Saturday, January 29, 2011

GPS Exercise

Today's off-trail hike at Prentice Cooper was intended to provide practical experience with GPS and I believe our goal was accomplished. Our first leg began at Davis Pond with a destination of a Cumberland Trail footbridge about .4 miles away through open woods. After easily finding the bridge and Cumberland Trail with GPS, we followed the trail to Natural Bridge and then began a 1 mile hike back to Davis Pond through open woods. Again we easily found our mark with the help of GPS. After a lunch break at Davis Pond, we moved vehicles to the junction of Tower Road and Pot Point Road and began another hike to Ransom Hollow Overlook using GPS to guide the way. One lesson reiterated today was that GPS will provide the shortest and most direct route to your destination but it surely won't provide the easiest route.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo underneath Natural Bridge

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mullens Cove

Caroline Woerner, Sue LaGraff, Bob DeHart, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins hiked an approximate 3.5 mile section of Mullens Cove Loop at Prentice Cooper on a cold day that intermittently provided snow flurries and gusty winds.

Today's goal was to document a trail description of this segment which we accomplished, thanks to Bob's digital voice recorder. Looks like Snoopers Rock section might be our next project.

Group photo at precarious Mullens Cove Overlook

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Soddy Gorge South

Seventeen participants turned out for today's CHC hike on the south end of the Soddy Gorge segment of Cumberland Trail. This section of trail encompasses 4.9 miles between Mowbray Pike and Hotwater Road. It contains a couple of small creek crossings that sometime present an obstacle but water levels and flow were low today so we were able to cross with relative ease. Completion of this section allows numerous CHC members to mark Soddy Gorge off their bucket list.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo in Little Soddy Historic Mining Area

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Snow Hike

Don and Carol Deakins joined Mark Jordan, Teresa Jordan, Greg Jordan, and Manni Jordan for a hike on a snow covered trail into Big Possum Gorge from the Heiss Mountain Road trail head. We hadn't gone far down the trail when we encountered an old hiking friend, Mike White, along with his son and his son's girlfriend. After a short conversation we continued down the trail in temperatures that were much more comfortable than expected. And since previous hikers had already compacted snow on the trail, walking was much easier than anticipated. Comfortable temperatures combined with easy walking made this a hike in the snow that won't be soon forgotten.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo at old bridge site upstream from Big Possum Creek Bridge

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Haley Road

Our hike today had a purpose and that was to walk from the Prentice Cooper main trail head to Haley Road and compile a description of the trail which will be used in a trail booklet being assembled for the entire Cumberland Trail. Bob DeHart used a voice recorder to document the description as we hiked which greatly simplified the task. We also had the pleasure of meeting a group of Nashville hikers at the trail head and encountered them twice again along the trail, of which the second meeting prompted our group photo.

Today's photos

Group photo along trail with Nashville hikers

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Spider Den Bluff

Jane Ellett, Judy Varner, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins joined Chattanooga Hiking Club for a 6.5 mile Piney River hike from Newby Branch to Spider Den Bluff and back to Newby Branch. Cool weather provided incentive to keep moving but we did pause long enough for lunch at Spider Den Bluff along Duskin Creek where we built a fire and utilized chairs and a picnic table constructed of stacked rock.

Each trip with Chattanooga Hiking Club has proved to be exceptional so I'm already looking forward to the next hike with them.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo on Duskin Creek at Spider Den Bluff

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Day Hike

Although today’s weather forecast called for rain and rain it did for the entire hike, Joanne Denise, Derek Brown, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins donned our rain gear and headed to Soddy Gorge.

This hike got off to an exciting start when we arrived at Mikel Branch, normally a gentle flowing brook, but after heavy rain was flowing fast and deep. We couldn’t safely ford where the trail crosses so we left the trail and began bushwhacking upstream along the creek in hopes of finding a suitable safe crossing. After a substantial distance without finding a desirable location, we began to consider other options, one of which was a log bridge. Fortunately we were able to find a suitable log on a slope above the creek. We wrestled it down to the creek, stood it up at creek’s edge, and let it fall across the creek. That log along with some overhanging limbs provided a precarious but successful creek crossing. Even though we hiked in rain all day, this creek crossing adventure and numerous other water hazards made the hike an exciting and enjoyable event.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo in dry spot under rock ledge