Tuesday, August 16, 2011
My hiking partner had to work so I went hiking with the East TN TTA Chapter in Reliance, TN on the JMT Recreation Trail. It’s been a while since I’ve been hiking; trying to make sure I had all the essentials. Craig said “don’t forget your first aid kit.”
The temps were cooler and humidity low, perfect day for hiking. It’s a pretty drive coming into the Cherokee National Forest. When I called Craig to let him know I was on the road, he asked about my first aid kit….oops….have a small one in the car, got it. Then came the other questions…did you bring???????
I got to the trailhead early and drove around a little in the area. Rosemary got there so I started to put my hiking shoes on and realized I had two different shoes. Oh well, at least I had a left and a right. Robby (hike leader) Karen, Gail, and Larry pulled in and we took a shuttle vehicle to the other end. Spray down with deet and off we go.
This is a beautiful trail, hiking along the river side. Lots of wildflowers blooming, some we knew, some we didn’t. Didn’t carry the wildflower book. Took pictures, feel free to identify them for me. I can’t find the white ones in the guide. Never seen them before. Somebody had done fine trail maintenance thru this area. Nice job.
We stopped for lunch at a real pretty camp spot by the river where I realized I didn’t pack my little sitting pad. At least I remembered food! Had to wade in to see how cold the water was. There was a little rocky beach area with several wildflowers blooming along side. Saw some spotted Jewelweed-pretty. As we were finishing lunch and getting ready to get back on the trail, someone said look where we were standing by the water. Wow, the water was rising fast! It wasn’t long till we saw kayaks and rafts coming down the river. Lots of folks out enjoying the river.
We hiked out to a parking area and there was our shuttle car. Oops, we didn’t park in the right place. Plan B. We all kept going and a little while later, 3 of our hikers turned back to get the car while the rest of us kept going. This part of the trail had not been maintained lately and we had to crawl under a tree across the trail and watch out for briar's. Our trail came out on the road to the powerhouse that releases water for the rafters and kayakers and the traffic was a little dangerous. When our shuttle car came by we jumped in and drove the ½ mile to the powerhouse.
This is a beautiful trail with lots of swimming holes.