Monday, December 31, 2012

Exploring Rock Creek

TC and I hiked into the Rock Creek segment to check out a small cave he discovered on one of his recent exploratory hikes. This cave is located in the bluffs above the trail about half way between Rocky Branch and Leggett Branch. On our return trip back to Leggett Road upper trailhead, we decided to leave the trail and hike along the base of the bluff below the trail. That allowed us to hike under Rocky Branch Falls and Flat Branch Falls which can't be seen from the trail. I didn't have a camera with me today but the video below is of the same off-trail section.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Salvage Mission

Today's goal was to salvage the cable used as handrails on the recently dismantled Back Country Bridge. We hiked in from rock climber's parking lot and, after crossing Big Soddy Creek, left the trail and climbed up to the base of the bluff above the trail and followed the bluff line for most of the distance to the bridge site. Upon arrival at the old bridge site we discovered that the trail across the creek that replaced the bridge was performing well with substantial flow in this small creek. We then proceeded to remove the cable from the old handrail support posts. After the work was done, we had just enough energy to make the long hike back to our awaiting vehicles.

Don's photos

Group photo along base of bluff

Friday, December 14, 2012

Soddy Gorge Off-Trail

Today we added a little variety to the hike from Sluder Lane to Deep Creek area by taking a shortcut over the ridge before reaching Posey Point and then hiking off-trail a portion of the distance between Posey Point and Deep Creek. We discovered numerous old mines, one of which had an opening large enough for a small person to crawl through and old support timbers were visible just inside the entrance. Further down the trail we visited an unofficial overlook that we have noticed numerous times before but never left the trail to investigate. Today we had lunch there. Next time we plan to bring rope and explore down below this overlook.

Group photo off-trail somewhere between Deep Creek and Posey Point

An unofficial overlook at N35 17.829 W85 11.145

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Soddy Gorge South

A few days ago we were hiking in t-shirts but today's weather was more December like and required a few more layers of clothing. We hiked the 4.9 mile southern segment of Soddy Gorge trail between Mowbray Pike and Sluder Lane with a little off-trail exploration of rock outcroppings thrown in to add some variety to this hike we have done many times. Unfortunately we also discovered a few hemlock trees which were infested with the woolly adelgid, a small bug that will eventually kill most if not all hemlocks.

Group photo on rock outcropping along trail

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Possum Gorge

Debbie Lambert of Chattanooga Hiking Club, Judy Varner, TC Varner, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins took advantage of this superb December weather and hiked the entire Possum Gorge segment of Cumberland Trail. Normally when hiking this trail we stop for lunch below Little Possum Creek Falls (aka Imodium Falls) but today we tried something different and took our break at top of falls as shown below. It is more easily accessible and the view is great so we may stake a claim on this spot.

Group photo along Possum Gorge Trail

Lunch break atop Little Possum Creek Falls

Lunch break atop Little Possum Creek Falls

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Piney River

Today's hike encompassed the entire Piney River trail between Newby Branch Trailhead and Piney River Trailhead, an 8.47 mile segment. Weather was ideal for hiking and apparently suitable for snakes too as we encountered a garter snake on the trail. First time I've ever seen a snake out during winter months.

This trail is in dire need of maintenance. Numerous trees are down on the trail with the worst section being the first half mile from Newby Branch but there are also trees down near Duskin Creek footbridge, near White Pine Cascades, at McDonald Branch, between the two junctions of the Flat Rock Loop Trail and numerous other places which will require the entire trail to be hiked with a chain saw.

Group photo at White Pine Cascades

Monday, December 3, 2012

Back Country Bridge

Cumberland Trail Conference completed the dismantling of Back Country Bridge and rerouting the trail away from the bridge site. Although we had seen the work in progress, we hadn't seen the completed project so we hiked in to the bridge site to check it out. Those guys did an excellent job of step building and trail construction in an extremely rugged area along this unnamed creek. With this old bridge gone, we no longer have to worry about its integrity when we reach this point on the trail.

Group photo on another re-routed trail segment

Back Country Bridge has been dismantled

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Rock Creek

Carol and I took advantage of today's t-shirt weather and hiked Rock Creek Loop but instead of hiking the entire trail, we left the trail and hiked along a portion of Rock Creek that parallels the lower loop. Our plans were to hike along the creek down to where the access trail from lower trailhead intersects with the loop trail but vertical rock walls along the creek stopped our forward progress and forced us to make a long steep climb back to the trail. We got our day's worth of exercise on that climb!

