Saturday, December 31, 2011

Board Camp Creek

This approximate 6 mile hike was a combination of trail hiking on the Soddy Gorge segment of Cumberland Trail in the Board Camp Creek area and off-trail bushwhacking along the banks of Board Camp Creek. Although we covered some very rough terrain, it proved to be the most enjoyable portion of the hike. We made tentative plans to hike up the center of the creek when warmer weather arrives.

Group photo as we prepare to cross this unnamed steam
Working our way along Board Camp Creek

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Rock Creek

Today's 5.4 mile Rock Creek hike began at Retro Hughes Road trailhead and ended at Leggett Road upper trailhead. This hike was scheduled as a recreational hike but, as usual, we performed minor trail maintenance along the way. If all hiking groups were like this group, the trails would always be in excellent condition.

Slide show of Bob's photos

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo on Rock Creek

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Possum Gorge Video

Bob, Carol, and Don hiked the southern section of Possum Gorge with video camera in hand and captured video which will be used in our Possum Gorge virtual tour. The northern section will be next as soon as Mother Nature provides suitable conditions.

Bob's photos

Crossing Little Possum Creek

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Piney River

This 7.3 mile Piney River hike began as a pleasure hike but quickly turned into a maintenance hike as we hadn't gone far when we encountered our first trail obstruction. It just so happened we had two folding hand saws with us so to work we went. We removed numerous other trail obstructions between Duskin Creek and Piney River Bridge, some of which required a saw and others just required horsepower. Although there still remains a few trees across the trail that require a chainsaw to cut, none require immediate attention as they can all be easily stepped over.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo on Duskin Creek

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Piney River Maintenance

Our goal today was one big tree across Piney River Trail that has been ignored for years because it was positioned in such a manner as to make it very dangerous to cut. We went prepared with not only a chain saw but rope, cable, and a come-a-long so we could prevent it from falling on or rolling over one of us. After devising a plan of attack, we proceeded with the work. Everything went smoothly with only one surprise...we discovered two bats hibernating inside the tree. They flew away and hopefully, with today's warm temperature, will survive and find a new home before it again turns cold.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo along Piney River Trail

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Blanchard Creek

The southern end of Possum Gorge segment of Cumberland Trail runs along and above Blanchard Creek. Today we decided to attempt a hike in and along the creek instead of on the trail. We were able to follow the creek almost to Bare Point where vertical rock bluffs forced us back up to the trail. We hiked the trail down to within a few hundred feet of Possum Creek Bridge where we left the trail again and bushwhacked along the base of the bluff back to the lower section of Blanchard Creek. The hike to the lower section of Blanchard Creek covered extremely rugged terrain but the extraordinary beauty made it all worthwhile.

Slide show of Don's photos

Slide show of Bob's photos

Group photo at base of bluff above Blanchard Creek

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Possum Gorge Maintenance

Brandy Selman and Ronald Skiles of the trail maintenance crew joined TC Varner, Judy Varner, Keith Weller, Bob DeHart, Caroline Woerner, and Don Deakins for a maintenance hike into Big Possum Gorge to remove five downed trees from the trail. A big Stihl chainsaw along with 8 workers turned this job into an easy and enjoyable task. It's hard to beat a hike that is fun and productive.

Slide show of Don's photos

Slide show of Bob's photos

Group photo on Big Possum Creek

Sunday, December 4, 2011

More Rock Creek Video

Bob, Carol, and Don took advantage of the diffuse lighting on this cloudy day and completed our video recording of Rock Creek Trail. Today we worked on Rock Creek Loop and the connector trail between the loop and lower trail head. Now comes the job of trying to edit it down to something presentable.

Hiking Rock Creek Loop at connector trail junction

Friday, December 2, 2011

Deep Creek

Our plan today called for hiking beyond Deep Creek to Big Soddy Creek but, due to high water level in Deep Creek, we could not ford where the trail crosses and our search for an alternate route across proved fruitless. Since this hike was cut short, we drove over to Sluder Lane parking area and hiked down the Trail of Tires. We hadn't been down this section of trail in a long while and it needed an inspection. We were able to remove all debris from the trail except for two minor blow-downs which will require a chainsaw. These two trees have been added to our "To-Do" list.

