Slickrock Expeditions 2001

November, 2012
Dear Fellow Hikers and Paddlers,

For the past several months I’ve been thinking about bringing Slickrock Expeditions to an end. It’s been 28 years since I started these outdoor adventures—a long enough span to see some of you grow up and to see some of you grow older—myself included! I decided that the two trips scheduled for this October, a backpack in Panthertown Valley here in western NC and a canoe trip on the Rio Grande in Texas, would be the last.

That is, until several long-time Slickrockers, hearing about these retirement plans, said “Whoa!" Their responses prompted me to re-think things, and I’ve decided to go for a phased retirement instead (a “slow withdrawal” rather than quitting “cold turkey,” as one of you put it). So I’m going to run 5 trips in 2013 that have been Expeditionary staples for years and favorites of mine. I won’t be mailing out a brochure describing these trips, as I have in years past, just this website, "Scheduled Trips," and through email.

To see a few pictures from the October trips to Panthertown and the Rio Grande, click on this link. For the fun of it, I’ve alternated the photos, 14 from each trip. It’s hard to believe that the U.S., even though it’s BIG, could contain such dramatically different kinds of landscape, from granite outcrops to limestone canyons, from oaks and rhododendrons to cacti and giant cane, from bears to wild burros!

The two trips were a contrast in another way too. On the Panthertown hike every person was new to Slickrock Expeditions. But on the Rio Grande almost everyone was a familiar face and a veteran of many canoe trips. I couldn’t have had more pleasant groups to bring 2012 to a close.

Finally, let me say that guiding trips into wild areas has been one of the chief enterprises and satisfactions of my life. And a big part of the satisfaction has come from getting to know those of you who have hiked, paddled, and camped with me. Or as my son, Henry, just put it, while looking through a batch of Slickrock photos, "You sure have met some good people on these trips."

To those of you I won’t see in 2013, I say Happy Trails. I hope you look back with fond memories on your Slickrock Expeditions.

And to those of you I will see next year, Happy Trails . . . Until We Meet Again!

Burt Kornegay

Burt Kornegay:

  • First ran wilderness trips: age 20, Adirondack Mountains, New York.
  • Started Slickrock Expeditions: age 33.
  • Number of Slickrock Expeditions run to date: over 450.

Burt works under outfitter-guide permits issued by the following agencies:

  • the U.S.D.A. Forest Service
  • the National Park Service
  • the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • the Oregon State Marine Board
  • Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks

Burt has been nationally certified in the following:

  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Whitewater Canoe Instructor

     Burt is a veteran of the US Marine Corps, 1972-74. He has a B.A. in history from the University of Oregon (1976) and an M.A. in English from the University of N.C. at Chapel Hill (1980). He was president of the NC Bartram Trail Society for 12 years, and he is co-author of the NC Bartram Trail series of maps. Burt is author of A Guide’s Guide to Panthertown Valley and is a freelance writer, with numerous published articles about wilderness skills, backwoods safety, and natural history. Burt has been written about in such magazines as National Geographic, Backpacker, Blue Ridge Country, Southern Living, Cooking Light, American Hiker, Southeastern Outdoor Recreation, Wildlife In North Carolina and Our State. He lives with his wife, Becky in Cullowhee, NC.

     "Burt Kornegay is a one-man university on subjects such as the geography of the wilderness area, its animal and plant life, low-tech camping and wilderness survival, and the history of the native Americans who once were the only residents of the mountains. He can identify just about every plant in the forest and tell you which ones are edible and which are poisonous. He can show you how to make rope out of tree bark, and where to find natural tinder and kindling. He can start a fire with a wooden bow and stick, and with that fire he can cook a pot of good chili or chicken stew with dumplings, spiked with fresh ramps pulled from the creek bank."

     Jerry Shinn, The Charlotte Observer

"Burt Kornegay is a one-match man. As the owner of Slickrock Expeditions, and the longest-running independent guide in the state, he has started hundreds of campfires in some of the most remote setting in the country, never using more than a single match."

     Becky Johnson, The Smoky Mountain News

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