Sunday, August 13, 2017

Center Hill Lake Campout



After hiking with the TTA at Window Cliffs State Natural Area, Lora and I headed to the Cookeville Boat Dock to put in the canoe. We had reservations for campsite #5 on Davies Island. It is 4.7 miles on the water to the campsite. We found out that the maps shows it on the North side of the island, but the campsite is on the West side.

It is a busy waterway on the weekends, but we got out there late and stayed to the shoreline. We did have to cut across the big water, but the traffic was along the sides. We got to witness two water snakes doing the wild thing on the shoreline. Got to see other wildlife as well.

After setting up camp and eating dinner, we walked the shore line and watched the sun set. The lake quieted down after that and we had a peaceful night around the too hot campfire. 2 different owls talked to us during the night. 
At breakfast we heard a pack of coyotes barking and howling, must have found their breakfast.

The next morning we paddled back to the marina to dump off camping equipment. Then we headed East to see Fanchers Falls. It is actually Taylor Creek that flows off the falls. We went as far upstream as we could. You could see the falls from there, but you have to hike about three hundred and thirty yards upstream to get to the base of the falls. Fancher Falls and Mist Falls are right next to each other. They are listed at 80 foot tall, but Mist Falls is higher. There is another fall before you get to them on the left which is the same height, but little water. Beautiful area! Birds entertained us; a bald eagle, blue herons, green herons, osprey, ducks. Then we saw a critter that I called everything but what it was: a groundhog. Then a second groundhog. Never saw them along the river banks before.

We did us a little more exploring and then headed home. We got in about ten miles of paddling the second day.

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Saturday, August 12, 2017

Window Cliffs State Natural Area



Lora and I joined the Murfreesboro Tennessee Trails Association on a hike at Window Cliffs State Natural Area in Cookeville. It is a 2.75 mile hike one way to a prominent geological clifftop feature that consists of a very narrow, elongated ridge that lies in the neck of an incised meander of Cane Creek. While it is about 150 feet wide at its base, it is only a few feet wide on the narrow clifftop 200 feet above Caney Creek. There are nine water crossings on the trail. They all have cables to cross with, but you wouldn't attempt these with high water.

Tony was our fearless leader. He not only led our hike, he also took the only fall for us. We had a great time visiting with everyone along the route.

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Saturday, August 5, 2017

Greeter Falls TTA



Marietta scheduled a hike for waterfalls and swimming, I'm in! I had to drive thru the 127 Yard Sale to get to 111 and head far away from it. We met up at the Greeter Falls parking lot. I barely got there on time after having to follow flatlanders thru Altamont. Gotta love those winding roads. Boardtree Falls was dry and we wondered whether there would be any water at Greeter. Turned out there was plenty. Enough in the pool for a guy to somersault off the rocks. We had a snack there and then hiked to the Blue Hole for a swim. The other ladies didn't get hot enough to jump in but I had to. The water was so inviting and I knew Craig would be disappointed if I didn't.
Thanks to Marietta for a good hike, and nice to see Marcia back on the trails. And nice to meet Molly and Jean, more new hiking friends!

After our goodbyes, back to the valley and the Yard Sale. If you can't beat em, join em. Saw some interesting things, an old Studebaker with an old camping trailer attached, a plywood rowboat for $500, big deer horns, several bicycles built for two, and LOTS of people.

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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Ohio Family Vacation 2017


This year's adventure was in Logan Ohio. The majority of our time was spent exploring Hocking Hills State Park which is amazing. I guess every state has a beautiful area. Even in the midst of corn and soybeans.

The only downfall of our adventure was my sister Deanna and her family could not make the trip for medical reasons.

We rented a couple of houses at Cabins on Waters Edge. They turned out to be a wonderful place to stay. There is a small pond on the property and we got to watch a heron, kingfishers, and a snapping turtle play there. The deer wandered thru the fields between the pond and the river. And a hammock to stretch out in by the pond. It's good for napping.

On our second day we started out with a hike of Old Man's Cave. A beautiful river gorge with three waterfalls. That afternoon our family friends Ron and Carol came to visit. Afterwards we went to the Hocking Hills Winery for some music.

Sunday was the canoe trip down the Hocking River. We used Hocking Hills Adventures for our canoe rentals. We had an interesting drive over to the river in an old school bus. They had a canoe paddle for a stick shift. The river was about a foot high after all the rains they had and we had lot's of mud to go through to get our canoes to the river. We did trip #3. The water was flowing well so we only had to steer. Paddling was only necessary to stay out of the tree limbs in the bends along the way.