Slide show of Don's photos

Slide show of Bob's photos

Rest break during climb out of Deep Creek Gorge

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Rock Creek Video

Bob DeHart, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins spent most of the day in Rock Creek Gorge shooting video for a Rock Creek virtual video tour we are working on. Thanks to Mother Nature, cloud cover was present for most of the day which provided excellent lighting conditions. Recent heavy rains, also provided by Mother Nature, insured good flow in all creeks which are much more impressive than dry creek beds.

Slide show of Bob's photos

Friday, November 25, 2011

Rock Creek Loop

In an attempt to walk off some of yesterday's turkey feast, we made a trip to Rock Creek and hiked around Rock Creek Loop. Freshly fallen leaves made the trail difficult to follow in a few places but an excellent group along with good weather made for a perfect day on the trail.

Slide show of Bob's photos

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo on Rock Creek

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Possum Gorge South

Caroline Woerner, Jane Ellett, Maria Cheek, Mike Cheek, Bob DeHart, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins did a repeat of the October 5 RiverRocks hike where we hiked the southern section of Possum Gorge Trail between Little Possum Creek and Heiss Mountain Road. However today we maintained a casual pace and performed some minor trail maintenance along the way. At Big Possum Creek we met Cindy and Steve Smith with whom we discovered we have much in common. They joined us in our group photo and may join us on future hikes.

Slide show of Bob's photos

Group photo in Big Possum Creek
Climbing down after group photo

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Rock Creek Again

Yesterday we hiked Rock Creek Trail from the upper trail head to the lower trail head via the upper half of the loop trail and the 1.2 mile access trail from the loop to the lower trail head. Today we began at the upper trail head but hiked the lower half of the loop trail and, instead of hiking the 1.2 mile access trail, we hiked down the creek which parallels the access trail. One mile of boulder hopping added much fun to today's event. We should do this again before monsoon rains begin and creeks are flooded.

Today we also learned of another use for the trail. We met two guys, one from Roane County and the other from Hamilton County, that were running radio controlled dune buggies on the trail. Check out Bob's photos for a glimpse of these little machines.

Slide show of Bob's photos

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo on Rock Creek

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Rock Creek

Jane Ellett, Deb Wilder-Kimberlin, Bob DeHart, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins hiked a short section of Rock Creek Trail from upper Leggett Road trailhead to lower Leggett Road trailhead via the upper half of the loop trail. We carried a chainsaw and cut one large tree and two smaller trees from the trail along with other smaller debris which was removed by hand. Perfect weather, a casual pace, and a good group of hikers made for an excellent day on the trail.

Slide show of Don's photos

Slide show of Bob's photos

Group photo on Rock Creek

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Piney Maintenance

Jan Agee, TC Varner, and Don Deakins joined Brandy Selman and Ronald Skiles of the state trail maintenance crew for a hike to the Piney River Bridge where a landslide has covered the trail. At least 100 feet of trail is buried under 2 to 3 feet of debris while the middle 50 feet of this 100 foot section is covered with and additional 12 feet of mud, rocks, and trees. This section can probably never be reclaimed without heavy equipment so the trail will have to be rerouted. Although not built to Cumberland Trail specifications, we did construct a temporary route over the landslide which required cutting away numerous trees and building a ramp of stacked rock on which a sure-footed hiker can climb.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo on our roughly constructed route over the landslide

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Emory River Gorge

A map request for the Emory River Gorge segment of Cumberland Trail prompted Bob DeHart, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins to head to Wartburg in an attempt to locate Nemo Trailhead and collect map data. Thanks to Google Earth and Bob's Garmin Nuvi GPS, we had no problems locating our destination. Once there, we hiked out the 1.3 mile segment, recording GPS data as we explored the trail. This presently is a dead end trail so we had to turn around and retrace our steps back to the vehicle. After completing the hike, we drove many miles on a backwoods gravel road inside Catoosa Wildlife Management Area searching for Daddys Creek Trailhead which we also found with no problems. So today we hiked the Emory River Gorge Trail and learned where the trailheads are located for the Obed Wild Scenic River segment. Now if we can just get the energy to hike this 14 mile section, we will have accomplished something.

