Sunday, June 11, 2017

McGill Creek South

Judy, TC, Carol, and I explored the McGill Creek Trail presently under construction on south side of McGill Creek. It is rugged terrain and can be very strenuous but we maintained a casual pace which made it much more enjoyable.

Don's photos

Group photo at McGill Falls

Saturday, June 3, 2017

National Trails Day

In recognition of National Trails Day, I worked with the Southern Trail Crew on construction of McGill Creek Trail. The amount of work that has been done by this small crew in such rugged terrain is phenomenal; lots of rock work building steps, water crossings, and through boulder fields where the trail is all rock with no dirt to work with. Today we rerouted a section of trail around an eroded area and built rock steps. I also collected GPS data on the completed trail and learned that it is a straight line distance of about 1900 feet from their present location to McGill Creek Bridge site.

Don's photos 

Group photo along McGill Creek Trail

Map showing approximate length of trail to be built

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Sand Island

Bob and I drove up to Watts Bar Lake and made a leisurely paddle out to Sand Island. After reaching the island, we carried lawn chairs and lunch to shady spot in middle of island where we enjoyed the tranquility. After relaxing in shade, we ate lunch, then paddled around the island and back to boat ramp on highway 304.

Arriving Sand Island

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sale Creek

Although we didn't have Sale Creek to ourselves, there were few people out considering it was a Memorial Day Weekend. Lora, Sara, and I paddled through the swamp area, up Sale Creek, and into Rock Creek as far as we could go. We then paddled down stream to the point where Brown's Bridge was visible before returning to the launch site. Mother Nature provided excellent overcast conditions for a day on the water.

Paddling Sale Creek

Paddling Rock Creek

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Sale Creek

Bob and I made a quick trip to Sale Creek with our kayaks to determine if we remembered how to paddle. After a couple of passes through the swamp area and a short distance up Hodgetown Branch, we learned that we could still paddle so we are ready for another event on the water.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Rock Creek Blow-Downs

Bob, Carol, and I spent a few hours this morning at Rock Creek removing blow-downs from the trail. Hikers can now hike the entire length of Rock Creek without having to leave the trail to circumvent an obstacle. However there are a few blow-downs remaining but can easily be climbed or stepped over. Some of them will require a bigger saw than my 16 inch Stihl.

Time lapse video - removing blow-downs that forced hikers off trail

Before

After

Sunday, May 7, 2017

More Trail Maintenance

Judy Varner, TC Varner, Bob DeHart, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins spent Sunday morning on Possum Gorge Trail removing a large tree and its root ball that has been there for about two years. It actually took three trips; Friday we went to look and evaluate, Saturday we cut the tree, and today we did lots of digging, root cutting, and finally dragged it off trail with cable and come-a-long. The time lapse video is poor quality due to mixture of sun and shade but it does show a beehive of activity.

Time lapse video

Group photo after work complete

Removing dirt and roots to decrease size

Removing dirt and roots to decrease size

Removing dirt and roots to decrease size