Crossing Paths with Carmie...(Walking on Shortoff)
Monday, November 14, 2011 at 9:35PM
Houser in Gorge Rats, Linville Gorge, Shortoff Mountain, Wolf Pit Road

Shortoff Mountain from NC 126 129


I have seen this epic looking mountain on my travels around Lake James. My Grandpa (Carmie) hunted and hiked this area and my Dad would often go with him on top of Shortoff Mountain. I have been spending a lot of time in the South Mountains and wanting to do something different, I contacted one of my Flickr contacts (Danny) and asked him about a good day hike. We talked about a few places and the subject of Shortoff came up... I went with that option! Luckily Danny went along with me. 


Lake James from Shortoff Mountain 127


We meet up in Morganton and headed up NC 126 to Wolf Pit Road. The trail was really washed out but it was not too bad. I bet in the rain it would be slippery! As we rose above the treeline Lake James came into view. The Fall colors had already passed peak, but some color could still be found. The scars of two large forest fires leave the area looking surreal. I remember seeing the smoke roll of this mountain back in 2007 IIRC.



Lake James from Shortoff Mountain 126



Trees on Shortoff Mountain 123



Looking up the Gorge Shortoff Mountain 121



Trees on Shortoff Mountain 122



Shortoff Mountain 112


Even though the trees are dead, they still have a beauty and make great subjects for photography!



Danny on Shortoff Mountain 113


Danny was really working the Gorge! He always produces something spectacular with his camera, and I can not wait to see what he photographed. I know he is happy with the results of his 100 Strangers photography project as he snagged 5 new ones.



Myself on Shortoff Mountain 119


Me, I just admired the view and tried to point my camera at interesting things! I was in awe of the views and can understand why folks fall in love with this area! I sure did!


Myself on Shortoff Mountain 118



Table Rock from Shortoff Mountain 124



Shortoff Mountain 115


As for gear, I took along my Trusty Canon T1i, with 24-70mm F 2.8 and lugged around the Canon EF 100-400mm for these shots. I also took along my Sony NEX-5 with 16mm F2.8 Pancake Lens as well as the Ultra Wide and Fisheye Adapters, not used on this trip but carried was the 18-200mm for the Sony and my Compact Manfrotto Tripod (may leave the lens, but never the tripod!!!). Lugging all that gear around was heavy, but being obssesed with Photography, it was worth it. My gear weighed in at around 40lbs total. Will have to par that down if I expect to go with a tent and sleeping bag someday! LOL



Pond on Shortoff Mountain 117


My Dad talked about a pond on top of Shortoff that he fondly recalled, and for me that was a must see. It took me awhile to find the perfect spot to get the reflection I wanted but it finally clicked! Noticed the burn marks on the tree trunk in the foreground?



Looking up the Gorge Shortoff Mountain 120


After walking along the top of Shortoff Mountain, I am sure that my boots walked along the same paths that my Grandpa had walked with his Son and that history would be repeating itself again as I will bring my children to the same place.


Thanks for reading!



Article originally appeared on Mark Steven Houser Photography (
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