miles to go! It was bouncy, dangerous, and exhausting. These trails are narrow and full of roots. At some point they called for wheels for the stretcher so they needn't carry it the whole time. Four more recuers!
Finally at 3:30 we made it to the road and the ambulance swept me away....
X-rayed and soft casted, I called a taxi to take me back to my car at around 9 a.m.
Well, the cab driver had no idea where to go, so I used my now charging phone's GPS to guide her. The last bit of adventure, as we pulled into the parking lot where my car was she ran out of gas!
So here I am, after sleeping most of yesterday, happy to be safe, but a little triste that I will miss much of what I wanted to do. But that is want return trips are all about!