Big South Fork NRRA (Tennessee) Backpacking - January 2020 ⇅
#Zpacks #Bandy Creek #John Tiller Farm #Big South Fork NRRA #Travel & Events
The 2020 backpacking season got off to an early start with a January hike to Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area in Tennessee. I had never done a true winter backpacking trip before but both Travis and I were getting anxious to do a hike so we met up for the quick weekend trip.
With the trip taking place in early January it was ‘officially’ a winter trip, but the weather felt anything but winter-like. The good weather theme we had throughout 2019 seemed to carry over into 2020, with temperatures getting into the 70’s and the 100% chance of heavy rain we were supposed to receive held off long enough that we got to ‘enjoy’ the storms while sitting in rocking chairs on the Charit Creek Lodge porch sipping craft IPA’s! That warm weather also allowed me to bring the dogs along.
Our route was a 3-day, 20-mile point-to-point hike starting at the Bandy Creek HQ area. The plan was to take in the John Litton farm site area shortly after Bandy Creek, then connect with the Tennessee version of the John Muir Trail, find a first night campsite somewhere near the 8-mile mark, then continue on the JMT on day #2 to the Station Camp Creek trail to Charit Creek Lodge for our 2nd night ‘camp’. The plan seemed simple enough but we found a complete lack of suitable campsites on the JMT, and we had no choice but to continue hiking until we reached Station Camp Creek where we found water and a marginally acceptable campsite. Instead of hiking 8 miles for the day we ended up doing over 16 miles, which for some may not seem unreasonable but for us it made for a long day.
The night at Charit Creek Lodge was again the same ‘magical’, throwback in time experience we’ve come to expect, and it was made extra special with IPA’s and ‘pizza’ on the porch while enjoying the ‘nature TV’ thunderstorm show from the protection of the lodge porch.
Not all was perfect on the trip, though. When I went to change the battery on the Z6 the first night I was unable to find the spare Z6 batteries. I nearly ripped my pack apart looking for them, being certain I had inadvertently stuffed them into one of the many storage pockets on my REI Flash 55 pack, but the batteries were never found (turns out I had left them at home – duh!). I do always carry a ‘spare’ GoPro on my trips and in the end I had to film the 2nd half of the hike with the GoPro. That worked out OK, but the audio and low light capability of the GoPro don’t even come close to what the Z6 can do. I’ll chalk it up as a painful ‘learning experience’, and use the lesson to ensure it never happens again.
For those who have watched my other videos this one is done in the same style - about 45 minutes in length, intended to bring the audience along for the 'ride', and with a still picture slide show with music at the end. If you just have a few minutes skip to the end and enjoy the pictures.
Equipment / Gear List.
Still and Video Camera: Nikon Z6 with Nikkor 24mm f1.8 Z-mount lens
Video Editing Software: Vegas Pro 16
Pack: REI Flash 55
#Station Camp Creek #Dunkin Donuts #backpacking #Big South Fork #hiking #John Muir Trail #Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area #camping #David Gray #Sheltowee Trace #Tennessee #Charit Creeek Lodge #Cumberland Falls #Cumberland Falls State Resort Park #Packit Gourmet