Monday, March 31, 2014

Deep Creek

Larry Hill, TC Varner, Carol Deakins, Don Deakins, Bob DeHart, and Bob's daughter Teresa hiked down to Deep Creek with plans to search for a camera reportedly lost in a log jam at the bridge site and then continue on to Big Soddy Creek. We didn't find the camera and unfortunately could not safely cross Deep Creek so we hiked out toward Posey Point to an off-trail overlook where we stopped for lunch before retracing steps back to our starting point, the SCC parking lot.

Don's photos

Group photo on our secret overlook

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Break-Away Day 19

With rain in the forecast for tomorrow, BreakAway trail construction ended today with 1 mile plus 25 feet of new high quality trail complete. Newly constructed trail is shown below in red. Previously constructed trail is shown in green and a short section yet to be built across Gilbreath Creek is shown in black. The red section shown for weeks 1, 2, and 3 is 3760 feet long (.7 mile). The black section across Gilbreath Creek, presently just a goat trail, is 375 feet long but will probably be shortened and rerouted during bridge construction. The green section between the two red sections was constructed last fall and is 2980 feet long (.56 mile). The red section built during week 4 and completed today is 1545 feet long (.3 mile). We are now about a straight line distance of 2.6 miles from highway 30. A connection to Laurel Snow Trail can be made about 1.25 to 1.4 miles beyond highway 30.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Break-Away Day 17

Our rate of forward progress increased today as all crews finally advanced onto terrain more conducive to trail building. We didn't have to worry about overheating as Mother Nature provided cool conditions and spit snow most of the day.

Don's photos

"End of Trail" sign was retrieved from from last year's trail and moved forward

Monday, March 24, 2014

Break-Away Day 16

Day 16 was fortunate to have a much larger crew than last week and a shorter access route to the work site. Today's work force split up for first half of the day. One group went to Gilbreath Creek to finish up there while the other group went about 7/10s of a mile beyond the creek toward highway 30 to extend trail that was constructed last year. The work at Gilbreath Creek was completed by lunch. That crew then joined the other group as they inched toward Highway 30 and the Laurel Snow trail segment.

Don's photos

Finishing what we started last Friday

Friday, March 21, 2014

Break-Away Day 15

Two things were accomplished today; finishing specific projects that weren't completed yesterday and moving some tools across Gilbreath Creek in preparation for next week's large crew when groups on each side of the creek will work toward the creek.

Don's photos

Bob's photos from Dogwood Lodge where volunteers are feed and entertained (a birds of prey program shown here)

View from atop Graysville Mountain

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Break-Away Day 14

Little forward progress was made today as most labor was focused on completing the section we started Tuesday. The area we are presently working in is steep, rocky, and laced with tree roots. Each swing of the mattock connects with an obstacle that must be removed. What could be done in an hour elsewhere might take all day here and it looks like we will be in this type terrain for a few more days.

Don's photos

Digging in a tangle of rocks and roots

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Break-Away Day 12

Day 12 was another day when we didn't make much forward progress but a beautiful trail is beginning to take shape in this rugged, rocky, and poison ivy invested area.

Don's photos

Ken, Andy, and Ryan wrestle a big stubborn rock

Monday, March 17, 2014

Break-Away Day 11

Our advancement rate slowed even more today as we encountered extremely rocky terrain covered with dormant poison ivy. Looks like everyone will be working in the same spot tomorrow.

Don's photos

Arrival at tool storage area

Friday, March 14, 2014

Break-Away Day 10

Our advancement rate slowed a bit today as we worked on very steep terrain and encountered numerous rocks and roots that had to be removed. Although conditions were not optimal, we did produce a very beautiful and high quality section of trail. Hikers are going to love this area.

Don's photos



Thursday, March 13, 2014

Break-Away Day 9

Upon arrival at the work site, George Bonneau, Carol, and I advanced to the farthest point of new construction and started breaking new ground. Many remained back down the trail completing what they had started on Day 7 while others passed by us and also began breaking new ground. Within a few hours everyone had passed us. Most were working high above Gilbreath Creek on a steep slope where digging was easy which increased our rate of progress. A few days ago Gilbreath Creek was a distant goal but we can now hear the creek roar while we work.


Dan and Mary remove stump from trail

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Break-Away Day 7

Day 7 was another productive day with new trail growing rapidly and it makes the hike to work site noticeably longer each trip.

Don's photo's



Monday, March 10, 2014

Break-Away Day 6

About 50 college students and numerous local volunteers made significant trail construction headway today. The work zone was so long it could be considered a hike to walk from one end to the other. This should be a very productive week.

Don's photos

College students arriving at tool distribution point

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Rock Creek with MTTA

Ava Navin, Bob DeHart, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins accompanied Murfreesboro Chapter of Tennessee Trails Association on a 7.5 mile Cumberland Trail hike. We began at Retro Hughes Trailhead, stopped for lunch at Rock Creek Campsite, took a side trip down to the top of Flat Branch Falls, paused at Rock Creek Overlook for the view, turned right at Boiling Spring onto the lower half of the loop trail, and ended the hike at Leggett Road Lower Trailhead. Weather was perfect and, as usual when with hikers, the company was superb. Thanks to Sara Pollard of MTTA for the invitation.

Don's photos

Bob's photos

Group photo at Retro Hughes Trailhead

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Break-Away Day 4

Day 4 was very productive. Although we encountered areas that required extensive work, we still accomplished much more than expected, thanks to a hard working crew.

Don's photos

Jill digs while Alex saws a root

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Break-Away Day 2

Day one of Break-Away was rained out but trail construction got off to a great start on day 2 with a hard working crew of college students from Michigan and many local volunteers. The day began with a drive to Graysville Mountain by way of Dayton and highway 30. Then an approximate 1.5 mile walk to the work site carrying tools during the last mile. After building a very nice section of trail, the day ended by retracing our steps back to vehicles and a long drive back to Dogwood Camp.

Don's photos

Hard working college students from Michigan