Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Big Slough

Bob and I returned to Blythe Ferry for more paddling practice in preparation for the upcoming 9 mile event on June 8. We paddled from Blythe Ferry to Big Slough, a big body of water inside Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge and adjacent to the wildlife viewing platform. Today's route was only about 3 miles and fortunately we finished early as we could hear distant thunder while loading the boats.

Big Slough inside Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge
Lunch break in the shade

Leaving Big Slough

Outside Big Slough

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Board Camp

Bob DeHart, Jane Ellett, TC Varner, Judy Varner, Emily Duncan, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins hiked the Board Camp Creek section of Soddy Gorge segment of Cumberland Trail. Our hike began at the unofficial access point along highway 111. From there we walked to the old abandoned truck at creek's edge where we had lunch and then retraced our steps back to vehicles. It was a very enjoyable outing as we maintained a comfortable pace and completed our round trip before it got too hot.

Group photo along Board Camp Creek

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge

TC Varner, Judy Varner, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins planned to hike the roads of Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge and look for bald eagles but were surprised to find an East Tennessee Retriever Club event in progress. Rather than look for bald eagles, we watched highly trained dogs compete in numerous duck retrieval contests. We were able to get a few miles of hiking in but our favorite area for viewing eagles was blocked off. Hopefully we will have the refuge to ourselves next visit.

Group photo at Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge

Friday, May 23, 2014

Ziegler Island

Bob and I decided to make an attempt at getting ready for a nine mile paddle event which we plan to participate in on June 8. We loaded our kayaks and headed off to Blythe Ferry for a trip around Hiwassee Island with a lunch break and extended rest period at Ziegler Island. We only paddled about 5 miles but felt we could paddle another 4 if someone held a gun to our heads. Maybe 9 miles won't be too bad if we can keep the wind to our backs.

Lawn chairs in the water on Ziegler Island

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Laurel-Snow The Hard Way

Bob DeHart, Larry Hill, and Don Deakins accompanied Chattanooga Hiking Club on an off-trail hike to Laurel Creek Overlook where we expected to follow and old road or trail to our destination. We did find a few old trails and old roads but they faded away and left us doing some hard core bushwhacking for a very long distance. Had it not been for GPS, we might still be there trying to find our destination. Although it might be considered a very rugged hike, it was apparently enjoyed by all. I'm already looking forward to the next CHC event.

Don's photos

Group photo way off-trail

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

North Chick Video

Jane Ellett, Larry Hill, and Carol Deakins were hikers in my North Chickamauga Creek video which we recorded last Friday. After 4 days of editing, it is finally ready. A big "THANKS" goes to Bob DeHart for shuttling us to Barker Camp.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Graysville Mtn with CHC

Larry Hill, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins accompanied Chattanooga Hiking Club on an eleven mile Graysville Mountain Hike with a potential for rain but we didn't get wet. We did however have to don our rain gear at one point but that shower was short lived. Although the humidity was high, the temperature was only warm which provided relatively comfortable conditions but I'm thinking today's eleven miles were a little longer than the last time I hiked this trail.

Don's photos 

Group photo at Roaring Creek Trailhead

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Black Mtn With CHC

Jane Ellett, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins accompanied Chattanooga Hiking Club to Grassy Cove for a 7+ mile hike up and back down Black Mountain. A casual pace up the mountain made the climb much more enjoyable and frequent stops to observe flowers allowed me to catch my breath. Upon reaching the top, some stopped in the shade of the large boulder field for lunch while others proceeded to the scenic view of Southern Overlook for their meal. A relative fast pace back down ended another perfect day on the trail.

Arriving Brady Mtn Trailhead

Hiking on newest section of Black Mtn Trail
Group photo at spur to Windless Cave

Hiking up Black Mtn
Lunch at Southern Overlook

Monday, May 5, 2014

Hiwassee Island

Jan Agee, Bob DeHart, and Don Deakins knocked the dust off our kayaks and took them to Hiwassee Island to verify they still float after being stored all winter. We kept this trip short by paddling from Blythe Ferry over to the island, around the large slough inside the island, then back to Blythe Ferry. Total distance was about 3 miles so we didn't get tired or sunburned. Next trip will be much longer.

Inside Hiwassee Island

In a shady spot for lunch

Front view of our shady spot

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Prentice Cooper Road Hike

Cheryl Hale, Caroline Woerner, Bob DeHart, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins took advantage of this cool Saturday morning and drove to Prentice Cooper State Forest for an approximate 5 mile road hike. We parked on Tower Drive near the intersection of Braddison Brow Road, then hiked about 1/4 mile down Tower Drive, made a left turn onto Sulphur Branch Road, and proceeded about 1.75 miles to an intersection with Braddison Brow Road. Three miles of Braddison Brow Road took us back to the starting point. We learned one important lesson today and that is not to road hike at Prentice Cooper in good weather on a weekend unless you want to contend with loud ATVs.

Don's photos

Hiking on Braddison Brow Road