Saturday, January 30, 2010

Flipper Bend Canceled

Due to ice and snow, Roberts Mill Road was closed which shut down the only feasible route to Flipper Bend where today's hike was planned. This event will be rescheduled for March.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Board Camp Creek

A hiker recently reported damage to a handrail along a treacherous section of trail on the Soddy Gorge segment of Cumberland Trail. Bob DeHart, Earl Helmer, TC Varner, Judy Varner, Ed Swanner, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins hiked in to inspect and repair the damage. An inspection of the area convinced us that falling ice was responsible for the handrail and support posts that had been knocked down. Fortunately TC had all the tools and parts needed to restore the handrail. After work was complete, we paused for lunch along Board Camp Creek and then completed the approximate 3 mile round trip hike needed to reach the location.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo on Board Camp Creek

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Appreciation Day

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Volunteer Appreciation Day, hosted by Cumberland Trail Conference, consisted of a hike on Black Mountain followed by a trip to Cumberland Mountain State Park for dinner, awards ceremony, and a presentation by Tony Hook.

It was cold, windy, and foggy atop Black Mountain where the hike began but conditions improved as we hiked down the mountain to Windless Cave. After a lunch break at the cave, we left the trail and began bushwhacking our way toward Brady Mountain trail head on a yet to be constructed but flagged route between Windless Cave and Highway 68. This off trail adventure added a little spice to the day’s event.

After the hike, a few drove over to Ozone Falls while others headed to Cumberland Mountain State Park. Those that made the side trip to Ozone Falls were not disappointed as the falls are easily accessible and flow over the falls was very high.

The day ended with dinner, awards ceremony, and an excellent presentation by Tony Hook which began with a report of progress made on Cumberland Trail during 2009 and concluded with plans and projections for 2010.

Slide show of Don's photos

30 hikers at Windless Cave

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Trail Maintenance

We had an excellent turnout for today’s trail maintenance on Rock Creek Loop. Jan Agee, Bob DeHart, Nance Jo Ogozalek, Brandy Selman, Brad Johnson, George Bonneau, Jane Ellett, Ed Ellett, Ed Swanner, and Don Deakins showed up with rakes in hand. Bob McGavock brought his leaf blower. Although the entire work session was plagued with rain and most of us were wet, we did get Rock Creek Loop in good shape. After Saturday’s hike from Retro Hughes trail head to Leggett Road lower trail head and today’s maintenance on the loop trail, Soddy Daisy TTA can attest to the fact that the entire Rock Creek segment is in good shape.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Rock Creek

Soddy Daisy TTA members Bob DeHart, George Bonneau, Nance Jo Ogozalek, Bob McGavock, Mark Jordan, Teresa Jordan, Sarah Hurt, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins were joined by Jane Seale, Bob Seale, Glenn Medley, and Amy Phillips for a 7.5 mile hike through Rock Creek Gorge. Much ice from the previous week of freezing weather still remains. This ice enhanced the beauty of Rock Creek trail and provided numerous photo ops. Winter may just be the optimum time to enjoy the Cumberland Trail.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo on Rock Creek

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Big Possum Gorge

Bob DeHart, George Bonneau, Nance Jo Ogozalek, Bob McGavock, Jan Agee, Jane Ellett, Earl Helmer, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins hiked 5+ miles in Big Possum Gorge, some of which was off trail exploration. The Possum Gorge trail description on Cumberland Trail web site mentions a large shallow room in an off trail rock bluff. This feature has been named “The Amphitheater”. We wanted to see this “Amphitheater” and had directions which instructed us to leave the trail about half way between Big Possum Creek and Perkins Point. This point was identifiable by what at one time might have been a coal mining road but could now be better described as a ditch. Regardless of condition, it led us straight to the amphitheater where we paused for a snack before beginning our return trip back to Heiss Mountain Road.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo along Big Possum Creek

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Little Possum Creek Falls

After seeing photos of iced over Little Possum Creek Falls (aka Imodium Falls) taken this past weekend by trail runners, Bob DeHart and myself decided we wanted our own photos so we grabbed our cameras and off we went. Although ice was melting and icicles beginning to fall, we arrived in time to capture what a week of freezing weather can do to Little Possum Creek Falls. This 5 mile round trip was well worth the effort.

Slide show of Don's photos

Little Possum Creek Falls

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Rock Creek Loop

Bob DeHart, George Bonneau, Bob McGavock, Jane Ellett, Earl Helmer, Nance Jo Ogozalek, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins hiked Rock Creek Loop with a side trip to Leggett Point Overlook for a total distance of about 4 miles. It was a very cold morning but by hike’s end the temperature had risen to a blistering 32 degrees. Days like this keep stops along the trail to a minimum. It doesn’t take but a few minutes to lose body heat generated by walking.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo on Rock Creek

Monday, January 4, 2010

7th Meeting

7th Chapter Meeting
Held at Soddy Daisy Municipal Building

In Attendance:
  • Don Deakins
  • Carol Deakins
  • Jan Agee
  • Brandy Selman
  • Judy Varner
  • Nance Jo Ogozalek
  • Earl Helmer
  • Bob DeHart
  • Sarah Hurt
  • Caroline Woerner
  • George Bonneau
  • Anna Dennett
  • Doug Dennett
  • Lora Smith
  • Maria Lubkowitz
  • Larry Cook
  • Ed Ellett
Guest Speaker:
  • David Hardeman
  • Erich Woerner
  • Tony Hook
  • Adair Darland

Meeting began with a presentation by guest speaker David Hardeman, an SOCM representative. He discussed a history of area mining, the effects of mining on the environment, and the status of present efforts to strip mine coal in Rock Creek watershed.

Tony Hook, general manager of Cumberland Trail Conference, briefed us on North Chick trail repair presently in progress. He discussed 2010 Breakaway scheduled for February 28 thru March 20 when 4 miles of new trail will be constructed between Cooper Creek and Cain Creek in North Chickamauga Gorge. He provided a status of parking lot construction at Mowbray Pike trail head and Retro Hughes trail head.

Jan Agee gave a treasury report.

We decided our National Trails Day event would be a repeat of last year’s which means we will set up on Heiss Mountain Road and escort guests into Big Possum Gorge.

Discussed upcoming Cumberland Trail web page that will display photos submitted by Cumberland Trail hikers.

Discussed hazards of crossing Big Soddy Creek in our upcoming Soddy Gorge hike.

Planned February hike schedule.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Soddy Gorge

Soddy Daisy TTA members Don Deakins, Carol Deakins, Mark Jordan, Teresa Jordan, Wesley Jordan, Bob DeHart , Nance Jo Ogozalek, Maria Lubkowitz, Anna Dennett, George Bonneau, Bob McGavock, Earl Helmer, and Ed Swanner were joined by Don Coffman of East Tennessee TTA, Wanda Lee, Bill Lee, and Sarah Hurt for a 5 mile Soddy Gorge hike between Mowbray Pike and Hotwater Road. Upon arrival at Hotwater Road / Sluder Lane parking area, we discovered trail runners preparing for an event on the same section of trail we were hiking and no parking space was available so we had to park on the shoulder of both Hotwater Road and Sluder Lane. The area was so crowded a resident came out and offered to let us park on his property. The parking lot planned for this trail head can’t come soon enough.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo near Clemmons Point