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

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Maclellan Island

Jan Agee, Brandy Selman, and Don Deakins took an overnight boat trip to Maclellan Island on the Tennessee River in downtown Chattanooga. Jan and Brandy paddled kayaks while I followed along in my flat bottom boat which was loaded down with luxury items such as lawn chairs and coolers full of ice. Although we couldn't hike the trails because they are so overgrown, Jan and Brandy did kayak around the island before we settled in for an evening around the campfire. With thunderstorms possible on Sunday, we were up early and heading back up river shortly after sunrise.

Slideshow of Don's photos

Slide show of Brandy's photos

After hours on Maclellan Island

Monday, June 20, 2011

North Chick Clean-up

Brandy's trail maintenance crew was short handed today and the post weekend clean-up at North Chickamauga Creek requires more than one person so she requested assistance from Jan Agee and Don Deakins. We gladly pitched in and were able to pick up all the trash between North Chick trail head and the Blue Hole in about a four hour time span.

Brandy and Jan cleaning up trail to Blue Hole

Swimmers at Blue Hole in North Chickamauga Creek

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Rock Creek Loop

Bob DeHart, Judy Varner, TC Varner, Ronald Skiles, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins hiked Rock Creek Loop with a side trip out to Leggett Point Overlook. About half way through the hike while taking a break in Rock Creek we began to hear thunder rumbling in the distance. The threat of a thunderstorm prompted a return to the trail where we began to make our way back to vehicles.  Although we did encounter a slight amount of rain on our return, it did not discourage us from stopping at Leggett Point Overlook for a lunch break. Fortunately no more rain fell before the hike ended.

Rest break in Rock Creek

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Big Slough

Phyllis Williams, Jan Agee, Brandy Selman, Judy Varner, TC Varner, and Don Deakins paddled almost five miles as we toured the Big Slough Project at Hiwassee Refuge goose management area. Although geese weren’t present and we didn’t see bald eagles as expected, we did sneak up on a few deer along the shore as well as a couple of wild turkeys. This place could possibly be paradise for a wildlife photographer.

Slide show of Don's photos

Slide show of Phyllis's photos

Smooth water in goose management area

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Prentice Cooper

Our plans to hike out Dry Branch Road in Prentice Cooper were changed as we drove out Tower Road and found the Tower Road gate closed at the Pot Point Road junction. It was closed to ensure wild turkeys are not disturbed during their nesting period. The Dry Branch hike will be rescheduled after the gate is opened.

Since we were already at Pot Point Road, we drove over to Davis Pond, hiked out Pot Point Road, and returned on an unnamed alternate route which resulted in a 4 mile round trip. Afterwards we decided to do a little 4-wheeling on Haley Road, a jeep / ATV trail that none of us had ever traveled past Mullens Creek which is at the approximate one mile mark. At Mullens Creek we found a cool shady spot where we stopped for a short lunch break before continuing out Haley Road. Upon reaching the end of Haley Road, we were near state highway 27 in the vicinity of Ketner’s Mill, just a little over 6 miles from the beginning of Haley Road. We then turned around and slowly made our way back to Tower Road and the main trail head where our day ended.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo in Mullens Creek

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Hiwassee Island

Jan Agee, Brandy Selman, and Don Deakins spent about five hours paddling the waters inside and around Hiwassee Island under perfect conditions for a day on the water. We maintained a casual pace which made it much more enjoyable and numerous bald eagle sightings added a little excitement.

Slide show of Don's photos

Jan and Brandy among lily pads at Hiwassee Island

Friday, June 3, 2011

Sale Creek Test Run

Today was the maiden voyage of Mark and Teresa’s new kayaks and an extensive voyage it was. We paddled as far up Sale Creek as a kayak can go where we encountered shallow water and a log that required us to exit kayaks and drag them over the log to proceed past that point. About 300 feet past that point was an impenetrable log jam and end of the line. Our round trip took about 4 hours of paddling and resulted in three tired kayakers.

Slide show of Don's photos

Preparing to head back after dinner break