appalachian trail yellowjacket nest + lost and found
October 13, 2014 4:57 AM   Subscribe

Yellowjackets attacked us on a not-that-remote part of the Appalachian Trail yesterday at 5 PM, and had attacked others earlier. Should I tell someone? Also, if someone picked up my dropped glasses and hat, would they return them to some centralized lost and found? This is Nantahala Forest in NC, ~.5 mile N. of Tellico Gap.

I have no idea if something could/would be done to lessen the threat from the wasps, who were probably just defending their home, or to warn hikers (who might be allergic).
posted by amtho to Travel & Transportation around Bryson City, NC (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Best answer: It can't hurt to try to contact the rangers there. I'd use the submission form from the National Forests of NC page and let them know about it as well as the general location. The form is here: http://www.fs.usda.gov/contactus/nfsnc/about-forest/contactus

You can also ask about your glasses! I've found things hiking in Shenandoah and turned them in to the ranger station. Good luck!
posted by shortyJBot at 5:23 AM on October 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


Best answer: If your glasses and hat were anywhere near a trail end or shelter, items are sometimes left at those places as logical collection/display sites.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:32 PM on October 13, 2014


Best answer: Hmm. I wouldn't be able to get out there until the end of the month, but I have a personal vendetta against yellow jackets. If the rangers seem uninterested, memail me and I'll go get 'em for you (assuming you can tell me where they are. I won't be poking sticks in holes in the hopes of finding yellowjackets, TYVM.)

This year's mast crop in the Smokies has been great, so the bears are fat and happy as they begin the Fall Shuffle. Fewer bears will be so hard-up for protein that they dig up yellowjacket nests to eat the larvae, which means more yellowjackets next year. We don't want that.

I probably can't help you with the sunglasses, unless I'm just super-lucky.
posted by workerant at 5:55 PM on October 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


Response by poster: Thank you for the very on-target advice. I don't have my stuff back, but I did just get a gracious reply from the forest service office saying that they do sometimes get stuff turned in, and would contact me if they received it.

The message didn't mention anything about dealing with the yellow jackets.

For the record, they were prescription eyeglasses, not sunglasses.

Workerant, I'm not sure I can direct you to the spot exactly, but I can tell you that my 5'2" self briskly hiking there, being stung, clumsily trotting far enough back down the trail to get free of the yellow jackets (at one point sliding off the side of the trail and twisting my ankle), unzipping my bag, taking two Allegra (not recommended), and washing it down with a little water took 17 minutes - we'd set a timer at the start of the "hike".

I'm tempted to drive back out there and _show_ you, but really I don't think I even remember the spot that much; I wasn't looking at the trail much after I felt the first sting on my hand. Maybe my hiking companion remembers more -- he's often more observant. If he does, I'll MeMail you.

Maybe hiking while well-protected and carrying something red and sweet would draw them, so one could find them easily.

I will say that the parking area at the crest was gorgeous, and the 1.2-mile hike was supposed to lead to a climbable fire tower that sounded like an awesome experience. It looks like something you would enjoy, workerant, so maybe it would be a worthwhile adventure even if you don't find the yellow jackets.
posted by amtho at 6:54 AM on October 17, 2014


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