Two Thanksgiving Adventures

Over the Thanksgiving holiday four South Bend Adventure Club members took two different adventures. Frank and Kerry went camping in the Smokey Mountains while Lara and Paulie went camping in the back-country of Mammoth Cave National Park. Both trips were posted to the group however other members were understandably unable to attend. The trips might be considered somewhat quasi group trips since they equate to two married couples taking two different trips together. I thought I’d share the trips anyway. Holiday’s provide a nice chunk of time making doing a adventure easier. For those without major plans, or plans they’d rather not attend, going on a SBAC trip could be a great alternative.

Frank’s synopsis of their adventure:

Though nobody signed up to join us, Kerry and I continued with our plans to travel south. Our bike ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway changed course when the road got covered in snow, was officially closed, and biking just didn’t sound fun at all. Instead we spent our time back-country and front-country hiking in Great Smokey Mountains National Park. We covered a section of the Appalachian Trail, summited mountains, camped in a snow storm and conquered 52 miles in total. We traded in the traditional turkey dinner in a warm home for rice and tortillas while shivering, and came home pretty happy with our decision. While I’m a big advocate of local trips, holiday breaks are your chance to have time in your favor and really cover distance. I’m glad we took advantage of it and encourage others to adopt this tradition.

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For Paulie and I our trip also took some unexpected turns due to poor weather on Thanksgiving. At the last minute we decided to take our Bichon Frise. We camped in the car Wednesday night with intentions of heading into the back-country on Thursday, but reports were calling for a 20 degree night on Thursday. We re-arranged our plans and spend the night at the quaint and cheap Rock Cabins. Paul and I did some day hikes and then grilled some ham and potatoes for our holiday dinner. Friday was chilly but we headed into the back-country. We camped for 2 nights and hiked about 20 miles total. Cosmo, our Bichon, did amazingly well, however we purposefully chose to hike some easier trail sections.

Another thing to note is that the development of trips often stem from previous club trips. In the spring the SBAC went to Mammoth Cave and camped in the front-country campground and took a cave tour. It was that trip that led to my interest in trying the back-country. A nice perk to Mammoth is there is no entry fee and no charges for back-country camping. The cave gets all the attention, but the back-country there is also stunning.

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