Monday, April 18, 2011
Jakes Creek 0.6 Miles
Cucumber Gap 2.4
Little River 0.4
Husky Gap 0.3 Campsite 21
Husky Gap 0.3
Little River 1
Goshen Prong 2
Little River 1
Husky Gap 0.3
Day One Total: 8.3 Miles
Husky Gap 1.8
Sugarland Mt. 4.1
Rough Creek 2.8
Little River 4.6
Day Two: 13.3 Miles
Lora and I headed out for an overnighter. We hiked out of Elkmont in the Smoky Mountains. We parked a car at the Little River trailhead and hiked to the Jakes Creek trailhead.
It was a beautiful day and after the rain the day before, the rivers and creeks were swollen. We ended up wading about five times over the two days.
We saw people out on Jakes trail and Cucumber Gap trail checking out the wildflowers. They were all warning us about the water crossing on Cucumber Gap. Lora said the water was below freezing, but I didn't see any ice. She does a cute dance trying to get the feelings back in her feet and legs after each crossing.
When we got on Little River trail the river was running like I have never seen it before. Wow, what a current. When we got to the bridge there were four kayakers getting in the river. We had to stop and watch them as they headed out. It would be a wild ride for sure.
We had a bit of confusion on Campsite #21. When we got to Husky Gap it said it was 0.3 miles up the trial. According to the trail description it was supposed to be on the Sugarland trail which would be another 2.5 Miles down the trail. Well, we set up camp and then did a day hike up Little River and the Goshen Prong trails.
When we got back to camp we ate dinner and enjoyed an evening by the campfire. There were four other people that camped in the same campground.
The next morning we got up early and got to hiking. The weather was great and we got some good views going up Husky Gap and on Sugarland Mt. After we got on Sugarland Mt. trail we found the other campsite #21. It still has the bear bag cables and fire pits and is marked 21. Oh well.
Lora did teach me and a couple of other guys on the trail about Tea Berry. A little red berry that is eatable and taste pretty good.
On the other side of Sugarland Mt. we got some great views of Mt. LeConte and the Chimney Tops. We started down Rough Creek trail when we stopped for lunch in a sunny spot.
Rough Creek drops down in the valley and is a beautiful trail. We did a few crossings of Rough Creek which cooled the old feet down. We came out of one crossing and we walked through some mud. There was a small ditch full of water running next to the trail, so I got Lora's attention and said lets wash off the mud here. As I stepped off the trail I noticed that there didn't seem to be a bottom to this ditch. Actually my foot sunk a little over a foot deep in the mud. As I looked down the trail for my sidekick that is always there ready to help me, I didn't see her. I looked down and thought at first that she might have tripped. Then I noticed the tears in her eyes were not tears of pain. As she was holding her sides and rolling on the ground a distinct sound of laughter came to my ears. Seeing that she was in no condition to help me I pulled, and I pulled, and I pulled, until finally my foot came free. Lora was trying to breath at this time and I slowly collected up my pride that I had spilt on the ground. We continued on.
There were a couple of people at campsite #24 as we hiked by. Of cource as we got closer to the trailhead we saw more and more people out looking and taking pictures of the wildflowers. Here goes the list: Yellow, pink, and painted Trilliums; Showy Orchis; Wild Geraniums; Star Chickweed; Wild Ginger; Foam Flower; Bishops Cap; Fringed Phacelia; Bellwort; Trout Lily; Spring Beauty; Bluets; Purple and Yellow Violets; Squaw Root; Blue Cohosh; Brook Lettuce; Frasier Sedge; Toothwort; Wild Brue Phlox; and Tea Berry.