11-23-03... 8:25 am... We missed sunrise at Newfound Gap by about 10 minutes! Oh well, we found the marker, plus a little surprise on the way back to the car.
We set out on foot from NfdGp following the old NPS roadbed/trail that extends from the far end of the parking lot. Aside from the sea of chest-high, remnant sticks of frozen weeds, the trail is pretty clear. A footpath was visible through the thicker spots, indicating some hiking/surveying activity occurs occasionaly. We did notice several strands of survey tape tied to branches at intervals along the way. Our GPS indicated coordinates were about 60 ft off, not too shabby! Survey tape and 3 aluminum triangles nailed to nearby trees gave the marker away fairly easily. In excellent condition - hardly a blemish on this baby and a lovely patina (my cheap/temporary/disposo camera probably won't show it well, but I made a pencil rubbing too).
On the hike back, TS was in the lead and let out a triumphant howl and pointed - he'd spotted another marker! Ok, initially I yelled at him, not believing cause he's always finding 'markers' that are actually large fungi or something. But this time he hit the jackpot - a brand new, shiny marker set vertically, down low, in a stone retaining wall that supports HWY 441. Imagine our shock!! I took pics and made a rubbing of it as well. This marker is NOT accessible from the main highway you drive along. You must hike to it from the NfdGp parking lot, not too far.
The coordinates for this 2001, N.C. USCGS marker are:
N 35 36.516
W 083 25.977
I'd rate this entire hike as very nice, a fun outing. Not too strenuous, it is maybe 3/4 mile one-way; reasonably level after an initial slope down from the Gap (after all, this was once a main road!)
MountainMudbug & TigerShark
[last edit: 11/23/2003 11:18:00 AM PST]