Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Blanchard Creek

Jane Ellett, Bob DeHart, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins did a little off-trail exploration today. Our plans were to hike down to Big Possum Creek Bridge, then enter Big Possum Creek and rock hop down to the confluence of Blanchard Creek, and finally rock hop up Blanchard Creek back to Heiss Mountain Road trailhead. Unfortunately the cascades in Blanchard Creek below Bare Point were to dangerous to climb due to the reddish brown slime on the rocks which was slick as grease. Shear rock walls on either side of the creek prevented us from going around the cascades so our only option was to rock hop back down the creek to a point where we could climb the steep slopes back to Cumberland Trail. After a very strenuous climb back to the trail, we decided we were out of time and out of gas so we hiked out on the trail.

Don's photos

Bob's photos

Group photo at cascades

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Kayaking Sale Creek

Mark Jordan, Teresa Jordan, Jane Ellett, Deb Wilder, Judy Varner, TC Varner, and Don Deakins paddled Sale Creek from Patterson Cemetery Road boat ramp to the log jam near Coulterville Road and back, a distance of about 7.4 miles. Jane's new green boat added another color to our flotilla but we did miss Caroline's blue kayak.

Don's photos

Lunch break at end of line

Monday, June 18, 2012

Pot Point Rd

Bob DeHart, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins spent the morning at Prentice Cooper State Forest where we hiked jeep trails rather than Cumberland Trail. Our hike began at Davis Pond and followed Pot Point Road for about 2 miles to the intersection of Lower Pot Point Road. We then hiked back to Davis Pond on Lower Pot Point Road which resulted in an approximate 4 mile round trip. Hiking conditions were good today and by hiking on these dirt roads, we did not have to contend with ticks.

Hiking along Lower Pot Point Rd

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Creek Walk

Bob DeHart and I decided to add a little variety to the Rock Creek hike so we met at Upper Leggett Road Trailhead and hiked 2.1 miles to Leggett Branch which was almost dry as expected. There we left the trail and followed Leggett Branch down to its confluence with Rock Creek. Upon reaching Rock Creek, we turned upstream and began boulder hopping our way to Rock Creek Campsite. Our total distance traveled in the creek was just under one half mile but it took more energy than the hike in to Leggett Branch and the hike out from the campsite. Although time spent in the creek was more strenuous, it was by far the most enjoyable and the scenery was extraordinarily beautiful.

Bob's photos

Don's photos

Taking a break from boulder hopping

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Alley Ford

Alley Ford is a shallow place on the Obed River where the river can be easily crossed, at least when the river level is low as it was today. Getting there requires a drive to Wartburg and then on to the Nemo Trailhead which is at the northern end of the Obed Wild and Scenic Trail, a 14.5 mile segment of Cumberland Trail. After arriving at Nemo Trailhead, a 2.6 mile hike to Alley Ford Junction is required where you must leave the trail and hike down old washed-out Alley Ford Road to reach the Obed River and Alley Ford. At the river, large sandy areas extend from the river's edge up into the woods making a great place to camp. A couple of backpackers had the prime spot so we had to settle for second best when we stopped for lunch. After lunch we made the climb back to Cumberland Trail and then retraced our steps back to Nemo Trailhead except for the last quarter mile where we took a detour on the Nature Trail Loop that took us back to the parking area.

Don's photos

Bob's photos

Group photo at Alley Ford Junction

Friday, June 8, 2012

Maintenance Hike

Mickey Hogsed, Bob DeHart, TC Varner, and Don Deakins loaded up a chainsaw and hiked into Big Possum Gorge where we removed one tree from the trail above Big Possum Creek Bridge. After work was complete, we hiked down to the bridge where the atmosphere was as comfortable as an air conditioned room. We sat there for about 1.5 hours enjoying the cool air and solving world problems before we began the 1.4 mile hike back to Heiss Mountain Road.

Bob's photos

Group photo along trail above Big Possum Creek

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Daddys Creek

Bob DeHart and Don Deakins explored the Daddys Creek end of Obed Wild and Scenic River Segment of Cumberland Trail. We left the Daddys Creek parking area and headed toward Nemo Trailhead with no intentions of hiking the 14 miles between these two points. Our destination was Blueberry Bluff Overlook, Morgans Overlook, and a rock house which is labeled "rain house' on the Cumberland Trail map. We stopped for lunch at the rock house and then hiked back to Daddys Creek for a total distance of just over 4 miles. As we approached the spur trail to Blueberry Bluff Overlook on our hike in, a Whip-poor-will flushed in front of us and flew just a short distance down the trail and flushed again as we approached it. It seemed strange that it didn't venture far from us but we ignored it. As we returned down the same section of trail, the Whip-poor-will again flushed in front of us and landed just a short distance down the trail. We suspected it must have a nest along the trail. A quick search revealed one egg laying on the leaves at trails edge. We photographed the egg and moved on to allow mama Whip-poor-will to returned to her incubation duties.

Bob's photos

Don's photos

Lunch break at rock house