Intro to Backpacking: Wilson Creek

img_3380Wilson Creek, NC – NC Touring took a pair of first-time backpackers to the Wilson Creek area in North Carolina.  The area is known for some great waterfalls and it is relatively flat (although it is a technical trail).  The couple had flow in from Cleveland the night before, and they were excited to hit the trail and enjoy the experience.  That evening before leaving, we met to go over the specifics of the hike and how to pack their gear.

As traditional to many of our tours, we met at a small local restaurant for breakfast before heading west.  Once we arrived at the start of the hike, we donned our backpacks and started the trek in to basecamp.  We hit the first waterfall an hour or so in.  We enjoyed our lunch to the sound of rushing water.  The weather was perfect, with an expected high near 70.  After a short respite, we threw on the packs and continued to follow the river.  There were about 5 water crossings, and everyone remained dry.

img_3387We arrived to the “campground” as I like to call it around 3pm that afternoon.  The hike in was only about 6 miles, but everyone was ready be done with the burden upon their packs.  I set up camp as our clients lounged in hammocks by the stream.  Cocktails and wine were enjoyed as we discussed the “weightless” feeling of walking after removing our backpacks.  Dinner was served around a nice fire, thanks to “Rupert’s” adept skill in finding deadfall.

The next morning had campers awaking to the smell of hot coffee.  There was a chill in the air, but nothing unpleasant.  After breakfast we put on our day packs and headed out to explore the area.  We encountered hunt-fish falls soon after, but it was still to cool and early to take a dip in the water.  We ventured on to hit an incredible overlook and it quickly became our lunch spot.  We hiked back to the camp, once again stopping at the waterfall.  No one could be convinced (other than me) to jump off the rocks into the cold pool below.  Lets just say it was invigorating!

img_3390We returned to camp to cocktail hour, and I’m pretty sure I heard snoring from the hammocks.  Dinner and a roaring, warmth-evoking fire were enjoyed before heading off to slumber.  Morning came quickly, as we all had slept soundly.  Breakfast and coffee were served as I broke down the tents and helped load the packs.  We then hiked back out the way we came in two days before.  I could not help but hear from our clients that the hike seemed easier and shorter on the way out.  It is amazing what some trail time can do.  They were extremely thrilled with the trip and promised to return for another tour in the future.  A great hike and one that incorporated many of the aspects that made our motorcycle touring company so successful.

Line Dempsey

Line Dempsey has been guiding adventure tours for many years. Having been born and reared in NC, Line got his start in leading tours in the 1980's with unsupported bicycle tours of the state of NC, SC and Virginia. Line worked in the tourism industry for 10 years prior to leaving for graduate school. Line began leading motorcycle trips in NC, VA, SC, as well as a trip to the lower east corner of the US ( Key West ). For the last 14 years, Line's work has allowed him to travel throughout the state of NC at least once a week and he's seen most of the overlooked side roads of our beautiful state. Line has explored NC via bicycle, kayak, motorcycle, rock climbing, hiking and by sailboat.

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