Humid Hiking

What is a little water running on our trail?

As our faithful readers know, only really extreme weather interferes with our hikes.  So a recent rainstorm and high humidity did not prevent us from ascending Waterrock Knob on Saturday.  The Knob, at 6292 feet (1918 meters), is one of 40 peaks in North Carolina that are greater than 6,000 feet.

Maggie Valley as seen from near the peak of Waterrock Knob.

We really like this hike because there is a view over our town, Maggie Valley.  If you look carefully in the next picture, just to the right of the second hemlock tree (click on the picture to enlarge it), you will see a straight cut up a mountain.  That is the chairlift at Ghost Town in the Sky.  We live just a little further up and to the left of Ghost Town (basically, behind that hemlock).

Another view of Maggie Valley with two dead hemlock trees near the peak of Waterrock Knob.

We get asked all of the time about the dead or dying hemlock trees that can be seen all over our mountains.  They are under attack from the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid.  You can read a great article about them from the National Park Service here.

Natasha cools off by roaching in some wet grass.

And then we marched shoulder to shoulder back down the mountain to the parking lot.

*****     *****     *****     *****     *****

We posted the link to this story on our Facebook Page yesterday, but wanted to make sure everyone saw it.  Happy Retirement to Rusty Bradley, the Park Superintendent of Mount Mitchell State Park.  Mount Mitchell is the tallest mountain east of the Mississippi River and is known for its “fun” winter weather – some of which is detailed in the article.


  1. James Franklin on September 30, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Those aren’t hemlock trees. They are dead Fraser firs killed by the balsam wooly adelgid. Hemlocks don’t grow that high on the mountains.

    • D.K. Wall on October 1, 2011 at 3:42 am

      Good catch. A different wooly adelgid attacks the hemlocks, also very common to the area and being killed, but those are absolutely Frasers. I will run a post shortly to correct this.

  2. jack & moo on July 11, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Woo pups are so lucky to have such a gorgeous area to drag your hudad up & down the mountainsides & trails! Thanks fur showing us around!

    jack & moo

  3. KB on July 11, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Lovely photos of your valley. Yes, it did look like a wet hike but one of the best parts of a rainy hike is that there’s almost no one else on the trails!

    I also loved the photos of Rusty on the tractor yesterday!

  4. Kari on July 11, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    We are greatful for the lack of humidity in Vegas


  5. Huffle Mawson on July 11, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    You sure live in a pretty part of the world!

  6. Elyse and Riley on July 11, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    We totally understand about the humidity…it has been sooo humid here because it’s been raining a lot and then it gets really hot afterward. The humidity today isn’t so bad…only 51% and it’s 95 degrees.

  7. The OP Pack on July 11, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    We could use a bit of rain here. Humid, hot, searing sun. Your walk looks quite refreshing to us.

    That is too bad about the trees, we have a similar problem here, and we are all hoping the ash borer stays away as we have two pretty purple ash trees in our yard.

    Have a great week.

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  8. houndstooth on July 11, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    We can only dream of hiking like The Herd! We always envy you your adventures, especially this time of year when the weather is too dangerous to go out in.

    We have the Emerald Ash Borer to worry about here. How sad that so many of the hemlock trees are already dead!

  9. Anna the GSD on July 11, 2011 at 11:08 am

    We’re under heat weather of death advisories here it’s so hoomid and hot! Your hike looks wonderful and I’m SO JEALOUS!!

  10. Khyra on July 11, 2011 at 10:51 am

    Looks kind of like the North Wapiti blog post 😉

    PeeEssWoo: Without Bet and The Tramplings of khourse!

  11. Sierra Rose on July 11, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Beautiful hike! What georgesous green grass (ours is all brown now) and views! Thank you for taking us along!

    Sweet hugs,
    Sierra Rose

  12. Mogley G. Retriever on July 11, 2011 at 9:42 am

    You do a good job of hiking. I bet those Hemlock Woolly Adelgid things would be good to chase, then you could save the forrest. Just saying…

    Mogley G. Retriever

  13. Zoe on July 11, 2011 at 8:11 am

    What gorgeous views, wow! And Natasha, was something dead in that grass? That’s what I love to roll in the most, to the disgust of my mom.

  14. Ice 'n Ayla on July 11, 2011 at 6:34 am

    You have the greatest hiking areas in the whole world, for the Herd to roam in. And like Queen Natasha, both me ‘n Ice love to “roach” on the grass on our back lawn. That is so cool, the whole Herd walking side by each down the trail. That’s what our Hu-Mom and Dad wish me ‘n Ice would do, too, but I love stopping to explore everything along the way, and Ice just wants to get where we’re going, non-stop, so it’s kinda hard.

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