Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Connelly Ensign, Jan Agee, Nance Jo Ogozalek, Earl Helmer, Bob DeHart, and Don Deakins enjoyed our first hike of the year in fall like conditions. Our 4.5 mile Greenway walk began with a slightly cool temperature and ended in optimum conditions for hiking. Anyone awaiting fall weather conditions to resume hiking should be dusting off your equipment because cooler weather is here.

Down in rock quarry

Monday, September 28, 2009

Prep Work Complete

Soddy Daisy TTA member Bob DeHart joined Larry Ryan, Jim Hardy, and George Summers at Rock Creek to complete prep work at Rocky Branch Bridge site. All planned preliminary work at Boiling Spring, Flat Branch, and Rocky Branch is now complete. Actual construction of replacement bridges is scheduled to begin on October 15.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Signal Point Complete

Bob DeHart and Earl Helmer joined Tony Hook, Larry Ryan, Jim Hardy, George Summers, Don Taylor, and Mo Logan to complete Signal Point stair repair and construction that was interrupted by rain yesterday.

Soddy Daisy TTA has a hike scheduled for 7 November that begins at Signal Point so we will get the opportunity to use these new stairs.

Signal Point construction crew

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Signal Point Maintenance

Soddy Daisy TTA members Bob DeHart, Ed Swanner, Earl Helmer, Bob McGavock, and Jane Ellett joined Don Taylor of Nashville TTA, Jim Hardy of Plateau TTA, George Summers, Alex Schafer, Tony Hook, and a few others for wood and rock stair construction on Cumberland Trail near Signal Point trail head. Building materials were moved to work site but construction was interrupted by heavy rain which soaked everyone. Work will resume tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Flat Branch

Bob DeHart, Nance Jo Ogozalek, George Bonneau, Ed Swanner, Earl Helmer, and Don Deakins joined Tony Hook, Jim Hardy, and George Summers for another day of prep work at Rock Creek. We spent the entire day at Flat Branch dragging two logs to the bridge site and de-barking those same two logs. Prep work is now complete at Boiling Spring and Flat Branch but two logs at Rocky Branch need to have bark removed. Any volunteers?

Connecting cable to log

Dragging log with come-a-long

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Savage Gulf

Caroline Woerner, Nance Jo Ogozalek, Bob DeHart, Earl Helmer, Don Deakins, Judy Varner, and TC Varner were joined by guest hiker James Cotter of East Tennessee TTA for an approximate 6 mile hike from Stone Door ranger station to Greeter Falls with stops at Stone Door, numerous overlooks along Big Creek Rim Trail and Greeter Trail, Boardtree Falls, and Greeter Falls. Although we hiked in light rain for about 3 miles, it wasn’t sufficient to wet clothing, however hikers without hats did get damp hair. The day ended with a cookout at Stone Door ranger station and this time it wasn’t interrupted by rain.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo at bottom of Stone Door

Thursday, September 17, 2009

More Prep Work

Tony Hook, Jim Hardy, Bob DeHart, Larry Cook, and Don Deakins turned out in less than optimum weather for another day of bridge prep work at Rock Creek. Shortly after our arrival at Flat Branch it began to rain heavily, soaking us, and finally forcing us to seek shelter under a rock ledge along Flat Branch. We watched as Flat Branch was transformed from a dry creek bed into a flowing stream. In spite of the rain we did complete our planned task. Next Wednesday we will complete debarking stringers at Flat Branch and Rocky Branch which will finalize prep work.

Previously dry Flat Branch after heavy rain

Monday, September 14, 2009

TTA Promotion

Bob McGavock organized and conducted a two day Rails to Trails and Tennessee Trails promotion which consisted of setting up a booth along the walking track at Soddy Daisy Veterans Park, handing out literature, and providing verbal information about both organizations. Each day (Sept 14 & 15) included two periods, an 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM morning session and a 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM evening session however the Sept 15 morning session was rained out. At least one representative from Rails to Trails participated and numerous Soddy Daisy TTA members pitched in. Many thanks to Bob.

