Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Blue and White Loop Hike

We were out there doing it today and I have the sore body to prove it.  After due deliberation over the map, we put together a 6.5 mile loop starting on the Blue Trail and crossing over to the White Trail via the Orange connector.  I suppose if you’re color blind, you could be in deep dodo.

For this hike we used the north trailhead. The Blue, Red, White, and Yellow trails all start from here so the parking lot is huge.  If that lot is full, there’s an overflow lot.  This parking lot has something I’ve never seen before at a trailhead, and I just have to mention it--a changing room.  After a hike I’m always anxious to get out of wet, sweaty clothes.  I have done contortion acts in the front seat of the car trying to change into dry clothes.  I was very impressed to see this little changing area.  It’s brand new; in fact, they were working on it this afternoon when we got back to the parking lot.  Looks for all the world like another Eagle scout project.

As you can see from the trail profile, we had a climb right from the beginning.  There were three stream crossings pretty soon after we started, but they were just trickles that could be easily stepped over.  Just before the one mile mark there is a side trail to Eagle’s Nest Overlook.  Being up pretty high, we thought there would be a good view, so we took the very, very steep quarter mile side trail to the overlook.  To our disappointment, there was a huge boulder at the overlook which completely blocked the view unless you wanted to climb to the top of the boulder.  Thanks, but no thanks.
This rock was in the way of my view.

Back on the Blue Trail we continued our climb to the ridge.  Once on the top, it was easy going until we intersected with the Orange Connector.  We passed trails to overlooks, but we didn’t fall for that trick every time.  We did take one side trail over to the edge of the ridge, but the view was obstructed by trees.  At the Orange Connector we stopped for our lunch break.  It was such a beautiful day and so warm in the sun that we actually stretched out on the ground for a few minutes.  Well, Gene was on the ground, I was on may clean and dry poncho.
We passed this backcountry campsite on the Orange Connector.
Lots of stuff to look at at the intersection where the Orange and Red trails intersected.

The Orange Connector took us off the ridge top, past the red trail, and over to the next ridge and the White Trail.  I think the hike along the ridge on the White Trail was a nicer hike than along the ridge on the Blue Trail.  The White Trail followed a very narrow ridge line, passing over our highest elevation of the day at 1286 ft, until it dropped off into the holler (that’s a real southern word for you).   After about a mile of almost vertical descent, we found ourselves at Peavine Branch in Maggie’s Glen.  From there it was an easy walk out to the parking lot.
Found this boulder field on the Orange Connector
I enjoyed this ridge walk on the White trail

Now for something all together different--electricity.  Emma’s mama, Judy, asked if we used a surge protector and if it had protected our rig.  No, we don’t have a surge protector.  I know, lots of folks out there recommend having one.  From what I understand about electricity (and that’s very, very little), that for our 30 amp rig, we plug into the 30 amp outlet, and that’s what we get.  There is no more than 30 amps of electricity going to come through that outlet unless something bad happens at the utility or if lightning strikes a wire or a transformer or something.  My understanding is that surges can also occur within the RV from large appliances turning on and off.

So, a surge protector that plugs into the post at the campsite might protect against the lightning strike or the disaster at the utility company.  It seems to me the real danger is from those surges which occur inside the RV which are on the other side of that surge protector at the post.  There are probably few people in America that don’t have surge protectors on their computers.  For us, because we have so few electrical outlets and because of their locations, we have those extension cord/surge protectors all over our RV.  The only things not plugged into one are the microwave, refrigerator, AC, and the small TV in the bedroom.

In the incident on Monday, that was not a surge.  There was a short, either in our plug or in the campground post, which caused the problem.  If the problem had been in the post and If we had had a surge protector plugged into the outlet, the surge protector would have been fried but would have protected our electrical cord (I think).  However, it only cost $18 for a new end on our cord and a new surge protector would have been much more than that.

Just one other thing for completeness sake.  We have one of those small testers which measures voltage and frequency.  Gene always tests the electrical post before plugging our rig into the outlet.  Then we plug the tester into an outlet inside the rig and leave it plugged in.  It will alarm if the voltage is either too low or too high.  We’ve never had a too high alarm in the 6 years we’ve been RVing.  We’ve had low voltage occasionally, usually during the summer about dinner time when everybody has their ACs cranked up to very cold.

Hope that helps, Judy. I think that’s more than I really know about electricity anyway.

I also got a comment from that Maineiac in Motion, Mike, who suggested I use some other term besides “melt down”.  From a man who spent his career in nuclear energy, I guess “melt down” is a pretty scary term.

That’s it from me for today.  Thanks for tagging along.


  1. I have my own form of 'melt down'..but it usually involves a box of kleenex..or maybe a glass or two of wine!

  2. We were parked in in a state campground in our motorhome and had a surge in electricity that fried the computer board in our fridge. After that, we purchased a surge protector and had no other problems. Just saying...