Once afloat all was well.Oreo cookies and Twizzlers. We stopped and did the short hike to the Natural Rock bridge armed with Deet to fight off the mosquitoes. And then we stopped at the train bridge for lunch. Nate and Garrett entertained us with a rope swing, along with Jim and Lynelle getting the rope to them. We had a great time on the river.

 After that we went back out and hiked Conkles Hollow and Rock House.
Conkles Hollow was a paved path that led into a rock walled hollow with a couple of waterfalls. We knew we could get Betty to come to this one.
Rock House is an amazing rock feature. It is a mixture of cave and rock house. It is like a rock house with pillars. Lots of names chiseled into the walls.

Monday Lynelle and family left that morning. After goodbyes, we went back to the Rock House and Conkels Hollow, this time with Mom, Kathy, and Betty. We followed that up with Cantwell Cliffs and Cedar Falls and Ash Cave.

Cantwell Cliffs is another hollow that you have to hike down into. Waterfalls and rock walls to check out. Lots of steps!

Cedar Falls was a large water fall and Ash Cave was another HUGE rockhouse and waterfall. Ash Cave was a paved trail as well.

Tuesday we went to Rockstall Nature Preserve, Cedar Falls, Hemlock Bridge and Whispering Cave, and then Corkscrew Falls.

Rockstall was located just behind our cabins. Another pretty hollow with two water falls, privately owned by Camp Atika, but open to the public. At Cedar Falls this time we hiked the trail towards Old Mans Cave which rewarded us with three more water falls. One being Whispering Falls which had lots of bikini action under it. I recommend this falls!

Hemlock Bridge turned out to be a swinging suspension bridge. Whispering Cave was another large rockhouse and waterfall.

On the way back just down from the cabins was Corkscrew Falls on a short unmarked trail.

Wednesday was departure day for everyone else. What a great time with family.

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Monday, July 24, 2017

N. Chick Creek - TN River


Lora and I put in at Greenway Farm in Chattanooga off Hamill Road. There ramps aren't really ramps, they are more like stairs to load your boat. More difficult for a canoe, but we managed. We headed upstream and made it just about to the Longview Drive put in. About six miles there and back.

It was a good day and we got to see lots of wildlife including river otters and owls.

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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Sewee Creek - TN River


Lora and I put in at the Sewee Creek boat ramp off 304. We headed upstream until we came across a newly fallen tree which blocked the whole creek. We then turned around and headed out to the TN River. About 6.5 miles all together.

Pretty place to paddle. We saw lots of wildlife.

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Sunday, July 9, 2017

TTA Hiwassee River Campout


Joan set up another great trip for the TTA. We met at the Gee Creek campground on the Hiwassee River. We got camp set up and then headed up to Reliance to put in at the boat ramp next to Hiwassee Outfitters. We had thirteen kayaks and two canoes. It was a beautiful river ride with a few rapids to make it interesting. Paolo entertained us by flipping over after hitting a rock. It took a while to get him back in the boat with the strong current.  Later on Dick and Debbie entertained us getting caught up in the trees. Lost paddle and Maui Jim sunglasses sacrificed to the river. We got the paddle back. The boat ramp is hidden with a quick current that led to a fast paced ending to our trip.
We had quite the spread for a potluck dinner that night with more people arriving. Lots of visiting around the campfire that night.

Day Two:
We got up and prepped for our trip today. We were leaving the campground boat ramp and going to the Dentville road bridge. We were waiting on them to start generating power so the river would come up. It kept getting later and later. Finally we just went and it worked out OK. Another wonderful section to float. Our entertainment for today was the pop up thunderstorm. God blessed us with a boat house and a friendly home owner. There were boats in the house, under the dock, and along the river side. The storm dumped about three inches in twenty minutes knocking down limbs from trees all around us. After it stopped and we bailed out the water, we continued our trip. Another great day.

Day Three:

Today the plan was to paddle Parksville lake. We put in at the Parksville lake boat ramp, losing one of our people on the way there. Sorry Paolo! We paddled across the lake heading towards the inlets. A juvenile eagle perched in a tree got out attention for a few minutes. Joan led us to the church camp area that we found last summer, so we had a pretty shaded grassy area to eat our lunch and get a swim in. Today was sunny and hot, making up for the storm yesterday. We paddled back and loaded up our kayaks and headed home. What a great weekend!

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