Taking a break on Rock Creek

Hiking along Rock Creek

Hiking along loop trail

Friday, November 30, 2012

GPS Exercise

TC Varner just bought a new Garmin GPSMAP 62s GPS receiver so we took it to Prentice Cooper State Forest for a test run. We began at Davis Pond and set a course for Natural Bridge, a crow flight distance of almost 1 mile. We had no problems navigating through open woods to our destination. At Natural Bridge we took a lunch break and then hiked from there on Cumberland Trail to a footbridge almost 1 mile down the trail. Upon reaching the footbridge, we left the trail and bushwhacked back to Davis Pond using GPS as guidance. At Davis Pond, we loaded into the vehicles and motored over to Tower Drive at the intersection of Pot Point Road. Once there we parked and set another course in the GPS for Ransom Hollow Overlook. A quick trip through the woods to the overlook and back ended our day of off-trail hiking with GPS.

Don's photos

Group photo somewhere in Prentice Cooper

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Graysville Mtn

We got a taste of winter weather on this 3.6 mile round trip hike from Graysville Mtn Trailhead to Graysville Mtn Overlook and back. A cold wind accompanied us as we walked along Roaring Creek and as we climbed the uphill grade to the mountain top. Surprisingly there was no wind at the overlook so we were able to take an extended break and enjoy the view in comfortable conditions.

Group photo along Graysville Mtn Trail

Graysville Mtn Overlook

Graysville Mtn Overlook

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Possum Gorge

A lunch time phone call from TC resulted in an impromptu hike on the northern section of Possum Gorge Trail. We met at Retro Hughes Trailhead and hiked to the first Little Possum Creek crossing. Rather than cross the creek and stay on the trail, we elected to follow an old jeep trail that paralleled the creek and ended at the concrete bridge. After reaching the concrete bridge, we returned to Possum Gorge Trail and followed it back to Retro Hughes Road for a total distance of 6.6 miles. Ideal weather and superb company made for a perfect Sunday on the trail.

Group photo at water fall along Little Possum Creek

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Soddy Gorge

On October 29th we hiked this same 6.75 mile section of Soddy Gorge Trail between rock climber's parking lot and highway 111. That hike was a maintenance hike and one objective was to rough in a new trail and circumvent the now dilapidated Back Country Bridge rather than replace the bridge. With a small crew and no tools we weren't able to accomplish much. A Cumberland Trail Conference crew came in a few days later and constructed a stone walkway across the unnamed creek (see photo below). More work needs to be done on the trail from the bridge site to the new stone walkway but this creek can now be crossed when water flow is high without reliance on the unsafe bridge.

Group photo on Board Camp Creek

Rock walkway that replaces Back Country Bridge

Saturday, November 3, 2012

North Chick

Caroline Woerner, Bob DeHart, TC Varner, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins joined Seasonal Interpretive Ranger Ryan Maddux for a North Chickamauga Creek Gorge hike to Boston Branch Overlook. This was planned as a recreational hike but, as usual, we turned it into a maintenance hike. We cleared all trail obstructions between the trailhead and overlook. A few trees across the trail were big enough to require a chainsaw but we took the time to cut them with a hand saw. One tree was too big to even think about cutting with a hand saw however, with help from other hikers, we were able to slide it down the steep slope and off the trail.

Bob's photos

Don's photos

Carol's photos

Group photo at Boston Branch Overlook

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Rock Creek with CHC

Judy Varner, TC Varner, Sue LaGraff, Rick Rogers, Bob DeHart, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins joined the Chattanooga Hiking Club for a Rock Creek Loop hike. We began at the Leggett Road Lower Trailhead on the 1.2 mile long access trail which connects the lower trailhead to the main trail. Upon arrival at the main trail, we turned right and proceeded uphill on the upper half of Rock Creek Loop. Near the top we took a short-cut over to Leggett Point Overlook. Although the view was excellent, cold wind made it a little too uncomfortable for a lunch break so we headed back down into Rock Creek Gorge where we stopped for lunch along the creek. After lunch we retraced our steps back down the access trail and returned to the parking lot to end an excellent day on the trail.

