Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Trail Maintenance

We put in a long hard day performing trail repairs on the Rock Creek segment of Cumberland Trail. Two trees at trail's edge had blown down across the trail and uprooted which required that we cut the tree and remove the root ball to clear the trail. This work required much hard labor with hand tools and a come-a-long. After cutting the tree from the stump, trimming the root ball down to a manageable size, and cutting as many roots as possible, we were able to remove the stump at work site # 1 by yanking it out with the come-a-long. However the stump and root ball at work site # 2 never surrendered to our efforts. We were able to remove enough of it to allow the trail to be rerouted around it. That work is tentatively scheduled for Friday.

Slideshow of Don's photos

Slideshow of Bob's photos

Group photo at work site # 1 on Rock Creek Trail

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Soddy Gorge

Judy Varner, TC Varner, Sue LaGraff, Bob DeHart, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins turned out for today's 4.9 mile hike on the Soddy Gorge segment of Cumberland Trail between Mowbray Pike and Sluder Lane. The trail was easy to follow today as someone had been through on a horse and left tracks in the trail as well as other evidence that horses tend to leave behind. Other than having to watch our step, hiking conditions were good as was the group which made for an excellent day on the trail.

Slideshow of Don's photos

Group photo in mining area

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ransom Hollow

It was a foggy day at Prentice Cooper, too foggy to drive in some places but good for hiking if you didn't mind the short field of view. Our hike included the section of Pot Point Loop that passes by Ransom Hollow Overlook, the long spur trail to the overlook, and a road walk back to Bob's truck which we had staged at Pot Point Road. After the hike we made a side trip to Snoopers Rock but the normally spectacular view was obscured by fog. We'll check it out again on our next trip.

Slideshow of Bob's photos

Slideshow of Don's photos

Group photo at Ransom Hollow Overlook

Friday, January 20, 2012

Stinging Fork

After a late morning discussion with Bob DeHart about the possibility of rain, we decided to take a chance and go to Stinging Fork Falls near Spring City and attempt to record video for our next Cumberland Trail virtual tour. We were very lucky. Although we hit rain as we drove to Spring City and as we drove home, our entire time at Stinging Fork was precipitation free and, with the cloud cover, lighting was perfect.

Stinging Fork Falls

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Clemmons Point

Bob DeHart and Don Deakins hiked out to Clemmons Point with plans to assist the CTC maintenance crew with construction of a walkway over an area that holds water during the rainy season. No one was at Sluder Lane parking area and no one was at Clemmons Point but it was easy to see what needed to be done. We began collecting large rocks from the hillside above the project and rolling or carrying them down the hill where we used them to build up the walkway. About the time we decided we had done enough, the CTC crew showed up and took over while we began the 1.6 mile hike back to Sluder Lane.

Slideshow of Bob's photos

Walkway over wet area, under construction

CTC maintenance and construction crew

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Soddy Mining Area

The object of today's hike into Little Soddy Historic Mining Area on the Soddy Gorge section of Cumberland Trail was to hike the new section of trail constructed last week. We parked at Sluder Lane and hiked down the access trail. The new trail joins the original trail a short distance after crossing the first bridge over Little Soddy Creek. After turning onto the new trail, it is about 100 feet to where you boulder hop across Little Soddy Creek. The trail then passes by a couple of historic sites and rejoins the main trail at the second bridge over Little Soddy Creek. After hiking the new trail, we continued down the Trail of Tires, crossed Hotwater Road and didn't stop until reaching Posey Point. The trail between Hotwater Road and Posey Point also received numerous improvements, one of which is a new bridge over a wet weather stream. We also noticed new "Great Eastern Trail" markers at the Hotwater Road crossing.

Slideshow of Don's photos

Section of new trail along Little Soddy Creek

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Possum Gorge North Video

Bob, Carol, and Don hiked the northern section of Possum Gorge with video camera in hand and completed filming major landmarks along the trail for our Possum Gorge virtual tour. With a 40% to 50% chance of rain in the forecast, we were a little hesitant to begin this 6.7 mile trek but Mother Nature treated us well. Only once during the day were we forced to seek shelter under a rock ledge. Other than the one period of rain, the day was superb for hiking and filming.

Slideshow of Bob's photos

Bob's photo of Little Possum Creek Falls

Friday, January 6, 2012

Rock Creek

Denise Shepard, Ava Navin, George Bonneau, TC Varner, Bob DeHart, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins hiked an easy 3.1 miles on Rock Creek segment of Cumberland Trail from Leggett Road upper trail head to Leggett Road lower trail head. Conditions couldn't have been better for hiking. Weather was a little cool as we began but quickly rose to an ideal temperature. We were fortunate to have our hiking schedule sync up with these excellent conditions.

Slideshow of Don's photos

Slideshow of Bob's photos

Group photo along lower half of Rock Creek Loop