Not all those who wander are lost.
– J.R.R. Tolkien
The mountains of North Carolina are a thing of beauty when viewed from afar. They are an even greater spectacle when you experience them up close. And when snow blankets the ground they are truly wondrous. Until they’re not.
This past weekend my buddy, Coop, and I set our sights on the Shining Rock Wilderness for our first winter backpacking trip. We monitored the location via webcam, checked the weather forecast daily, and packed the essentials we thought we’d need. We planned everything out meticulously, and fully expected a flawless trip that we’d remember for a lifetime.