Slideshow of Bob's photos

Slideshow of Don's photos

Group photo overlooking Emory River Gorge

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

RiverRocks Hike

Twenty seven hikers turned out for today's RiverRocks 4.17 mile hike on the Possum Gorge segment of Cumberland Trail. Although the entire Possum Gorge segment is 9.5 miles long, we hiked only the southern end between Little Possum Creek Bridge and Heiss Mountain Road which provides an excellent representative sample of the entire Cumberland Trail. Hikers that experienced this trail for the first time seemed impressed. We hope to see them again.

Slide show of Don's photos

Slide show of Bob's photos

Group photo on Heiss Mtn Road

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Trail Maintenance

Bob DeHart and Don Deakins hiked portions of Possum Gorge Trail with chain saw removing major obstructions in preparation for October 5 RiverRocks hike. Three obstructions were removed near Little Possum Creek Bridge and one obstruction near Big Possum Creek Bridge. There are at least two more trees across the trail between the bridges which we did not tackle today but they can easily be stepped over.

Obstruction # 1 before
Obstruction # 1 after
Obstruction # 4 before
Obstruction # 4 after

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Trail Inspection

In preparation for the Possum Gorge RiverRocks hike on October 5, Vickey Davis, Bob DeHart, and Don Deakins hiked Possum Gorge Trail from Little Possum Creek Bridge to Heiss Mountain Road, removing debris from the trail as we hiked. There were a few trees across the trail the could easily be stepped over or climbed under which will require a chain saw for removal. Although none of them are show stoppers, we are considering another hike with chain saw to remove all trail obstructions prior to RiverRocks event.

Group photo on Little Possum Creek Bridge

Beginning climb to Perkins Point
Beginning climb to Bare Point

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Back To Sale Creek

Judy Varner, TC Varner, Denise Shepard, Caroline Woerner, and Don Deakins made a return trip to what has become one of our favorite places to paddle, Sale Creek. Weather conditions were cool and foggy upon our arrival but the fog lifted and temperature rose as the day progressed. Our trip took us to the log jam that prevents further upstream progress by boat which resulted in an almost 8 mile round trip.

Slide show of Don's photos

Paddling toward the fog

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Battle Creek with TVCC

Mark Jordan, Caleb Jordan, and Don Deakins joined Tennessee Valley Canoe Club for an approximate 6.7 mile kayak trip on Battle Creek in South Pittsburg. After launching at South Pittsburg Municipal Park adjacent to Shelby Reinhart Bridge, we paddled about 750 feet up Tennessee River before entering the creek. Battle Creek was calm with no discernible current so paddling was as easy upstream as downstream. Thanks to TVCC for a fun day on the water.

Slide show of Don's photos

Almost ready for launch

Friday, September 2, 2011

Paddle North Chick

Judy Varner, TC Varner, and Don Deakins launched our kayaks at the Greenway on Hamill Road and paddled North Chickamauga Creek. From the launch site we paddled upstream until encountering a tree across the creek just north of Hamill Road. There was no way around or over this obstruction so we turned around and began making our way downstream with Chickamauga Dam as our destination. After a short tour of the idled lock construction at the dam, we began our trip back to the launch site which completed our 7 mile event.

Slide show of Don's photos

Taking it easy

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Trail Maintenance

Judy Varner, TC Varner, Jane Ellett, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins hiked into Soddy Gorge along Board Camp Creek with fire rakes and cleaned a section of trail that was overgrown with poison ivy and briers. Conditions were relatively comfortable at start of this project but as the day progressed, temperature and humidity rose and reminded us that weather is still not suitable for hard work out on the trail. Leaves have already begun to fall so cooler weather is on its way.

Slide show of Don's photos

Lunch break on an almost dry Board Camp Creek

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sale Creek

Judy Varner, TC Varner, Mark Jordan, Teresa Jordan, Caroline Woerner, Joanne Denise, Jeff Guenther, and Don Deakins paddled Sale Creek and explored two feeder creeks we had overlooked in the past. Our first side trip was into Hodgetown Branch. We were able to paddle a distance of about .2 mile before we encountered unnavigable water. We turned around, paddled back to Sale Creek, and continued upstream for another half mile where we made a left turn into Rock Creek. Rock Creek looked good but, around the first bend, quickly became too shallow to proceed so we stopped for a snack break before turning around. After the break we headed back toward the boat ramp but took an alternate route shown to us by Jeff and Joanne. It was spectacular and resembled what I imagine waterways in the Amazon to be. We did not stop at the ramp but continued paddling downstream until we reached the large open body of water that extends to Browns Bridge. Wind was up and the water was white-capping. We played in the rough water for awhile and then returned to the boat ramp where some decided we wanted more paddling. Four of us then paddled back up Sale Creek to US-27 bridge and back which resulted in a total distance for the day of 9.75 miles.

