Thursday, February 10, 2011
I hiked with Marnel Cothran from Upper Cumberland TTA for her 100th hike at Virgin Falls. I met up with Pokey Pete and crew at Sparta for the drive to the parking area. Good thing, cause it got crowded. There were 21 hikers there to go with Marnell; plus other hikers including two firefighters from Cookville. It was a little cold and overcast but we warmed up as we got into the woods. One group hiked up to the overlook with Marnel and Lillian leading the way. The other group went ahead to the falls.
There was a lot of water coming over Laurel Falls; it was beautiful and so was Sheep Cave Falls, one group went up to the top, one group went on. We all met up when we got to Virgin Falls; alas no fire was burning in the fire pit. Several people said they had never seen this much water spilling over the falls. We had lunch and again broke into smaller groups to hike out.
When we got to Laurel Falls we took a different route along an old road bed and came out at the road leading to Welch’s Point and the party waiting for us to get there. The crew at Welches point had a warm fire built and hot water warming up for coffee and hot chocolate. Marnel brought brownies to share and others had brought along veggies and fruit and cheese and chips and dip….. One of the ladies was with Marnel for her very first hike to Virgin Falls.
We walked out to the Point for the view and it is spectacular. You had to brace against the howling wind and not get close to the edge (Steve this means you).
It was a great day for hiking and wonderful to celebrate with Marnel.