Sun. Jun 16th, 2019

Cragway Trail has a flash flood during my hike

After a long week of churning out the pages and sitting at a computer, the freedom to do what you love to do is just around the corner. With rain in the forecast it would be prudent to get out early. That did not work for me.

I ended up consumed by working around the yard until around noon. No Linville Gorge for me on this day but hey, how about some Grandfather trails.

So, I loaded up the gear, small pack and essentials, and headed up to Boone Fork turnout on the Blue Ridge Parkway. As soon as I pulled in it started to rain so I checked out how my Mountaineers were doing in baseball. This is one of a very few spots you can get the smallest bar on your phone.

The rain let up so I was determined to get this hike in and complete the weekend. Sunday will be full with Easter events so this was it.

It felt good to be on the trail. I was ready for anything thrown at me on this day.

Not many wildflowers going up the Tanawha and Nuwati. A few Trout Lilies, Purple Violets, an Halberd Violets. The other flowers in this section are coming though, just a bit to early.

I was right at the Cragway trailhead off the Nuwati when it started to rain. I passed some people who looked soaked so I knew it was a matter of time. I had already put my rain gear on just in case. The children were blaming dad for not checking the weather. In my mind I am thinking, be prepared people, be prepared.

I met a husband and wife hiking down and they were in gear as well but said, “Boy, you are a hearty hiker.” I replied, “ I have to get this hike in or my weekend is not complete. As long as it is not thundering and lightning I am good.”

Right when I turned to head up the Cragway, the bottom seemed to drop out. I quickly put my rain cover over my day pack, put my head cover on and just rode out part of it under some Rhododendrons.

That was when the gush of water came down the Cragway. It looked like mini waterfalls with pools of water at just about every step up as far as I could see. The rain got harder and it even hailed tiny balls of ice. The air cooled off tremendously and I had shorts on so I could feel the temp drop. It was good though, I had a change of clothes in the pack.

I started back up the trail when the rain let up. There’s a calming effect hearing the rain pitter-patter on the raincoat and tree leaves. Hard to explain but it calms me.

The bad part of rain on trails that have plenty of traffic are the pools that can form. Drainage is poor and you find yourself playing mountain hopscotch along the trail trying to not hit a big pool of water. Wet hiking boots suck.

Like I said before, the water beating on your raincoat has a calming effect. Well, until you see your mug in the reflections of the pools you are trying to avoid. It then brings you back to reality and trying to figure out how you are going to dry off when this is done. Well, it is not all that bad but you will have to dry off or have some nasty chaffing happen at some point.

The rain let up but I swear my raincoat had more water from sweat in it than rain on the out side. Oh well, it is what it is.

I met no other people on the trail but I could hear loud people hiking down from Storytellers Rock on the Nuwati. They were LOUD. Their dogs barked constantly. I could have done without that but I was higher up and enjoying the view. From Flat Rock view I could see the rainstorm that just pummeled me off in the distance toward Price Lake and Blowing Rock.

My final leg was to scurry down the Daniel Boone Scout Trail. I do these hike to work my legs for more difficult hikes through Spring/Summer/Fall. This trail is easier than Craggy so the scurry part is correct. Good time was made.

With another hike in the books, please check out my book for sale on this website. They are a collection of my treks out in the mountains of North Carolina and surrounding area. TREK ON!

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