Friday, April 30, 2010

Snow Falls Mapping

Bob DeHart, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins spent 7 hours on the trail in Dayton measuring the length of the trail to Snow Falls and Buzzard Point, obtaining additional map data, and removing debris from the trail. We learned that a round trip to Snow Falls and Buzzard Point is 53895 feet or 10.2 miles. Highlights of the day were lunch at Snow Falls and an extended break at Buzzard Point where the view is breathtaking.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Laurel Falls Mapping

Jane Ellett, Judy Varner, Bob DeHart, George Bonneau, Don Deakins, Ed Swanner, and Ronald Skiles spent the day at Laurel-Snow in Dayton with a goal of refining our map data, measuring the length of Laurel Falls Trail, and performing any trail maintenance within our capability. Upon reaching the Laurel Falls / Snow Falls trail intersection, George Bonneau peeled off from the group and scouted the Snow Falls Trail for an upcoming Boy Scout event he will lead while we continued measuring, mapping, and cleaning the Laurel Falls Trail out to Bryan Overlook. At Bryan Overlook we took an extended break for lunch before retracing our steps back to the parking area, a 3.31 mile walk.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Piney River Mapping

Bob DeHart, Earl Helmer, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins hiked Piney River Trail near Spring City. We collected GPS map data, measured trail length with a measuring wheel, and cleared downed trees and fallen limbs along the way. Two snakes and a multitude of wildflowers provided confirmation that spring is here. Four tired hikers provided confirmation that trail maintenance might better be confined to shorter hikes.

Group photo at campsite on Piney River Trail

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mapping and Maintenance

Bob DeHart, Jane Ellett, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins hiked the Stinging Fork Trail and a short segment of Piney River Trail with an objective of measuring trail length and collecting GPS map data. We also planned a small amount of trail maintenance on the 1 mile section of Piney River Trail between Newby Branch trail head and Duskin Creek but found it needed much more than anticipated which resulted in spending a substantial amount of time where we expected to spend the least. We left this section of trail in excellent shape except for two large trees across the trail which will require a chain saw for removal.

Our second stop of the day was Stinging Fork Natural Area where we collected GPS map data and measured the trail length as we hiked out to Indian Head Point Overlook and Stinging Fork Falls. An extended break at Stinging Fork Falls for snacks, photos, and exploration was followed by a steep climb back to the trail head and awaiting vehicle.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo at Stinging Fork Falls

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Soddy Gorge

While some made the trip to Sewanne, George Bonneau, Bob DeHart, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins hiked the section of Soddy Gorge between Mowbray Pike and Hotwater Road. Our goal today was to measure the length of the trail with a measuring wheel and collect GPS map data. We also removed a surprising amount of debris from the trail, surprising because we had hiked this section with chain saws and removed all debris just 24 days ago. We didn’t have a chain saw today but with folding hand saws and pruning shears we were able to remove all debris encountered except for one large tree.

Group photo at halfway point

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Audubon Mountain Trail

Earl Helmer, Jane Ellett, Ed Swanner, Bob DeHart, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins hiked the recently completed Audubon Mountain Trail in Sale Creek which runs between Leggett Road and Coulterville Road. Our goal today was measuring and mapping. Our measuring wheel revealed the entire hike was only 12795 feet which equates to 2.4 miles. Although a hike this short hardly warrants a rest break, we did pause at an old cabin along the way for a snack and group photo.

Group photo in old cabin on Audubon Mtn Trail

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Possum Gorge South

Soddy Daisy TTA members Mark Jordan, Teresa Jordan, Don Deakins, Carol Deakins, Bob DeHart, Bob McGavock, and Earl Helmer were joined by Patricia Serio from Knoxville for a hike through Big Possum Gorge and Little Possum Gorge. We were able to reduce what would normally be a ten mile hike between trailheads down to 4 miles by using an unofficial exit point near Little Possum Creek Bridge. Ideal weather and blooming wildflowers made today the epitome of spring time hikes.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Maintenance Hike

Soddy Daisy TTA members Earl Helmer, Carol Deakins, Don Deakins, and Jane Ellett were joined by Jane’s grandsons Ethan and Sam Henderson on a 5 mile Cumberland Trail maintenance hike between Hotwater Road and Deep Creek. Our goal today was to hike in with a chain saw and remove 3 downed trees across the trail that were too big to cut with hand saws we carried on our March 27 inspection hike. In addition to removing trees from the trail, we also constructed a rock wall on a poorly marked switchback which will force hikers to make a 180 degree turn and remain on the trail rather than continuing straight ahead on what appears to be the trail.

Although we had an enjoyable and productive day, our thoughts were with our friend Jan Agee who is spending a couple of days at Memorial Hospital.

Group photo at site where large tree was removed

Monday, April 5, 2010

8th Meeting

8th Chapter Meeting
Held at Soddy Daisy Municipal Building

In Attendance:
  • Don Deakins
  • Carol Deakins
  • Jan Agee
  • Brandy Selman
  • Nance Jo Ogozalek
  • Jane Ellett
  • Mark Jordan
  • Teresa Jordan
Guest Speaker:
  • Stormy McGauley

Meeting began with a presentation by guest speaker Stormy McGauley, an organizer of the RiverRocks event scheduled for October 1st through October 10th. She described the different outdoor activities that will comprise the event and how they will showcase the natural resources of the Chattanooga area.

Jan Agee provided a treasury report

Discussed National Trails Day event scheduled for June 5th

Members were informed that Bob DeHart tracks Soddy Daisy TTA volunteer hours and reports them to Cumberland Trail Conference, therefore all volunteer hours turned in to CTC should go through Bob.

Mentioned trail construction at New River scheduled for April 8th through 25th.

Put out a call for May hike leaders because the SDTTA hike coordinator will not plan or lead hikes in May and possibly beyond.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Clear Creek Loop

Soddy Daisy TTA members Mark Jordan, Teresa Jordan, Bob DeHart, Nance Jo Ogozalek, Caroline Woerner, Sarah Hurt, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins were joined by Neal Sanborn at Flipper Bend for an approximate 6 mile hike, half of which was off-trail and guided by GPS. After numerous days of spring weather we expected to encounter ticks and chiggers but only one tick was reported. What we didn’t plan on was briers, at least the quantity we encountered today. This will probably be the last off-trail hike for this group till fall. Until then, the bugs and briers can have it.

Group photo at Flipper Bend parking area