Slide show of Don's photos

Preparing for launch

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hiwassee Island Overnite

Judy Varner, TC Varner, and I made an overnight kayak trip to Hiwassee Island. We used my flat bottom boat to haul necessities like lawn chairs and a few other heavy items. I also hauled my kayak in the flat bottom boat so I had two boats to contend with. Next time I'll take only one.

After camp was set up, we fished and paddled around on the east side of Hiwassee Island. Late evening was spent on Ziegler Island solving world problems while enjoying the shallow water and sandy bottom.

Fun ended at bed time. For anyone acclimated to an air conditioned environment, the heat and humidity created conditions not conducive to sleep. I'll either install an air conditioner in my tent or wait on cooler weather before doing this again.

Slide show of Don's photos

Enjoying evening coolness on Ziegler Island

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Tadpole Branch

Today's 7.5 mile paddle trip began on the Tennessee River at the old Washington Ferry site on Highway 30 between Dayton and Decatur. We paddled 1.5 miles up river to Clear Creek, followed Clear Creek for about 500 feet and then turned our kayaks into Tadpole Branch which we followed for about 1.5 miles. Tadpole Branch was littered with many overhanging trees we had to paddle under and numerous log jams we had to paddle around or force our boats over. At the 1.5 mile mark Tadpole Branch had narrowed to the point where there was little more than enough room to turn the boats around and a concrete bridge blocked further progress so we turned around and headed back downstream. When we arrived back at Clear Creek, we decided to explore it. At about .6 miles up Clear Creek, our curiosity was satisfied so we turned around and began paddling back toward Tennessee River as rain began to fall. Rain ended after a few minutes and we had clear sailing all the way back to Washington Ferry.

Slide show of Don's photos

Preparing for launch

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hornet Hunt

The goal of today's maintenance hike was to destroy a nest of hornets along Cumberland Trail which had reportedly attacked and stung a hiker 15 times. The hike began at the new trail head recently constructed by Southeastern Climbers Coalition on Old Hotwater Road. This new access dramatically reduces the distance required to reach Cumberland Trail in the Deep Creek area where rock climbers practice their sport.

Highlight of the day came when we encountered a copperhead on the trail just after crossing Deep Creek. All previous venomous snakes I have encountered on the trail have been very cooperative and allowed me to photograph them but this little snake just wanted to go hide so I had to snap these pictures on the run.

After reaching the area above Big Soddy Creek where the hornets nest was supposed to be, we performed a thorough search but found nothing. We even extended the search area all the way down to Big Soddy Creek and still came up empty handed. On our return hike we did find a yellow jacket's nest in the ground along the trail near Deep Creek and destroyed it. We couldn't help but wonder if the reported hornets above Big Soddy Creek were actually yellow jackets above Deep Creek. One thing we didn't wonder about was the temperature...it's still too hot to do much hiking.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo on Big Soddy Creek

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

And More Jeep Trails

Although Bob DeHart and I wanted to further explore the Persimmon Branch maze we found last week, a logging operation in that area prevented us from entering. Instead we found and explored side trails in other areas we had overlooked during previous weeks and, on Maple Branch Road, found rocks that provided a challenge to the jeep.

Maple Branch Road is a fun place for a jeep

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

More Jeep Trails

Bob DeHart and I thought we had just about traveled all jeep trails at Prentice Cooper but we learned today there are many more roads yet to be seen. Persimmon Branch Road, which we expected to be a short dead-end trail, turned into an endless maze of rugged ATV trails. We spent the entire morning exploring this maze and still left with much of it unseen. Looks like it will require many more trips to explore all jeep trails in this state forest.

