Talus Monkey does Mt Mitchell North Carolina

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OBX Fisherman
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Talus Monkey does Mt Mitchell North Carolina

Postby OBX Fisherman » Mon Jun 04, 2007 8:41 pm

June 4th, 2007

Today Talus Monkey reached the state high point for North Carolina, Mt Mitchell at 6,684'. He has never been to his home state's high point until now. The mountaineering fever never got in his blood until he began hiking in Colorado. David and I often talked about a trip back to NC to hit Mt. Mitchell and then out to the coast for some salt air and fishing.

From Winston-Salem we headed west to Marion NC to rendezvous with TM's sister, brother-in-law and mother. We struck out and traveled a fair distance along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway to the Mt Mitchell entrance. As we began or ascent and our trusty Volvo had no problems. As we neared the top the thin air and steep grades began to slow us down. Fortunately for us the parking area appeared out of no where!

Having left the flat lands mid afternoon in 90 degree temps it did not occur to me that ascending some 6000' there would be a temperature drop of around 33 degrees. It was a... refreshing change!

We were met at the top by a huge disappointment. The peak of Mt Mitchell was closed due to construction while an artificial observation deck is being built!!! Our team would not let this dampen our spirits so we took gratuitous pictures near the summit:

The closed summit

The summit in the distance

The Black Mountains

Our Team
From left to right, OBX Fisherman, OBX's Father (a TM friend), his wife, OBX's daughter, TM's niece, TM's brother in law, TM's sister holding the picture, and TM's mother holding the Dewâ„¢ and wearing a Jihad shirt yet to be inscribe with the hallowed words.

Believe it or not but Mt Mitchell does NOT have a summit register! Come on NC, get with the program!

After this tiring expedition we loaded up and traveled a 1/2 mile back to the restaurant near the summit. We had an enjoyable dinner of NC style pulled pork BBQ, grilled trout, and fresh peach cobbler. We bid farewell to TM's family and headed back to the flatlands.

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62 CJ-5 in process of restification.
92 4Runner, POS DD
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Postby Spam » Mon Jun 04, 2007 8:45 pm

Right on!! That's all I can say!!
"Getting to the top is optional, getting down is mandatory." -- Ed Viesturs
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Postby CO Native » Mon Jun 04, 2007 8:53 pm

Awesome. Looks like a wonderful view.

Wow, a 33 degree temperature change. Glad you guys were able to push on!
Remember what your knees are for.
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Postby USAKeller » Mon Jun 04, 2007 8:58 pm

Gary! It's nice you all got together to do this, and that David was there with you. Funny trip report. But, I'm sorry the last 200ft. to the summit was under construction- imagine we'd have that on a 14er!! :shock:
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Postby sdkeil » Mon Jun 04, 2007 10:48 pm

Gary, Family and TM Family,

Nice job guys. Amazing David never got his own home state high point. I can't imagine a better end to the day then some good BBQ pulled pork. I might have come out and join in on that some time.
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Postby highaltmama » Mon Jun 04, 2007 10:58 pm

Wow! It's nice to see his family. This is really a nice tribute to him.
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Postby JHopper » Tue Jun 05, 2007 12:09 am

heart touching trip report!
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Postby CODave » Tue Jun 05, 2007 5:46 am

Great job, I'm glad you were all able to come together for this.
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Postby Rockymtnhigh69 » Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:13 am

This is great!!

I bet you all felt great doing this for David... What a nice tribute...
On my first take-off, I hit second gear and went through the speed limit on a two-lane blacktop highway full of ranch traffic. By the time I went up to third, I was going 75 and the tach was barely above 4000 rpm....
And that's when the Ducati got its second wind. From 4000 to 6000 in third will take you from 75 mph to 95 in two seconds - and after that, Bubba, you still have fourth, fifth, and sixth. Ho, ho.

~Hunter S. Thompson, Song of the Sausage Creature

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Postby gurlyclimber » Tue Jun 05, 2007 8:16 am

Awesome monkey clan protrait! I know David would be proud. I think it is beautiful how he has inspired people to climb mountains. I hope you all enjoyed the beauty.

I love how I can see David's face in his Mother and Sister's faces.
There are some trips you never fully come back from.
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Postby jamienellis » Tue Jun 05, 2007 8:30 am

I love how I can see David's face in his Mother and Sister's faces.

Tracy, I thought the exact same thing as soon as I saw the picture!

Beautiful report, Gary. I know David was looking down with a huge smile on his face.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Postby Kate » Fri Jul 13, 2007 7:47 pm


I took a break from the site for awhile after David's passing... but I'm back now! I just now stumbled upon your TR. --- Absolutely awesome!


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