Slide show of Don's photos

Rails to Trails and TTA promotion booth

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Possum Gorge North

Don Deakins, Carol Deakins, Bob DeHart, Jane Ellett, Ed Ellett, Judy Varner, TC Varner, Anna Dennett, Susan Bryant, Darryl Bryant, Mark Jordan, Teresa Jordan, and George Bonneau hiked a section of Cumberland Trail in Possum Gorge between Retro Hughes Road and Little Possum Creek Bridge. A shortcut exit from Little Possum Creek Bridge on a .7 mile jeep trail resulted in a total distance hiked of approximately 7.25 miles. Due to a casual pace, numerous stops, and an extended lunch break at Imodium Falls, 5.5 hours were required to complete the 7.25 miles.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo at Retro Hughes Trail Head

Friday, September 11, 2009

North Chick Clean-up

Representatives from Soddy Daisy TTA, Cumberland Trail Conference, North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy, and TVA teamed up for a clean up project at North Chickamauga Creek. Work consisted of removing old automobile tires and appliances such as washing machines, dryers, stoves, and TVs that had been dumped here many years ago. This large group was able to collect and transport the trash to a location accessible by ATVs. It will be hauled off during the next River Rescue event scheduled for October 3, 2009.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

More Rebuild Preps

Soddy Daisy TTA members Bob DeHart, Caroline Woerner, Bob McGavock, Earl Helmer, Nance Jo Ogozalek, Jane Ellett, Don Deakins, and Carol Deakins joined Tony Hook of Cumberland Trail Conference and Jim Hardy or Plateau TTA for another day of prep work on Rock Creek pole bridges. We completed prep work at Boiling Spring Bridge and ended the day working at Flat Branch Bridge. Looks like we may spend the next two Wednesdays trying to complete this work.

Debarking log to be used as stringer in new bridge

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Possum Gorge South

Soddy Daisy TTA members Bob DeHart, Randy Holcomb, Connelly Ensign, Jean Parker, Earl Helmer, George Bonneau, Jane Ellett, Don Deakins, and Carol Deakins were joined by Plateau TTA members Don Hazel, Karla Miller, and Linda Barclay along with BF Barker from Signal Mountain for an approximate 4.5 mile Cumberland Trail hike from Heiss Mountain Road to an unofficial exit point on Retro Hughes Road. This hike through both Big Possum Gorge and Little Possum Gorge required utilization of recently constructed Big Possum Creek Bridge and Little Possum Creek Bridge. These bridges have transformed this section of trail into one that can be through hiked year round, regardless of stream flow.

Slide show of Don's photos

Snack break on rocks at Little Possum Creek Bridge

Friday, September 4, 2009

GPS Training Session

Participants for our first GPS training session were Mark Jordan, George Bonneau, Ed Swanner, Jane Ellett, Earl Helmer, Bob DeHart, Caroline Woerner, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins. We began with a discussion about the Global Positioning System in general and the basics of how it functions. After the class room session, we got hands on practice learning how to record coordinates for our present location, how to enter coordinates for distant locations, how to navigate to the distant location, and ended the session with each participant independently navigating previously established courses. We plan to continue these exercises until everyone becomes intimately familiar with their GPS receivers and are comfortable leaving the trail with only GPS to guide them.

Our GPS training class at Bakewell ball field

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bridge Rebuild Preps

The group today consisted of Alex Schafer, Jan Agee, Bob DeHart, Earl Helmer, Bob McGavock, Ed Swanner, Nance Jo Ogozalek, Carol Deakins, Don Deakins, Judy Varner, Brandy Selman, TC Varner, Tony Hook (General Manager of Cumberland Trail Conference), Jim Hardy of Plateau Chapter, and Brad Johnson. Seven workers did maintenance on a 2.5 mile stretch of trail between Rock Creek Bridge and Leggett Road Upper Trail Head while the others did preliminary work at Boiling Springs Bridge site in preparation for the bridge rebuild scheduled in October. We did not complete all work planned for today. This preliminary work must be completed before bridge rebuilding begins so our schedule for next Wednesday will be a duplicate of today.

Group photo before work began