Shining Rock Wilderness   James Smith
  Jun 20, 2005 05:35 PDT 

I went to Shining Rock Wilderness in western NC with two other hikers.
This was my first hike in over three months since I seriously injured my
left foot. I wanted to test it out before I make a hike into Big Ivy
later this month.

We got utterly lost--not in the way that we were afraid we couldn't make
it back to a trailhead, but lost in the sense that we ended up wandering
offtrail in the warren of false trails in the Wilderness and ended up
following the wrong creek (West Pigeon rather than Shining Rock Creek).
Finally, after bushwhacking for four hours we turned back.

At any rate, I checked for the Hemlock adelgid and the trees in there
are infested to varying degrees. Some seriously, and others very
lightly. A few hemlocks seemed to have hardly any at all--rarely none
that I could find--while others were covered.

Since we got lost, I didn't get to any of the places I had targeted, but
my foot didn't give me much trouble. My thighs and calves, however,
after three+ months of no walking, were screaming the next morning.
Going up around Standing Indian and Southern Nantahala Wilderness this
week to get my legs back into shape and walk off the weight I gained
while being so sedentary.

Any good stands of trees around the Standing Indian area?