Sunday, September 29, 2013

Black Mountain

Jan Agee, Brandy Selman, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins made a trip to Black Mountain with plans to collect GPS data for the new segment of Black Mountain Trail and the short segment of Cumberland Trail on the east end of Black Mountain Loop. Our first stop was at the top of Black Mountain where we measured and mapped the short segment of main trail that connects to the east end of Black Mountain Loop and heads in the direction of Crab Orchard. We found that only about 1500 feet of this trail is complete. We then measured the loop trail with a measuring wheel to determine its exact length before driving down to Brady Mountain Trailhead on highway 68. After parking along 68, we crossed the highway, located the new segment of trail, and followed it to the Windless Cave spur trail, obtaining GPS data along the way. We now have sufficient data to update the Black Mountain map and will be returning soon to measure the entire length of Black Mountain Trail.

Group photo on top of Black Mountain

Hiking on new Black Mtn Trail along highway 68

Group photo on new trail near spur to Windless Cave

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Steve's Landing

Ava Navin, Caroline Woerner, Mark Jordan, Teresa Jordan, and Don Deakins paddled to Steve's Landing while Bob Dehart, Carol Deakins, Jan Agee, and Brandy Selman drove but we all arrived early and had to wait on the restaurant to open. Good food and a pleasant group made for an enjoyable evening. We better do it again while the river is still warm.

Don's photos

Waiting on restaurant to open

Friday, September 6, 2013

Sand Island

Bob DeHart and Don Deakins drove up to Foshee Pass Recreation Area on Watts Bar Lake where we launched kayaks and paddled out to Sand Island. The distance from boat ramp to Sand Island was only about 1.4 miles but it took longer than expected to travel that distance because we were paddling against wind and waves. Paddling against the wind worked up our appetites so, after arriving at Sand Island, we didn't wait long to fire up the grill and cook hotdogs. After lunch we paddled around the relatively small island and headed back to the boat ramp. The return trip was much easier as the wind and waves were behind us. This was one of the best kayak events I've been on and I think the hot lunch had something to do with it.

Don's photos

Arrival at Sand Island

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Hiwassee Island

Bob DeHart and Don Deakins took advantage of the solitude on Hiwassee River and Tennessee River after the Labor Day crowd had returned to work and school. We hauled our kayaks to our usual launch site for Hiwassee Island, the old Blythe Ferry site, which we had all to ourselves. We were underway in just a few minutes and paddled straight over to Hiwassee Island. Our approximate 6 mile trip around the island included some time inside the island and a side trip over to Ziegler Island where we stopped for lunch. Conditions were ideal but won't be for too much longer so we plan to do more while the weather is suitable.

Paddling inside Hiwassee Island

Lunch break on Ziegler Island

Last leg of trip paddling down Tennessee River

Monday, September 2, 2013

Soddy Gorge Landslide

After receiving a report from Jason Grizzard of a landslide on the Soddy Gorge trail segment, Bob DeHart and I hiked in to inspect the damage. As shown in photos below, we found that most of the slide did not cover the trail but many trees did. A few minutes with a chainsaw will open a hole through the obstruction but it may take an hour or two to remove all trees. Dirt on the trail is about knee deep and covers approximately 30 feet of trail. A few shovels with operators might remove the dirt/mud in a few hours. This landslide is located at coordinates N35 17.193 W85 10.734 which is near where the trail leaves the old coal mining road and begins the climb up Clemmons Point.

View from low side

View from high side

Trail map showing location of slide