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[at-l] Art Loeb Trail, baby trip report



Jan,

Just spent several days on that trail last week, in the same areas you
describe. One of the days was pure fog: about 15 feet visibility. The
next day it cleared up, and the ridgeline between Tennant and Black
Balsam was to die for.

The trails not on the ridge were often under several inches of water, so
I essentially waded a stream for a couple of days until I moved to
higher ground. One night I pitched my tent atop Black Balsam, which
ranked as the most beautiful spot I've ever had dinner, and the most
foolish spot I've ever camped, but my feet couldn't take me any further.
Although I had guyed out really well and was on the leeward side, the
gusts which started blowing in around 10pm felt in the 50+ range. I
could hear the wind starting on the windward side and quickly work its
way over the crown of the mountain, sounding like a freight train with
me on the tracks. Although there wasn't any immediate danger, it did
leave me with the impression that the mountain was going to use my tent
like a kite, with me along for the ride. A rather sleepless night, it
was so noisy.

I had the mountains to myself until the weekend came, and the blueberry
pickers, boy scouts and other weekend warriors arrived. I'd recommend
this trail during the week, if at all possible. Its proximity to the
Parkway in this area means heavy use during weekends.



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