Wildlife was scarce today but we did happen upon a pack of coyotes. They were as surprised as we were and scattered like a covey of quail. One even ran toward the jeep until it regained presence of mind, then turned and headed into the woods. I’m already wondering what we will encounter on the next trip.

Taking a break at Persimmon Branch


We got to do some minor rock crawling in numerous places

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Kayak Demo

Today’s kayak demonstration at Soddy Lake turned out to be more successful than expected. Tony Seagrove, Mickey Hogsed, Tammy Smith, and Ed Swanner stopped by to try these little recreational kayaks provided by Mark Jordan and Don Deakins. Fortunately Mark brought two boats, a sit-on-top and a sit-inside so those interested could try each type. Caroline Woerner came directly from Rock Creek Down Under with her brand new Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120. While our friends from Sequoyah Nuclear Plant were trying kayaks, Caroline launched her new blue boat for its maiden voyage. After testing was complete, Mark, Don, Caroline, and Ed paddled around Soddy Lake which ended our short 2 hour event.

Slide show of Don's photos

Testing kayaks at Soddy Lake

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Paddling with Phyllis

Phyllis Williams, Mike Seeber, Mark Jordan, Teresa Jordan, Jane Ellett, Keith Weller, and Don Deakins had an excellent day of kayaking on Sale Creek. Conditions couldn’t have been much better. We had warm water, no wind, and overcast skies which kept temperature in the comfortable range. Although we heard the rumble of thunder for most of the day, we did not get caught in a storm and only encountered a couple of very light sprinkles.

We began the day with a destination of Daugherty Ferry Road Bridge but didn’t even slow down as we passed the bridge and soon arrived at the US-27 bridge where a few stopped but others continued upstream with intentions of going as far as we could go. As we continued upstream, the water began to cool. At about 1.2 miles past the US-27 bridge we encountered a log jam which extended as far as we could see. That stopped any further advancement. The water was very cold here and combined with warm moist air, created foggy conditions.

After a short lunch break we began our return downstream. Along the way we met Joanne Denise and Jeff Guenther in their kayaks. After a short reunion, we continued on our way and soon arrived back at Iles Road boat ramp. That was the end of the trip for all but Keith Weller who, instead of driving to the ramp, had paddled from his home on the lake near Sale Creek Marina all the way to the ramp which I have measured on Google Earth as a 2.9 mile one way trip. Most of us paddled 7.4 miles today but Keith added an additional 5.8 to his day for a whopping 13.2 miles. Ouch!!

Thanks to Phyllis for hosting this event.

Slide show of Don's photos

Paddling up Sale Creek


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Jeep Trails

Bob DeHart and I spent today 4-wheeling along Prentice Cooper jeep trails and collecting GPS data on trails we did not explore last week. Although we have now explored and mapped most jeep trails on the west side of Suck Creek Road, one more trip will be required to complete the project.

Lunch break somewhere in Prentice Cooper

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Rock Creek Loop

Today's Rock Creek Loop hike had Teresa Jordan, Mark Jordan, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins wondering why we were out in the torturous heat and humidity. Even a casual pace from the upper trail head down to Rock Creek had us soaking wet with sweat. However, conditions were very comfortable at Rock Creek where we took a very long break. It was so comfortable we didn't want to leave but finally someone begrudgingly suggested we return to the trail and make the long climb back to the upper trail head.

We documented 6 downed trees on the trail around the loop which will be recorded in our To-Do list. These trees will remain on the To-Do list until cooler weather prevails when we will return with a chain saw and remove the trail obstructions.

Slide show of Don's photos

Cooling down at Rock Creek

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Audubon Mountain

Caroline Woerner, Sue LaGraff, Judy Varner, TC Varner, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins teamed up to install a sign on the Audubon Mountain Trail. Our work session got off to a bad start when we discovered that the road to the work location was grown up and had numerous downed trees across it, blocking our vehicular progress. We parked the cars, put the tools and sign post on our shoulders, and hiked to the intersection of the jeep trail and foot path where the sign was to be installed. After about 20 minutes, work was complete and we then began a hike up Audubon Mountain. It was hot and humid, too hot and humid to be hiking. After completing the 4+ mile round trip, we talked about not hiking again until conditions are more suitable. I hope we don't forget this conversation.

