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Old Oct 5, 2010, 7:17 AM   #1
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Default Pond Mt Wilderness

Headed up to Pond Mt Wilderness this past weekend, hoping for some great views of the beginnings of autumnal tints.

Pond Mt is a designated Wilderness Area in Cherokee National Forest, rich in discovery at any season, and very popular with hikers because of good trails (including the Appalachian Trail) and fairly easy access.
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Old Oct 5, 2010, 7:20 AM   #2
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Took the AT from Dennis Cove trailhead through some rich young forests, almost always within sound of the flowing "vocie" of Laurel Fork.
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Old Oct 5, 2010, 7:21 AM   #3
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Met a lot of hikers, including some through-hikers heading to Maine or Georgia. For those who have never hiked the AT, here's a rather typical trail shelter - Laurel Fork shelter - your "accomodations" for the night!
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Old Oct 5, 2010, 7:23 AM   #4
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Such a popular stretch of trail means more than the usual safety measures. There are even sturdy wooden bridges over the creeks!
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Old Oct 5, 2010, 7:25 AM   #5
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One of the biggest attractions in Pond Mt Wilderness is Laurel Falls. We've had an unusually dry summer. Recent light rains have not done much for the water table yet, so the falls were rather low. Still quite a sight - and well worth the climb on down!
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Old Oct 5, 2010, 7:27 AM   #6
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Dry summer may also mean a less than bright autumn this year. But we did see s few autumnal tints here and there - especially the blackgum and red maple trees...
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Old Oct 5, 2010, 7:29 AM   #7
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After about 2 miles, the AT leaves the creek valley and begins ascending Pond Mt. There are usually some great views back into the wilderness area from here, but, as we began the climb, the clouds began to move in and the rain started! It was a lovely soaking rain, but not good for my (non-weatherproof) camera. So just a few quick snapshots before the camera goes away into its plastic bag inside the pack!
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Old Oct 5, 2010, 7:31 AM   #8
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Had a fine hike on up the mountain and then back to the trailhead, but no more photos. Plan to return later this autumn on a brighter day!

Hope you enjoyed the damp hike, and are drying off nicely now. Thanks for any comments/critique/suggestions!
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Old Oct 5, 2010, 2:28 PM   #9
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Always love your waterfall shots, Mole!
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Old Oct 5, 2010, 4:12 PM   #10
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these are really nice.

i particularly liked the last 2 waterfall shots. and the dof on the leaf shots are quite pleasing.
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