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MCJ Fall Trailride 2016

Wow, what a trip. This was my first offroad and camping trip with Ava where I didn’t have Andrea as a copilot. She did great. I hadn’t planned to detail this trip out as it was made up of smaller trails, but after our findings I feel its fair to share.

We got off to a little bit late start Thursday evening. We had planned to leave at 7:00pm, but I was finishing the teardrop up all week and didn’t get a chance to do any packing till Thursday after work. It was a pretty uneventful evening with a stop in Hendersonville for a quick Walmart run. I had forgotten to pack some socks for Ava and I forgot my pillow. Har Har. We made it up to the campsite and setup right on the creek near what used to be the rocky climb on Harmon Den Road. We enjoyed a cool night camping on the creek.
brooks is there leveling jacks and a way to lock the tires on it for when it not hooked to jeep? or is it small enough you have to be hooked up to the jeep to be in the camper.
brooks is there leveling jacks and a way to lock the tires on it for when it not hooked to jeep? or is it small enough you have to be hooked up to the jeep to be in the camper.
I have wheel chocks for it, leveling jacks are on my list.

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Saturday we woke up, ate some breakfast, and packed up camp. Then we made our way down the mountain back to the power station off of I-40. We stopped at the park and playground to wait for the rest of the guys to arrive. We had a quick drivers meeting once everyone was there and then headed off for the first trail. When we got to the spot that we camped that night we kept going on the trail and soon realized that they had recently graded the trail and made it nearly Mall Rated. We enjoyed the trail though and then headed to the Overlook for a few white knuckle pictures.
We followed the gravel road back out to I-40 for a short jaunt down the interstate to another road. We had lunch on the way and enjoyed a nice run up to Max Patch Mountain.
After we left max patch we made our way up the forest service roads and twisty mountain roads to Camp in Hotsprings, NC. Some of the group split up at this time, with many camping on the river and others staying in local houses or cabins. We then rolled out for dinner at the local BBQ restaurant in town.
Saturday morning started with a stop by the Smokey Mountain Diner for some breakfast. Then we loaded up to hit the road. First stop was Paint Rock. This is always a cool stop and it didn’t disappoint. This rock was originally called paint rock because of the old indian pictographs that were on it. Now its really sad that much of the rock has been vandalized with spray paint…

We then made our way up the road and stopped for view of some waterfalls. Not long after the waterfalls we turned off onto the paint creek trail which was a seasonal road in this area that included a moderately difficult obstacle about half way through. Well, when we got to about a half mile from the obstacle we found an immovable obstacle…
A new gate had been added and the trail had been graveled. This was a real disappointment at the time. We all turned around and made our way back to the gravel road and took a right toward the fire tower road. On the way we passed by the exit of the trail which was gated…and it was not gated. So we turned down it to see what was up and if we could access the obstacles from this side. After a few miles of trail we finally made it to the field just above the obstacle, only to find that the trail has been “obliterated” from that point back to the new gate we had just seen. I’m sure they will eventually update the Motor vehicle use map, but at this time there is no mention of this change to this road… it no longer connects, although from both entrances it looks open.

So we turned around again to make our way back to the gravel road and visit the fire tower. Unfortunately I had my hands around Ava tight when we climbed the fire tower and didn’t get any pictures, but I know others did.
It was nearly 4:30 by this time so we made our way back to Camp and did some swimming in the river to rinse all the dust off. Then we went out for the evening to the Spring Creek Tavern for some Wood Fired Pizza and beer. That evening we made a Peach cobbler in the dutch oven just to top off the weekend even though we were all full from dinner.

Sunday morning we packed up, aired up the tires, and rolled out for breakfast at the Smokey mountain diner and then headed Home. On the way we made a quick stop by Grandads Apples in Hendersonville for some Apple Donuts and Apple Cider Slushies. Our trip was pretty uneventful heading home, but I heard others weren't so lucky.
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I have an orphan chair here at my house that was left at camp. Anyone want to adopt it? Perhaps the original owner?


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