As we were getting ready to head out from Cheoah Bald we noticed that someone had discarded a rather cheap sleeping bag into the bushes. This sleeping bag was still bound together but it was nearly deteriorated. It was obvious that it had been out there for a long time.
One of the "golden rules" of hiking is to leave no trace that you have been there. There typically is no trash found along the trail since most hikers take out what they bring in. However, at times you will find rather odd things left in the middle of the woods typically left there by a novice hiker that didn't plan that well. We didn't open up the sleeping bag but my guess is that it likely had a picture of Sponge Bob or Dora the Explorer on it...not exactly the kind of light sleeping bag that one needs for hiking the trail.
Grayson didn't think twice...determined to do what many others failed to do he pick up the sleeping bag and headed out. As you can see, that sleeping bag had been there for a long, long time and it weighed about 5 lbs. How many others had seen it but determined that it wasn't their responsibility to carry it out. I remember telling Grayson that I would carry it some if he wanted me to but deep inside I hoped he didn't need me to do that. We already had heavy packs on our backs and any additional weight would not help.