Don's photos

Carol's photos

Bob's photos

Group photo at Leggett Rd Lower Trailhead

Monday, October 29, 2012

Soddy Gorge North

Our plans to meet Tony Hook and crew at Back Country Bridge didn't pan out as Tony had to complete construction of a temporary bridge across Big Soddy Creek for the upcoming UpChuck Trail Race. We did however work at the Back Country Bridge. The bridge is rapidly approaching an unsafe condition. Rather than build a new bridge, the trail is being rerouted upstream of the bridge where hikers can boulder hop across the creek. We spent our time at the bridge site roughing in the new trail. The remainder of our six hours on the trail were spent removing trail obstructions. We didn't carry a chain saw today so two trees remain across the trail but they can easily be stepped over.

Don's photos

Group photo at rock house above Board Camp Creek

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

S Chick Greenway

We were due for a hike without a chain saw so, at Bob DeHarts' suggestion, we drove down to Sterchi Farm City Park and hiked a portion of South Chickamauga Creek Greenway. Except for a short encounter with two runners and one photographer, we had it all to ourselves. Ideal weather along with exceptional scenery made this 4.5 mile round trip an event to remember.

Carol's photos

Bob's photos

Group photo on boardwalk along S Chickamauga Creek

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Maintenance Hike

Today's maintenance hike covered the section of trail between Sluder Lane trailhead and Posey Point. It has only been a few short months ago that this trail was clear but apparently high winds have taken their toll. There were enough trees on the trail to keep us busy for 5 hours but ideal weather made it enjoyable. We will now sit back and wait on the next wind storm so we can go back and do it again.

Carol's photos

Bob's photos

Group photo at 1st trail obstruction

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Soddy Gorge

Today's hike from Sluder Lane out to Posey Point and on to Deep Creek was planned as an inspection but we found numerous trail obstructions, some of which we could remove by hand with the assistance of rope and hand saws. Others were much too big. Therefore we are planning another hike on the same section of trail but we will be carrying a chainsaw instead of hand saws.

Bob's photos

Group photo in Soddy Gorge above Deep Creek

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Rock Creek

We spent almost the entire day on Rock Creek Trail between Retro Hughes Road and Upper Leggett Road Trailheads. Much of that time was devoted to pruning along the trail with pruning shears and loppers but a substantial amount of time was spent with the chain saw. We cut trees on the trail and trees hanging over the trail that would have eventually fallen on the trail. We can now report that the entire Rock Creek segment including the Access Trail from Lower Legget Road Trailhead, Rock Creek Loop, and the main trail from Boiling Springs to Retro Hughes Road is now clear and ready for the November 10th UpChuck Trail Race.

Group photo at biggest tree we cut today

Big beech tree has been removed from trail

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Rock Creek Access

Today's maintenance hike encompassed only the Rock Creek Access Trail which stretches between Lower Leggett Road Trailhead and Cumberland Trail where the access trail intersects Rock Creek Loop. This short segment is 1.2 miles long which resulted in a 2.4 mile round trip. Our To-Do list contained only one tree that required removal but we encountered numerous other smaller trail obstruction which we also took care of.

Bob's photos

Today's crew along Rock Creek

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Rock Creek Loop

Although we removed all downed trees from Rock Creek Loop trail on July 29th, it again sorely needed the services of a chainsaw and Judy Varner, TC Varner, Emily Duncan, Caroline Woerner, Bob DeHart, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins were willing to provide the manpower required to assist the saw. Fortunately we had a good size crew as we encountered more trees on the trail than anticipated. We can now report that Rock Creek Loop is in excellent condition, at least until the next tree falls.

Bob's photos

Group photo on Rock Creek

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Maintenance Hike

Today's maintenance hike was in response to a report we received about two big trees blocking the Soddy Gorge Trail between Mowbray Pike and Hotwater Road. We encountered numerous other trees on the trail which could either be stepped over or climbed under but the two big ones were impenetrable and forced hikers off the trail. After 5 hours on this 4.9 mile section of trail with our Stihl chainsaw, this section of trail is again in excellent shape.

