Monday, August 12, 2019

Arkansas Trip


We got the opportunity to go camping with my daughter and her boyfriend. We headed out after Lora got off work and traveled to Chickasaw State Park near Jackson Tennessee. We got there in time for dinner so we cooked out some hot dogs. After dinner we took the hike around the lake and then kicked back for the evening.

The next morning we continued on to Arkansas to Denby Point campground on Lake Ouachita. Marjorie and Niles met us there. We had dinner together, cooled off in the lake and then played some cards.

The next morning we took a canoe trip down past the Twin Creek Day Use Area and back. We got into a light rain shower which cooled us down. Zep had a hard time keeping us all together and within sight of his comfort zone. We spent the afternoon in the water and then got a hike in the evening along the nature trail.

The next morning we canoed down around Lake Ouachita Shores Marina. After lunch we said our goodbyes and then headed East to Reelfoot Lake for the night. After we set up camp, we drove down to the motor trail and checked out a view of Buzzard Slough. We stayed out as long as we could handle the mosquitoes watching for meteorites.

The next morning we hiked around the campground and then caught the three hour scenic boat ride at the State Park. We got a private tour of the lake on a pontoon boat with a couple of well educated rangers. It was a beautiful day on the lake.

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Monday, August 5, 2019

New York 2019


The family vacation for the summer of 2019 was at Letchworth State Park in New York. We started the trip from Tennessee with a caravan of Marco's trailer, Dad's camper, and our trailer. We met up where Dad blew his tire and then we went to Tree Haven Campground in Ohio for the night. We made it to Letchworth State Park on Sunday where everyone gathered together. What a beautiful park, the "Grand Canyon of the East". We stayed at the Highbanks campground.

Monday was a hiking day in the Northern half of the park along the rim on trail #20 Highbanks. It was a good hike that took us back to the campground. Then we drove down the park looking at the waterfalls and preplanning the renewal of the vows. The falls were beautiful. We decided on Inspiration Point as the location of the renewal

Tuesday was canoe trip on Canadice Lake. We used Canadice Lake Outfitters for our canoes. Great guy runs the place with clean canoes. It was a beautiful lake to paddle on with all forest around the lake, no houses. The guy also suggested a hike for us at Stony Brook State Park. After we got back to the park, we had a surprise renewal of the vows ceremony for Dad and Mom by Natalie. We ended up having it at the pavilion by the pool due to some rain in the area.  It was beautiful and powerful to celebrate the 60th anniversary of our parents. After the ceremony and dinner, we headed to Inspiration Point to see the middle falls under the lights.

Wednesday we hiked the East side of the park on trail #7 Genesee Valley which we were supposed to see six water falls. Four of them "few people ever see". We got to see the Upper falls, Middle falls, and one other fall. It was a good hike (no ticks, chiggers or poison ivy).

Thursday was our trip to Niagara Falls. We took the Maid of the Mist boat trip to the base of the falls and then hiked all around the top of the falls. We hit the Hard Rock Cafe for lunch. Beautiful!

Friday we went to Stony Brook State Park for a hike/swim. It is a beautiful park with lots of waterfalls and an actual swimming area. New York does not want you in any of there water. Everywhere are signs about do not get in the water. Even the lake we paddled. The swimming area here was at 64 degrees when we were there. Some wet their feet, but you know me. I had to swim. Back at camp we had the birthday celebration for Betty.

Saturday was getting everyone out in the morning for the trip home. Marco and us headed South to Walnut Lake campground in Ohio. We hiked around the campground and then listened to the Sean Prater Band play that night. It was a beautiful night with lots of stars and a wonderful sunset.

Sunday we followed the 127 Yard Sale to get home. Lots of shoppers still out there looking for bargains.

