Saturday, May 28, 2011

Possum Gorge

Today’s 6.7 mile Possum Gorge hike from Retro Hughes Trailhead to Little Possum Creek Bridge and out the construction entrance began under comfortable conditions and remained that way for most of the hike but we were beginning to experience summer heat by hike’s end. Looks like it is time to get geared up for a few months of high heat and humidity or start spending more time on the river.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo along creek above Imodium Falls

Friday, May 27, 2011

Kayaking and Picnicking

Mark and Teresa have planned on buying kayaks for months but unfortunately missed a kayak demo last Sunday that would have helped them decide exactly what they wanted so we put together a miniature kayak demo in conjunction with a picnic at Soddy Lake. Our demo consisted of 3 boats which could not compare to approximate 40 kayaks available for testing at Ross’s Landing but we did have enough variety to demonstrate the big difference between a “Sit on Top” and a “Sit Inside”. They will visit the kayak store this weekend and our next outing on the water should have five boats.

Our evening began with a few test runs around the lake. After a picnic dinner we returned to the water which eventually resulted in a little laughter. TC accidently capsized and had to bring his kayak ashore to empty the water. I don’t usually post pictures that would embarrass anyone but this picture had to be posted. Later, Judy intentionally capsized her craft as a test and proved that it is difficult to flip an Ocean Kayak.

Tomorrow we will be back on dry land hiking in Possum Gorge.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo on Soddy Lake

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Hiwassee Island

Five participants showed up for a very warm day of exploration around Hiwassee Island. Judy Varner and TC Varner teamed up in their canoe, Phyllis Williams paddled her kayak, while Bob DeHart and Don Deakins kicked back in a motorized flat bottom boat. There was much to see around the island today. Big carp were in the shallows and the sky was full of osprey and blue heron but the most exciting sighting of the day was two bald eagles. Hiwassee Island is a paradise for wildlife.

Lunch break on Hiwassee Island

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Laurel Maintenance

Judy Varner, TC Varner, Jane Ellett, Caroline Woerner, Bob DeHart, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins joined Brandy Selman and Ronald Skiles of the Cumberland Trail maintenance crew for a maintenance hike on the Laurel Falls Trail in Dayton. There were numerous big trees on the trail that required removal, two of which were positioned precariously, but Ronald Skiles and the big STIHL chainsaw handled them with ease. At day's end we had cleaned trail from trail head to the creek crossing above Laurel Falls which resulted in a round trip hike of 6 miles.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo at Laurel Campsite

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sale Creek

Although today's windy and cool weather might have been more appropriate for a hike, we spent the day on the water at Sale Creek. Jan Agee, Brandy Selman, and Judy Varner paddled kayaks and TC Varner paddled a canoe while Bob DeHart and Don Deakins monitored the strenuous activity from our motorized flat bottom boat. This outing began at the Sale Creek Campground boat ramp, navigated upstream on Sale Creek a substantial distance past the point where the creek passes under US-27, and then back to the boat ramp which resulted in an approximate 9 mile round trip.

Kayaks on Sale Creek

Saturday, May 14, 2011

New Trail In North Chick

Jane Ellett, Bob DeHart, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins joined the Chattanooga Hiking Club for a hike on the recently completed 3.1 mile section of North Chickamauga Gorge between Cain Creek and Stevenson Branch Campsite. Total round trip distance including the walk from parking area to trail was 6.5 miles. Even though we were presented with unseasonably warm temperatures and significant elevation changes, it failed to dampen the group's enthusiasm and I think everyone will be ready to hit the trail again very soon. (Actual hike date was May 11, 2011)

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo at Stevenson Branch

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Trail Maintenance

After encountering numerous downed trees on the trail during their Possum Gorge hike last weekend, Mark and Teresa suggested a maintenance hike for today on the segment of trail between Little Possum Creek Bridge and the concrete bridge. With chain saw, hand saws, loppers, and pruning shears in hand, Mark Jordan, Teresa Jordan, Caroline Woerner, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins hiked in on the Little Possum Creek Bridge construction entrance, cleared all trail obstructions from 2.6 miles of trail, and hiked out on the gated logging road that crosses the concrete bridge. Although we didn’t keep count of trees removed, it was surely greater than 10 and our total hike distance was about 4.5 miles.

Slide show of Don's photos

Lunch break at Imodium Falls

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Black Mountain

Although Cumberland Trail Volunteers met Chattanooga Hiking Club as planned, we didn’t hike with them. Their Black Mountain hike plans called for parking at the bottom of Black Mountain, hiking to the top, and then retracing their steps back down which was just a tad more arduous than we had planned. Our plans called for staging a vehicle at the bottom and driving a second vehicle to the top which is exactly what we did. A casual pace down the mountain mixed with many stops to observe the abundant wildflowers and a lunch break at Windless Cave made for a hike this group of four thoroughly enjoyed.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo at Windless Cave