Bob's photos

Group photo on Soddy Gorge Trail between Mowbray Pike and Hotwater Rd

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Road Walk

Today, in an attempt to stay away from yellow jackets, ticks, and chiggers, we hiked Prentice Cooper jeep roads instead of trails. This 3.7 mile walk began at the main trail head. We hiked up Tower Drive and turned left onto Rally Ridge Road, followed Rally Ridge Road down to East Brow Road where we took another left and remained on East Brow until its intersection with Lusk Point Road. There we took another left and walked along Lusk Point Road out to Tower Drive which took us back to the main trailhead. Perfect weather and excellent conversation made for another superb day in the great outdoors.

Hiking along East Brow Rd in Prentice Cooper

Friday, September 14, 2012

Chiggers Galore

Today's 6.7 mile hike began at the Little Possum Creek construction entrance and ended at Retro Hughes Trailhead. It was not a typical hike for this stretch of trail as we were plagued by chiggers, particularly on the section of trail that follows an old coal mining road between Little Possum Creek Bridge and Imodium Falls. This segment is covered with weeds and those weeds are full of chiggers. We had to make regular stops and brush hundreds of chiggers from our pants and possibly thousands on a couple of occasions. There were also a few ticks in the mix. Two yellow jacket nests were also encountered along the trail but fortunately they reacted normally and didn't attack us.

This segment is in need of a maintenance hike with a chain saw due to numerous trees on the trail but I'll not hike the section again until it is too cold for chiggers.

Atop Imodium Falls

Monday, September 10, 2012

Dry Branch

After two weeks without hiking, Bob DeHart and I made an afternoon decision to hike Dry Branch Road at Prentice Cooper. A departure time of about 2:00pm put us at Dry Branch Road around 3:00pm. We parked on Dry Branch Road just off Tower Drive, hiked down Dry Branch Road to the intersection of Minchner Point Road, followed Minchner Point Road back to Tower Drive and walked along Tower Drive back to the vehicle which concluded this short 3.5 mile trek. Although we got a very late start today, weather was still comfortable and made us aware of cooler weather just ahead.

Hiking on Dry Branch Road

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Rock Creek Repeat

Our primary mission today was to eradicate the yellow jackets that attacked us during our August 15th maintenance hike but we also carried a hand saw to cut a few small trees we knew were on the trail. Our encounter with the yellow jackets turned out to be uneventful even though we were prepared to be attacked by a swarm. We stopped about 400 feet before reaching the nest, donned our protective gear, and headed to the nest area with wasp and hornet spray in hand. Upon arrival at the nest area we discovered there were actually two nests about 25 feet apart and skunks had damaged both. Although the nests were still active, not the first yellow jacket attempted to sting us. We saturated both nests with wasp and hornet spray, filled them with dirt, and covered them with big rocks. It will be near impossible for them to rebuild the nests so hopefully the yellow jackets that were not in the nest will build somewhere else away from the trail.

After killing the yellow jackets, we stopped at Leggett Branch for a cool down break followed by a lunch break at Rock Creek Campsite. After lunch we hiked on to Rock Creek Bridge where we met Caroline Woerner, the girl that got too many yellow jacket stings to count on our August 15th hike. She wanted to know if we were successful in killing the yellow jackets but didn't want to get anywhere near the nest. She completed the hike out to Retro Hughes Road with us.

Bob's photos

Group photo at Leggett Branch

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Possum Gorge

The goal for today's maintenance hike was to remove downed trees from the trail between Heiss Mountain Road and Big Possum Creek Bridge which surprisingly was accomplished without injury or yellow jacket stings. After that work was complete we took an extended break at Big Possum Creek and while there decided to finish removing a log jam on the upstream side of the bridge. Today's work on the log jam along with two previous work sessions completed the removal of a major creek obstruction and eye sore. We now just have to wait on Mother Nature to wash away the debris after our assault with the chain saw.

Bob's photos

Group photo in Possum Creek after removing log jam

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Hiwassee Island

Denise Shepard, Robin Kelly, Jane Ellett, Ed Ellett, Judy Varner, TC Varner, and Don Deakins met at Blythe Ferry boat ramp where we launched out little boats. We then paddled over to Hiwassee Island and explored the interior of the island before crossing Hiwassee River and entering the Big Slough goose management area. Once there we stopped and went ashore for lunch before paddling to the farthest point in Big Slough which put us in front of the wildlife viewing area. There we turned around and causally made our way back to Blythe Ferry ramp.

