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