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Pictures and Stories from


West Ridge of 

Linville Gorge , NC.


Friday Jan 22, 1999

13 Brave Souls,

Bill, Brian, Cory, Bubba, Mark M. Greg, Ken Massingale, Arlie, Chris R. Clark, Rob, Morris and myself braved the conditions and impending weather to be here this weekend.  No new faces this year.  We wanted to take this opportunity to recover from last years problems.

All week we have been watching the weather forecast.  It has been foggy all day.  So much so that you could cut it with a knife.  This area is smaller than our last one.  This makes everyone much closer and tight-knit.  I just hope that we all stay dry tonight.  Everyone but Greg and I have tarps over their tents.  He and I trust that our tents are designed to with-stand the elements.  The forecast is for sever thunderstorm to move into the area tonight with an 80% chance tonight and a 100% chance tomorrow.  We have pine shavings down and our big monster tarp up over the cooking area.  We had a visit from the local forest ranger.  He came to warn us of the impending bad weather that is coming our way.  He also wanted to make sure that we were prepared for the rain and cold that was to follow. 


I rained all night and it appears that it is going to rain all night.  I guess that we will spend the day under the tarp.  Bill Brought a fire barrel and it was perfect.  We had a fire even though it rained all day.  We spent most of the day cooking, eating and telling stories.  Most of them were probable not true.  Sort of like the fish that got away.  

When supper time came, if there can be a supper time after the day we have had, I was going to fix Buffalo wings.  I had thawed out my wings and I was ready to cook.  Morris stopped me and said "Hey Jim, add my wings to your batch."  They were not completely thawed-out but I did not think anything about it as I dipped them down into the hot oil.  As soon as I did the hot oil started to boil over, it hit the flame below and boom, we had a monster fireball on our hands.  It surged from the fryer up until it hit the tarp over our heads.  At this point it rolled along the tarp over everyone's head  Everyone was ducking and trying to get out of the reach of the fireball.  Thank goodness no one was hurt.  But, needless to say everyone took the fryer away from me and did not allow me to finish cooking our supper.  Even years later as you read this everyone still blames me for this near miss.


Later in the night Arlie and I took the heater, a light, a Survival Book and headed out in search of some comforts of home.  We knew that at Wiseman's view they had an enclosed bathroom.  That was our destination.  We had a warm comfortable  uh, ummmmm,  well I hope you  have the picture.




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Last modified: January 20, 2010