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Thread: Spence field

  1. #1
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    Default Spence field

    I was there in Oct 2003. nice place. It does still have the chain link fence up.

  2. #2

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    Stayed at Spence Field on 6-12-2005. The shelter was clean and in good condition. The fence was still in place. Food storage cables were also available.
    There was a tree limb that scraped across the shelter corrugated roof when the wind was blowing, making an incredible racket. I notified the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club of the situation, but they indicated that nothing would be done until the shelter renovation scheduled for 17-23 September 2005. So there will likely be a bit of sleep lost in the interim.
    There is a mouldering privy south of the shelter, not readily visible.

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    How's the water source at Spence during the summer months -- anybody?
    I'm coming through there on a southbound section hike in August and will be staying at Mollies Ridge, but its water source sounds pretty unreliable and Russell Field sounds pretty lousy, so I'll probably purify at Spence if possible.

  4. #4

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    Spence should be okay in the summer. I have seen it go dry in the fall when there was very little rain. There is also a spring about .1 miles down the Bote Mtn Trail, which leaves Spence Field on the north side of the ridge.
    At Russell Field there is a spring which is less than obvious. That leads folks to use the adjacent stream which crosses the trail, and often contains contributions from horses.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by sliderule
    Spence should be okay in the summer. I have seen it go dry in the fall when there was very little rain. There is also a spring about .1 miles down the Bote Mtn Trail, which leaves Spence Field on the north side of the ridge.
    At Russell Field there is a spring which is less than obvious. That leads folks to use the adjacent stream which crosses the trail, and often contains contributions from horses.
    Thanks sliderule!

  6. #6
    Registered User hitman's Avatar
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    Stayed at Spence field just last week. The water source was fine. The shelter was clean and the mice were not a problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by alpinist
    How's the water source at Spence during the summer months -- anybody?
    I'm coming through there on a southbound section hike in August and will be staying at Mollies Ridge, but its water source sounds pretty unreliable and Russell Field sounds pretty lousy, so I'll probably purify at Spence if possible.

  7. #7
    Registered User CaptChaos's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Just left Spence Field today

    Just returned today from Spence Field. The shelter has been redone and it looks great. The wire fence is gone now and they have extended the front of the shelter. They have also extended the front of the bunk area on the bottom so that you can sit down and not hit your head. Had a wind storm last night and then the rain started. The weather was from Tropical Storm Tammy and I had not planned for it. When I left from KY to go on my trip there was only a 30% chance of rain but man, at one point I thought the new roof on the shelter was going to lift off. The wind was coming directly into the shelter. No bear activity that I could see. The privy was fine and no smells at all. The spring was running slow but I am sure that it is better now with all of the rain today.

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    First Sergeant SGT Rock's Avatar
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    We have another Capt Chaos.
    SGT Rock
    http://hikinghq.net

    My 2008 Trail Journal of the BMT/AT

    BMT Thru-Hikers' Guide
    -----------------------------------------

    NO SNIVELING

  9. #9
    Wannabe-hiker NINpigNIN's Avatar
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    Default

    Stopped here on Saturday (6-10-2006) for a good rest after getting over Thunderhead and Rocky Top (coming from Derricks Knob Shelter the night before). Beautiful shelter, nice privy and the water source was good (though a little bit of a trek to get there). My hiking partner's privy trip was interrupted by a group of horseback riders coming in and one of them exclaimed loudly, "HEY, THERE'S A *****TER AND THERE'S SOMEONE IN IT!"

    It was also really nice of them to stop for 10 minutes to have a snack and then take off, leaving their trash of sardine tins and plastic soda bottles in the fire pit.

    The only issue I had is that the guides and signage said the shelter is 0.2 miles off the AT, which seems a little optimistic to me. Of course this isn't something isolated to this shelter as most of the guides seem to never agree and are always changing. It's all a guide anyway. An example of what I mean is that the most recent ATC GA-NC guide book says that between Russell Field Shelter and Mollies Ridge Shelter it's 2.6 miles in the section area and 2.5 miles in the distance area at the back. According to the ATC 2006 Data Book it is 2.5 miles. According to the Trails Illustrated Map, it's 2.2 miles. The old sign at the shelter itself says 2.2 miles, but the brand spankin' new sign they replaced it with now says it is 3.3 miles. So in the end just use the data as a guide of "it's out there somewhere in a couple miles or so" type of way, I guess.
    And tho our health we drank a thousand times, it's time to ramble on...

  10. #10

    Exclamation

    Stayed here 9/8/06. Great shelter but a bear hung around from dusk til dawn. He took a friend of mine's freezer bag cozy from the eating area and chewed on it a while before we ran it off and he tried to dig his way into the toilet. Also saw a mom and three cubs in the tree beside the bear cables at 3:00 AM. One guy ran out there with a pot and stick banging the hell out of it trying to get them to come down and leave, which they did. Mom came out of the tree pissed, though! Don't mess with mama bears!
    I reported it to Ridge Runner Jim two days later. He said food was scarce for the bears this fall.
    Last edited by white rabbit; 09-09-2006 at 20:54.

  11. #11

    Default The Spencer Cabin at Spence Field

    Spencer Cabin
    From Our Southern Highlanders by Horace Kephart

    “Only two things are infinite; The universe and human stupidity,
    And I’m starting to wonder about the universe.”
    Albert Einstein

  12. #12
    Registered User Lyle's Avatar
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    Default

    Nice photo. I love this type of history. Thanks.

  13. #13

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    awsome picture. thanks!

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    Registered User soul patch's Avatar
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    Default

    leaving out of Cades Cove and heading up to Spence field / shelter thursday for an overnight. anybody been there recently? curious about the water situation. should i fill up before i get there via the Bote trail or is there a good water source near the shelter?
    go dog go.

  15. #15
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    The water was flowing strong in June. The source is down the trail behind the shelter.

    Duct tape is like the force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the universe together...

  16. #16
    Registered User soul patch's Avatar
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    Yes the water was flowing 8/12/2010, was easy enough to find, even for this rookie;-)
    the water at Russel was nasty...

    Thanks for the reply.
    go dog go.

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    I'll be staying here in a few weeks and I was wondering about the water supply. Has anyone been here lately and can advise on the water availability? From what I've read (granted it's VERY old info) the water source is not reliable.

  18. #18
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    Did you really have to resurrect every GSMNP shelter thread?
    One was more than enough (see the answer you're looking for on the Mollies page).

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    It can dry up . I was there once in sept it was little more than a drip. Had to dip from a puddle that had salamanders/polywogs in it.

    Call back Country office, and check postings at trailheads, and dont pass up a good source.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    Did you really have to resurrect every GSMNP shelter thread?
    One was more than enough (see the answer you're looking for on the Mollies page).
    My apologies...however, I didn't come close to asking about "every GSMNP shelter." I asked about three of them. In addition, it would've been difficult to see the Mollies page answer as you posted them at nearly the same time. Again, I apologize. I mistakenly thought these threads were the place to find information regarding these shelters. And I also thought, given the age of the content, it would be prudent to update it. My error.

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