Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Rock Creek With CHC

Jane Ellett, Bob DeHart, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins accompanied Chattanooga Hiking Club on a 7.5 mile Rock Creek hike from Retro-Hughes Trailhead to Leggett Road Lower Trailhead. Based on the weather forecast, we expected rain to diminish as the day progressed but it did just the opposite. Although much of the hike required participants to wear rain gear, the precipitation did keep bugs away and provided for cool hiking conditions. As the hike ended, we joked about watching for the next rainy day to schedule a hike but I'm beginning to think it might be the best time to hike.

Don's photos

Group photo at Retro-Hughes Trailhead

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Deep Creek Bridge

Larry Hill, Bob DeHart, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins hiked down to Deep Creek to check progress on bridge construction, to inspect new trail recently built by rock climbers, and to measure length of SCC trail from rock climber's parking lot to Cumberland Trail. We found the SCC trail to be 1885 feet long (.36 mile) and the distance from its intersection with Cumberland Trail to the new bridge is 845 feet (.16 mile). Unfortunately we also found that nothing has changed on Deep Creek Bridge since our last visit. However members of Southeastern Climbers Coalition have been busy building new trail which connects the bridge site to Cumberland Trail on north side of creek. It will become main trail when Deep Creek Bridge is complete. It is a very nice section of trail relatively speaking, considering the extremely rocky terrain it was built on. Now if we can just get the bridge completed, we can use the new trail.

Don's photos

Group photo on new trail built by rock climbers

Friday, April 18, 2014

Graysville Mountain

Jane Ellett, Larry Hill, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins accompanied Sara Pollard along with others from her Murfreesboro TTA Chapter and a couple of hikers from Highland Rim TTA Chapter on an 11 mile Graysville Mountain hike. We began at Roaring Creek trailhead, hiked 5.5 miles to the temporary end of trail, then returned to Roaring Creek. Along the way we noticed many deer tracks on the newly constructed trail so it is getting some use. I'm hoping the state will factor in deer traffic when they plan the next budget for trail construction.

Don's photos

Group photo at Roaring Creek Trailhead

Friday, April 11, 2014

Rock Creek Loop

As do most days, today proved to be an excellent day for a hike on Cumberland Trail. Superb weather, wildflowers in bloom, and great company made this hike another to remember. Anxious for more, we were already discussing what to do next as this hike ended.

Don's photos

Group photo at our favorite stopping point on Rock Creek

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Landslide Cleanup

Today's landslide cleanup required less work than expected but we did have other trail obstacles to remove on our way to the work site. After reaching the work site, we decided it would be much easier to clean the original trail rather than to reroute around the mud and trees. Some previous chainsawing and much foot traffic through the trail obstruction had the route relatively clear. All we did was excavate mud on the trail back down to near original grade, cover the mud with leaves, and cut the one last tree that required ducking under. We will return with a chainsaw in a few years to remove the remaining trees when Mother Nature brings them to the ground.

Don's photos

Getting ready at Sluder Lane parking area

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Board Camp Creek

Today we hiked along Board Camp Creek which is part of the Soddy Gorge segment of Cumberland Trail. Our round trip from highway 111 to the steps with handrail and back resulted in approximately 7 miles of fun and laughter. We did lots of minor trail maintenance along the way, picked up a bag of trash, and discovered the handrail on steps above Board Camp Creek had been damaged, probably by falling ice. TC made note of parts and tools needed to make repairs. Looks like we will be back here sooner than expected.

Don's photos

Group photo along Board Camp Creek

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Hiwassee Refuge

Bob DeHart, TC Varner, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins drove up to Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge for a little hiking with hopes of seeing a bald eagle. Luck was with us today as we saw two eagles, one in juvenile plumage and one fully mature adult. Unfortunately we were not close enough for photos but just being in the presence of such beautiful creatures made the trip worthwhile.

Don's photos

Group photo at refuge boat ramp