What Road?

One of our favorite pastimes is exploring back roads in the mountains.  Here you can find rustic structures and interesting things.  Some roads are paved, but many are gravel or dirt.  We have been in some adventurous circumstances for exploring in a regular "Street Vehicle".  One day, we went exploring with Rick and Becky.  Rick was driving this time, so we were in a Chevy 3500 Dually.  We started going up a road on the north side of Maggie Valley.  The pavement turned to gravel, which eventually turned to dirt, then to some pretty gnarly dirt.  We were following the trusty path displayed on the Garmin, and it showed that it continued, and appeared to connect with the "Blue Ridge Parkway".  At least it was labeled as that up until it entered the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, at which the name changed to "Road".  We continued until Rick cried "Uncle", and we turned around and backtracked.  After we got back to the campground, Carol pulled out a hiking map for the area that showed that we should have been near the Masonic Marker site on the Spur off the Blue Ridge Parkway which goes up to Balsam Mountain Campground, and then on down the Heintooga/Round Bottom road to Cherokee, a road that we have traveled many times, several of them on bicycle.

Carol and I decided that we didn't have enough ground clearance in the Acura to try retracing the path, so we went up on the Parkway and attacked from the other side.  When we arrived at the Masonic Marker site, Carmen, out trusty Garmin said that Black Camp Gap Road entered there.  Well there was obviously not a road there.  We walked to the edge of a gully right near the parking area, and could see what looked like road below, but it curved and appeared to continue on.  This we decided was Mash Stomp road, but not what we were looking for, and there was an Elk right in the area that we needed to explore.  We got back in the car and headed on up to Balsam Mountain Campground to kill some time and hope that the Elk would move on.

When we returned about 20 minutes later the Elk was not there.  We walked out into the field and saw the Elk up on  the hill beside the Masonic Marker.  We walked into the woods at the end of the field and found a "road" that didn't look anything like what we had been on the other day.  It was smooth and covered in leaves, not a rutty dirt road like we had come up.  But about 20 feet down this road, I found a place to climb up to another road, and sure enough this is where we had stopped.  I walked down to where we had turned around, and found that the left fork continued and then split again after about 20 feet.  The right fork of this was Black Camp Gap Road, and ended just before the field at the Masonic Marker site.  The left fork appears to be Mash Stomp Road, which is what we first saw when we got there.  It appears to continue back down the mountain, and will provide an adventure for another day.

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Ortona South
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Fall Colors
What Road?



Black Camp Gap Road?

This is the view where we stopped on our expedition up Black Camp Gap Road from Maggie Valley with Rick and Becky. We were riding in their Chevy 3500 Dually, and Rick decided that this was "The end of the Road". We harrassed him..... we are only 1/10 of a mile from the Blue Ridge Parkway.. but we turned around and retraced our way back down. It turned out that this was a good decision, but we were to discover more to the story.

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Last updated 10/30/08