Sunday, April 3, 2011

Soddy Gorge

CT Soddy Gorge Lora
Sunday April 3
I met up with Diane and friends from Nashville and M'Boro to hike the Soddy Gorge section. We left one car at the 111 exit and then the 5 of us piled into the Outcastmobile and drove to Hotwater Road to begin our hike. Yellow trilliums greeted us at the trailhead. Birdsong was the music for the day and we had a bird enthusiast hiking with us identifying the birds. We warmed up quickly shedding layers and zipping off pant legs.

The views from the trail are pretty- you can see Soddy Lake and further out towards the river. Seeing the trees starting to put on leaves
makes you really appreciate spring. Dogwoods are starting to bloom and the redbuds. The streams were flowing down the hillsides and dripping off the rock walls. Lots of rain lately. Creek crossings could be interesting today. We were noticing that someone had been cleaning the trail and I said it had to be the Soddy Chapter. This is their adopted trail section to do maintenance on. Yep there's Nancy Jo raking and doing a great job. We stopped to talk and compliment her on a job well done. This was the same area I was helping rake 2 years ago when some backpackers came thru and stopped to talk to us. When they told us they were firefighters from Murfreesboro who backpacked together, I recognized they were the Outcasts. I had been reading their trail blog. That's where I first met Craig.

We got to Deep Creek and looked at the crossing. Someone has stretched a rope from the middle of the creek to the other side. Getting to the rope was going to be a problem as the water was high and rushing over the rock just before the rope. Hmmmm. Maybe go up the creek a little and find a shallow spot to cross. We thought we could make it and wondered how slick the rocks would be. Only one way to find off, crocs on.( Outcast training) I crossed the creek and was waiting for everyone to follow. Only no one did, so I crossed back and after the feeling came back in my feet, put my boots back on and we backtracked to the roadbed above the creek to have lunch and figure out what to do. We decided to hike back to the Outcastmobile and try to come in from the other end of the trail.

Drove back to 111 and started walking, it was already 3 pm so we decided to walk in about an hour and then come back out. After walking along beside a fence for a while we started down a hill and saw this would be a good place to come back when the blackberries get ripe. Getting back into tree cover was nice, the temperature had gotten up a bit. We came to the creek crossing and saw where a crew had been working on a log bridge. I think this was the Eagle Scout project Tony and Ann Hook were supervising the day before. It's looking good. We hiked to a beautiful shady spot by Board Camp Creek and made good use of the big log laying by the trail. We sat for a few minutes resting and took a group pic. It was getting late so we hiked back to 111 where Diane and crew headed back towards M'Boro and Nashville and I headed back to the mountain.

Beautiful hiking day. Diane, maybe we can cross the creek next time. And maybe even cross Soddy Creek without me going in for another swim.


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