Thursday, October 30, 2008

2nd Meeting

2nd Chapter Meeting
Held at Rafael's in Soddy Daisy

In Attendance:
  • Jan Agee
  • TC Varner
  • Lora Smith
  • Mike White
  • Judy Varner
  • Mark Jordan
  • Don Deakins
  • Carla Hilling
  • Teresa Jordan
  • Brandy Selman
  • Sarah Bonneau
  • George Bonneau
Guest Speaker:
  • Steve Smith
  • Harry Tirey
  • Rick Nunley
  • Sharon Tirey
  • Amanda Leamon
  • Dan Basham (Park Ranger)
  • Tony Hook (Cumberland Trail General Manager)
Steve Smith, Soddy Daisy historian, gave a very interesting presentation on Little Soddy Historic Mining Area which is within boundaries of Cumberland Trail State Park and is dissected by Soddy Gorge section of the Cumberland Trail.

Carla Hilling, who recently attended the annual statewide TTA meeting, reported that Soddy Daisy TTA had been voted into official status and that we would receive a 100 dollar grant in January which will be used to open our bank account.

Discussed the placement of historic markers and identification signs along the trail in Little Soddy Historic Mining Area. Our first objective is to decide exactly what is needed and an approximate cost prior to seeking approval from park management.

Discussed advanced scheduling of activities and decided it is not necessary to load the calendar months in advance.

Discussed an 8.4 mile hike from Signal Point to Highway 27 in which members from other chapters have shown interest. This hike will go on scheduling calendar in near future with invitations sent to other chapters.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Soddy Gorge with Nashville Group

Jan Agee, Brandy Selman, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins joined up with a Nashville backpacking group on mile 21 of their 26 mile, 2 day trip, and hiked the last five mile segment from Little Soddy Historic Mining Area to Mowbray Pike Trailhead. While awaiting Nashville group’s arrival at mining area, a young man named Brandon Thurman, who was extremely well versed in mine history, arrived on scene and gave us a tour of the various structures. We saw the mule barn, mine # 7, remnants of boiler used to supply steam to steam engines, blacksmith shop, and shower facilities. We also learned some very interesting history. As the history lesson concluded, the Nashville group arrived. We took a group photo and headed up the trail. Excluding enjoyable conversation, the hike to Mowbray Pike was uneventful. Upon arrival at the Mowbray Trailhead, we agreed to meet at Rafael’s Italian Restaurant after retrieving vehicles from Sluder Lane Trailhead and Retro Hughes Trailhead. The day ended with a pizza feast. Thanks to Kelly Stewart, organizer of Nashville Meetup Group, for the invitation to participate in this event. Thanks to James Hou, backpacking group leader, for effort required to synchronize the Nashville group with the Soddy Daisy group.

Group photo at Little Soddy Historic Mining Area

Nashville group in Little Stone Door

Enjoying the view

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Lula Lake

Our exploratory trip to Lula Lake was a complete success and well worth the trip. Although we only covered about 4.5 miles of trails and roads, we became sufficiently familiar with the area to simplify planning of our next trip. Stream flow over Lula Falls was good but obviously not near what it is during the wet winter season. A return trip is a must. When someone gets the desire to visit Lula Lake, this group of 4 will be ready to join them.

Slide show of Don's photos

At base of Lula Falls

Saturday, October 18, 2008

North Chickamauga

Teresa Jordan, Mark Jordan, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins joined 11 far ranging hikers from as far away as Nashville for this North Chickamauga event. Group of 15 left trailhead parking area about 10:45 Eastern Time and began making our way to ladder # 1 and Boston Branch Overlook where we took an extended break for snacks and photos. From there we proceeded to cable crossing and ladder # 2 where 11 of us relaxed in the shade while 4 hardcore hikers (David Simpson, Bill Taber, Deborah Taber, and Margaret Massa) made the strenuous descent into gorge below. Upon their return, we packed up and retraced our steps back to the parking area. Entire trip took 6 hours. Total distance was approximately 7 miles for 11 of us and maybe 8+ miles for the group that explored the gorge. Thanks to Pokey Pete Broehl of Upper Cumberland Chapter for organizing an excellent event.

Slide show of Don's photos

Taking break near ladder # 2

Deborah and Margaret in the gorge

Bill and David in the gorge

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Rock Creek Loop

Lora Smith, George Bonneau, Teresa Jordan, Mark Jordan, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins took advantage of excellent weather and hiked Rock Creek Loop. Hike began at Leggett Road Lower Trailhead where the 1.2 mile long Connector Trail begins. Connector Trail connects lower trailhead parking area to Rock Creek Loop. Our inbound walk along the Connector Trail included a break at the creek. A second visit to the creek was made after arriving at junction of Connector Trail and Rock Creek Loop. We then proceeded around the loop until reaching spur trail to Leggett Point Overlook. After a short walk down the spur, which terminates at overlook, we took an extended break to enjoy a snack and the view. Following the rest period, we returned to main trail and resumed our walk on the loop which led us back to the Connector Trail. Our outbound walk along the Connector Trail also included a break at the creek, this time at a large, deep, calm, clear pool which would make a good swimming hole. Shortly after our last stop we were back at the parking area which completed an approximate 6 mile hike.

Taking break at Leggett Point Overlook

Rock Creek photo by Teresa Jordan

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Bridge Construction Begins At Rock Creek

Bridge components were moved to staging area today. Tools, scaffold, and other material will follow.

Slide show of today's activities

Ed Swanner unloads bridge components

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Big Possum and Little Possum Gorges

Jan Agee, Brandy Selman, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins hiked the southern half of Cumberland Trail Possum Gorge segment which started at Heiss Mountain Road trailhead and ended at an un-official exit point near Imodium Falls. The first 1.4 mile leg of this hike from Heiss Mountain Road to Big Possum Creek is mostly downhill which makes for an easy walk. The next leg from Big Possum Creek to Perkins Point is a little over 1 mile in distance and almost entirely uphill but not extremely steep. However it was steep enough to require numerous stops along the way to allow our over-revving hearts to idle down. After a lunch break at Perkins Point, we headed into Little Possum Gorge expecting terrain similar to the trail behind us but were surprised to find the grade much steeper and the gorge seemingly much deeper. After finally reaching the bottom, we paused for a photo op in the creek bed and then began our ascent up the north side of Little Possum Gorge. The climb out, also a very steep grade, provided a strenuous workout and excitement in the form of a Timber Rattlesnake we encountered along the trail. The snake was extremely passive and allowed us to take numerous pictures, two of which are shown below.

Crossing Little Possum Creek

Timber Rattlesnake - the dangerous end

Timber Rattlesnake - the noisy end