On May 24, 2014, just after we moved from Utah to Alabama, David and I took a hike up the Brush Mountain Trail in the Citico Creek Wilderness. I decided that I wanted to hike all of the trails in Citico, and this was one trail I had not hiked.
The hike starts from the South Fork Citico Trailhead, and after a couple of miles you have to ford South Fork Citico Creek. It was already hot, so the water crossing helped us cool off. From there, the trail ascends up Ike Camp Branch. This trail sees virtually no use due to the fact it requires crossing the river, and it doesn’t really go anywhere. We also learned that it also doesn’t do much of anything interesting. We hiked up Ike Camp Branch for a couple of hours as the afternoon temperatures and humidity soared. As the creek started to peter out, I started getting really weak, and we decided to stop ascending the trail. We hadn’t seen any good campsites along the way, so we descended all the way back down to the South Fork Citico Creek and set up camp late in the evening. We had a great night out in Citico, but we still didn’t hike the full Brush Mountain Trail.
We did see a timber rattlesnake along the trail. He was right in the middle of the narrow trail, and he was perfectly camouflaged…I didn’t notice him until I was about two steps away from him. He didn’t move at all, though, and we gave him a wide berth as we continued up the trail.
It was nice to get out, but this trip reminded me that summer may be the hiking season in the Rockies, it can be pretty hot and miserable in the Appalachians. And, to think, it was only May…it was still winter in the Rockies.