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Saturday, July 20, 2019

Rainbow Falls Ocoee






Soddy Daisy TTA hike with Tom leading. Met him in Ooltewah and no one else showed up (hot July day?) so we carpooled to the Ocoee area. Pretty drive, too early for the whitewater folks so it wasn't too crowded driving along the River. We were the only ones at the trailhead. It's a pretty trail, 1.7 miles to the waterfall. Well signed at the trailhead and the junctions. Two creek crossings, no mishaps. Saw a couple of newts, snails, and some pretty flowers. As we started back we met several hikers. When we got to the trailhead the parking lot was full. As we drove back along the lake we could see the rain clouds moving in. Glad to get off the trail before the downpour.
Fine morning for a hike.
Most pictures taken by Tom.

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Sunday, July 14, 2019

Horsepound Falls West Collins




This was supposed to be a Sunday afternoon hike led by the Seasonal Ranger but he didn't show up.I called the Park office and they said it should have been cancelled on the website. Oh well. One other hiker was there so we decided to hike anyway. Bob had only hiked to Suter Falls and wanted to see Horsepound so we hiked there and back. Saw a few summer flowers, Milkweed, and some purple ones I couldn't ID. I think I sweated out 5 lbs; so I got an ice cream after the hike at Christy's Dairy Bar.

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Fall Creek Falls - 4th



We headed to Fall Creek Falls with Melissa, grand babies and Dad and Mom. The first day was spent on the creek and the second at the pool. It was a great time!

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Saturday, June 29, 2019

Boulevard Trail Alum Cave TTA



Richard knows how to gather some hikers: list a hike in the Smoky Mountains to climb to Mt LeConte.
11 of us met in Harriman, settled the logistics of drivers/cars needed, then plan B when Gary's car wouldn't start even with a boost from Richard's jumper cables. I drove and along the route we missed the ramp for the short cut thru Maryville and Townsend so Gary lined up a rental car in Sevierville. Dropped him off there and made our way to Sugarlands. Richard was meeting up with up Jeff here but we didn't see anyone we knew. Everyone had gone on so we drove to Newfound Gap and Gary pulled in as we did. Zoom zoom zoom. We found Richard waiting for us at the trailhead wondering where we had been, then made our way on the AT to the Boulevard Trail junction where everyone was stopped for lunch. We had a late start so after just a couple of miles, food!

 Lots of folks were heading to Charlie's Bunion so we left the crowd to go up the Boulevard. This is a beautiful trail and it's been a while since I hiked it. We saw a few blooms still on the rhododendron and Mountain Laurel. Green blackberries thornless this elevation, and the huckleberry bushes had blooms. Too early for berries. Saw one salamander. One hiker didn't feel well, a few of the others were ready for extra miles and went to the Jumpoff, Myrtle Point and Clifftops. I thought 13 miles was plenty so I didn't do those spur trails this trip. We met up with everyone at the LeConte Lodge, did some logistics to get the shuttle cars off the mountain top since the car at the end of Alum Cave Trail belonged to the hiker not feeling so well, then started down the mountain with the drivers. Logistics fell apart when one hiker fell, then another hikers had a sore knee. We got the drivers into the shuttle car, had some issues with unfamiliar truck column shift, emergency brake, and switch, but perseverance paid off and we got to Newfound Gap at sunset just in time to get pictures.
Turned my phone on to see message from my sweetheart wondering where I was??? Back at the parking for Alum Cave our last two hikers made it out just as Gary was going back to look for them to make sure they had headlamps. More logistics to get everyone home and I headed home thru Wears Valley and Townsend, stopped for a really late supper of tacos in Madisonville, got home after midnight. What a beautiful day of hiking, but I'm tired.....

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Saturday, June 22, 2019

Hunter Bend - Tennessee River


Lora and I got out on the river trying to beat the storms coming in at lunch time. We put in at 30 again and headed straight across the river. We got to see two different otters, lots of birds, turtles, and fish. We got out just as it started to rain.

That evening we went to the Chattanooga Lookouts game that her company bought tickets for. We made it to the third inning before the storm came in and washed us out.

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