Don's photos

Lunch break in Big Slough

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Rock Creek Yellow Jackets

Today's maintenance hike turned into a cluster [insert f-bomb here] thanks to some very angry yellow jackets. Our intentions were to hike from Leggett Road to Retro Hughes Road and remove reported blow-downs from the trail. We did get the trail cleared between Leggett Road and Leggett Branch but as we approached Leggett Branch, we encountered a yellow jacket nest on the trail which had recently been partially dug up by a skunk. Angry yellow jackets attacked us all. Those that were already past the nest continued down the trail. Those that hadn't yet reached the nest turned and ran back the way they came and Molly the dog ran off into the woods. Everyone received multiple stings with Ava receiving nine but Caroline and Molly the dog caught the brunt of the attack as the entire swarm zeroed in on them. Caroline had too many stings to count which surely would have been fatal to someone allergic to stings as we were about 2 miles from the trailhead. These yellow jackets were persistent and chased each group a long distance from the nest before the stinging subsided so our group was split up and the dog was not with either group and we had no cell phone communication. To make a long story short, we never did get the group back together as some reached the trailhead long before others but we were at least able to finally establish cell phone communications and learn that no one suffered an anaphylactic reaction.

No group photo today.

Carol's photos

Bob's photos

Sunday, August 12, 2012

More Maintenance

Caroline Woerner, Bob DeHart, Tammy Smith, Mickey Hogsed, Judy Varner, TC Varner, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins spent the morning removing trail obstructions from Cumberland Trail in Soddy Gorge between Hotwater Road and Deep Creek. We made 13 stops for trees we had documented from a previous trail inspection and 2 more stops for big trees overhanging the trail which we decided to get while we were there with a chainsaw. Working conditions were optimum thanks to unusually cool weather and low humidity for August. Pleasant weather and a fun group made for an excellent day on the trail.

Carol's photos

Bob's photos

Group photo along Soddy Gorge Trail

Friday, August 10, 2012

Soddy Maintenance

Today's maintenance hike consisted of a short walk to three medium size trees on the trail below the point where Cumberland Trail crosses Hotwater Road. We encountered heavy showers as we drove to Hotwater Road and, after arriving, had to wait in vehicles for the rain to subside. We hiked to the work location in a light rain but fortunately it stopped shortly after work began. Removal of these trees completes work on all trail below Hotwater Road and our upcoming maintenance hike this Sunday can be confined to trail above Hotwater Road.

Bob's photos

Group photo at work site

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Soddy Gorge Maintenance

Ava Navin, TC Varner, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins turned out for today's inspection of an approximate 4 mile section of Soddy Gorge Trail. We began at Sluder Lane, hiked down the trail of tires and across Hotwater Road on to Posey Point and beyond to the intersection of the SCC Trail above Deep Creek and followed the SCC Trail to our previously staged vehicle at the rock climber's parking lot. A tremendous amount of debris was removed from the trail, that which could be removed by hand and hand saw but we left a tremendous amount which will require a chainsaw. 14 locations were documented where a chainsaw is needed and some of these locations have multiple trees. See our maintenance tracking document for photos and GPS coordinates.

Group photo along Soddy Gorge Trail

We found this turtle eating a mushroom

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Piney River Maintenance

Jane Ellett, Sam Henderson, Judy Varner, TC Varner, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins accompanied Brandy Selman and Miller Pace of the state trail maintenance crew for some trail clearing at Piney River near Spring City. This crew of eight along with three chainsaws turned an all day job into a morning's work with time to spare. After work we cooled off at and in the river before heading to the barn.

Carol's photos

Group photo along Piney River

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Rock Creek Maintenance

Today's maintenance hike was very productive. We removed numerous downed trees from the trail along with many others that were hanging over the trail and would have eventually resulted in trail obstructions. We also eradicated a nest of European hornets on the trail. Wikipedia says
European hornets are defensive of their hive and rather aggressive around food sources such as lilac bushes. Care should be taken when encountered in these circumstances as they may sting without warning. The pain from the sting may persist for several days with attendant swelling.
We found this to be true last Wednesday so today, as we approached the nest with wasp and hornet spray in hand, precautions were taken in the form of extra clothing and bug nets to prevent or at least reduce the chance of being stung. Fortunately we were able to kill them without getting stung. Ah, sweet revenge.