The mystery flower in photos has been identified. It is a Butterfly Pea.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo with newly installed sign

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mapping Jeep Trails

Bob DeHart and I spent the morning mapping jeep trails in Prentice Cooper with a primary goal of determining how close to Cumberland Trail some of the jeep trails are and a secondary goal of just exploring. We did find some routes that may come in handy when performing trail maintenance.

Lunch break on Dry Branch Road

Bob records GPS data at end of road

Monday, July 18, 2011

Another new boat

TC Varner sold his sit-inside kayak and today brought home a new sit-on-top Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120. I was lucky to have the opportunity to join TC and Judy as they took the new boat out for its maiden voyage.

Slide show of Don's photos

We ended the day rafted up in a bull session

Ziegler Island

Carol and I took our flat bottom boat up to Sale Creek Campground where we put the boat in and then motored up to Hiwassee Island. We toured the island following the same route as our last kayak trip and then headed over to Ziegler Island for some rest and relaxation. After eating lunch and wading around the island, we settled into lawn chairs which were in about 6 inches of water and in the shade of a cypress tree. It was very peaceful. If we remained still and quite, gar would swim up in the shallows and chase small minnows. This place is becoming addictive. I'm already looking forward to the next visit.

Relaxing in shade of Cyprus tree on Ziegler Island

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Possum Gorge Maintenance

An ongoing heat wave has most people avoiding the outdoors but Judy Varner, TC Varner, and Don Deakins headed into Possum Gorge with chain saw in hand to remove a downed tree from Cumberland Trail between Big Possum Creek and Perkins Point. What we first thought would require a minimum of cutting ultimately required the whole tree to be cut and moved. The tree was laying above and almost parallel to the trail with only the tree top in the trail. As we removed the top, the whole tree rolled onto the trail which required much more work in punishing heat but we finally got the trail cleared.

Working and hiking in today’s extreme heat and humidity required a slower pace on the trail and stops in Big Possum Creek and Little Possum Creek for a bird bath to cool down. We will probably wait on better working conditions before scheduling another maintenance hike.

Slide show of Don's photos

Lunch break in Little Possum Creek

Monday, July 11, 2011

Around Hiwassee Island

Mark Jordan, Teresa Jordan, TC Varner, Judy Varner, and Don Deakins paddled around Hiwassee Island but the best part of this 5.6 mile trek may have been a side trip to Ziegler Island which required crossing to the opposite side of Tennessee River. This island, a safe haven for many birds, also provides an excellent place to wade and swim. Warm shallow water combined with a sandy bottom created an environment that was hard to leave behind. We've gotta visit this place again soon.

Slide show of Don's photos

Ziegler Island

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Rock Creek Maintenance

Caroline Woerner, Judy Varner, TC Varner, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins hiked Rock Creek Trail from Leggett Road to Retro Hughes Road with a chainsaw, handsaws, and pruning shears. All trees that had been reported on the trail between Upper Leggett Road trail head and Rock Creek Bridge were removed. In addition, we also removed numerous trees on the trail between Rock Creek Bridge and Retro Hughes Road. We can now report the trail between Upper Leggett Road and Retro Hughes Road is clear.

Slide show of Don's photos

One of many big trees removed from trail

Friday, July 1, 2011

Possum Creek

Teresa Jordan, Mark Jordan, and Don Deakins paddled from the boat ramp at Possum Creek Bridge as far back Possum Creek as possible without pulling boats out of the water. Where Possum Creek parallels McCallie Ferry Road, we encountered a concrete driveway across the creek which ended our upstream exploration. Since we were already getting tired, we elected not to drag the kayaks across the obstruction and continue upstream. Instead we took a lunch break and then began the long trip back to the boat ramp. The round trip took almost 4 hours and GPS indicated we had paddled 8.4 miles.

Slide show of Don's photos

Calm day at Possum Creek

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Soddy Gorge Maintenance

Caroline Woerner, Jan Agee, and Don Deakins joined Brandy Selman and Ronald Skiles of the Cumberland Trail maintenance crew for a hike into Soddy Gorge between Hotwater Road and Deep Creek to remove a few trees that required a chainsaw. Temperature and humidity were within our comfort range which made this working hike an enjoyable event.

Approaching Cumberland Trail from old mining road


Chainsaw makes it easy