Sunday, June 26, 2016

Paddle North Chick

Lora McBride, Judy Varner, TC Varner, and I had an unusual but fun day on the water. We launched our boats at the new North Chickamauga Creek WMA Canoe / Kayak Launch near Northgate and almost immediately had to get in the water and drag our crafts over or around one log jam after another. In the first one forth to one half mile we spent more time in the water or on the bank than we did in the boats but it made for a day to remember.

I took lots of pictures of which 33 are posted below. If you get to the Barred Owl photo, look closely and you can see there are two owls in the picture.

Don's photos

One of the first log jams we encountered

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Soddy Gorge with CHC

We hiked the third segment of Soddy Gorge Trail today which included the Board Camp Creek area from highway 111 to Soddy Gulf, approximately six miles. It was a little warm and humid but an excellent group from Chattanooga Hiking Club turned it into a fun day.

Don's photos

Taking a break along Soddy Gorge Trail

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Trail Maintenance

In preparation for tomorrow's hike, TC and I carried our weed eaters to the unofficial Cumberland Trail access point on highway 111 and cleared the section from highway back to the highway right-of-way fence. This short section of maybe 700 or 800 feet is thick with weeds and requires constant maintenance to prevent Mother Nature from reclaiming it. Hopefully we can hike through there tomorrow without getting covered with ticks and chiggers.

TC clearing trail

Trail looks much better

Trail looks much bettter

Monday, June 20, 2016

Hiwassee Refuge

Carol and I made an impromptu Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge trip to get a little exercise and play with some seldom used camera equipment. Not much wildlife stirring but we did walk upon a few deer in the corn fields so we did more hiking than photography.

If two is a group, this is a group photo at water inlet gate 

They were filling the western pond today

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Soddy Gorge with CHC

We never got an accurate count of hikers today but it was a big crowd. I heard two different numbers, 36 and 38. Logistics proved to be a little complicated trying to get most vehicles at rock climber's parking lot and all hikers at Little Soddy Trailhead. Fortunately Hotwater Road was closed which allowed us to park in the road while unloading hikers.

The trail from Sluder Lane to Hotwater Road crossing is choked with weeds and much of that is poison ivy. Where there are weeds, there are ticks. I didn't count but I'm sure I got about 15 off me before crossing Hotwater Road. It might be time to start road walks at Prentice Cooper and get out of the weeds.

Don's photos

This is as close to a group photo as I could get

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

McGill Creek Trail

I was anxious to see new trail presently under construction between Brayton Road and McGill Creek so Carol and I hiked down to where Shauna and James were working. They are building some excellent trail in a beautiful area. This McGill Creek segment has potential to be one of the most liked sections of the entire Cumberland Trail.

Shauna and James working their way to McGill Creek

Friday, June 3, 2016

Sale Creek

Bob DeHart, Gary Buchanan, and I spent the morning paddling in Sale Creek. Conditions were superb: cool, overcast, foggy, and calm plus we had it all to ourselves. We first paddled through the swamp area, then up Hodgetown Branch. In the past we have always encountered obstacles in Hodgetown Branch that stopped our progress but today we were able to travel upstream until it got too shallow. Our return trip was on the main Sale Creek channel. I'm ready for more paddling.

Don's photos

Gary's photos

Heading to swamp area