We can now say that Rock Creek Loop, the spur trail to Leggett Point Overlook, and the access trail to Lower Leggett Road Trailhead are clear of all trail obstructions. Unfortunately we can't say the same for hornets. We encountered another European hornet nest on the upper half of Rock Creek Loop but were out of bug spray. That nest will remain active until we return with some of that potent wasp and hornet spray.

Bob's photos

Carol's photos

Group photo on Rock Creek

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Rock Creek Inspection

Our intention today was to inspect a portion of Rock Creek Trail for downed trees that require chainsawing for removal and to get a little exercise before it got too hot. As luck would have it, we found three trees on the lower half of Rock Creek Loop that will require a chainsaw for removal and a few other smaller trees and limbs that we removed with hand saws. We also found a nest of some kind of large yellow jacket type wasps along the trail that will need to be eradicated soon. We learned the hard way that they sting without provocation. Our next hike down this trail will be with a chainsaw, wasp and hornet spray, and possibly a bee keeper's suit.

Carol's photos

Bob's photos

Group photo on Rock Creek

Sunday, July 22, 2012

And More Maintenance

Today, with a bigger saw and plenty of fuel, we returned to the site of the job we didn't complete last Wednesday. Even though we were better prepared for a tree of this magnitude, at 36.5 inches in diameter even the bigger saw with 20 inch bar was marginal. If we tackle many more trees of this size, we may have to invest in a complete array of lumberjack equipment.

Bob's photos

Carol's photos

Don's photos

Group photo after cutting big tree

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

More Maintenance

Although the day began with rain, thunder, and lightning all around, Caroline Woerner, Bob DeHart, Mickey DeHart, Carol Deakins, Don Deakins, TC Varner, Jane Ellett and grandson Sam Henderson decided to forge ahead. Fortunately the lightning subsided but it began to rain as we hiked down to and just beyond Little Possum Creek Bridge. Rain continued until the work was complete.

Not expecting a tree as big as we encountered, we carried a chainsaw with a full tank but no extra fuel which proved to be a bad decision. Also the chainsaw had a 16 inch bar which was not nearly long enough to tackle a tree of this size but regardless, we began our attempt at cutting this big tree. After much sawing we were finally able to sever the tree just as we ran out of fuel. The trail is still obstructed but the difficult sawing is done. The next crew to hike in with a chainsaw can just saw off the end sticking over the trail.

Even though we were not able to complete the job and everyone got wet, it was still a very enjoyable hike.

Bob's photos

Group photo on rocks at Little Possum Creek Bridge

This photo, taken in the rain with a fogged lens, is the tree we tackled

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Trail Maintenance

After receiving an excellent trail report from Jason Grizzard describing numerous downed trees on a section of Soddy Gorge Trail, Caroline Woerner, Mickey Hogsed, Tammy Smith, Judy Varner, TC Varner, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins loaded up our trusty Stihl chainsaw along with a few hand tools and began our working hike on the 4.9 mile section of trail between Mowbray Pike and Sluder Lane. Although trees in the report represented a sizable job, this group of seven cut it down to size and made it an easy day's work.

Don's photos

Carol's photos

Jason Grizzard's trail report

Group photo along Soddy Gorge Trail

Monday, July 9, 2012

Ziegler Island

Caroline Woerner, Judy Varner, TC Varner, and Don Deakins drove up to the site of the old Blythe Ferry and launched kayaks for a paddle around Hiwassee Island on our way to Ziegler Island. All the holiday boaters were apparently back at work as we had the river to ourselves except for a few fishermen. We didn't get to hang around on Ziegler Island as long as expected. An increasing wind along with ominous clouds rolling in and thunder in the distance provided incentive to shorten our day on the water and paddle the last couple of miles without stopping to enjoy nature.

Don's photos

Group photo on Ziegler Island

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Possum Creek

Caroline Woerner, Mickey Hogsed, Ava Navin, Judy Varner, TC Varner, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins hiked down to Big Possum Creek Bridge where we entered the creek and rock hopped upstream about 1/4 mile to the old railroad bridge site. There we took a snack break and Judy went for a swim. After the break we trail hiked back to Big Possum Creek Bridge where we stopped and expended much energy dismantling a log jam at the bridge. After the work session we raced backed to our air conditioned vehicles.

Don's photos

Group photo in Big Possum Creek