Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Signal Point Backpack

Nov. 19
Prentice Cooper to Signal Point
13.4 miles

Looks like a beautiful weekend for a backpack. I drove to Signal Mountain to meet up with Charlotte, Sara, Ann and Kim from the Boro. We left one car and then drove to Prentice Cooper to the Cumberland Trail parking area. There was a big group of backpackers already there and getting ready to start on the trail. They were headed for Mullen’s Cove. We started down the trail towards Suck Creek. The Indian Rockhouse and Stone Door are some of the interesting sights on this trail. There are pretty views of the Tennessee River and overlooks into the gorge all the way to Hwy 27. You better watch for traffic zipping up and down; the motorcycle riders like this mountain road. We hiked on another mile or so to the big suspension bridge and set up camp on the other side. There was plenty of room for our 5 tents and maybe room for a couple more. Good group site.

As we gathered firewood for the night, a big group of hikers from the Plateau TTA Chapter came thru. It was good to see a lot of folks enjoying the Cumberland Trail.

As it got dark we were cooking supper, a screech owl talked to us as it swooped by the camp. We caught up on trail stories and enjoyed the campfire.

It didn’t get too cold that night and hiking up out of the creek gorge the next morning it warmed up real quick. Mushroom Rock was a cool photo op. This whole section of trail is so beautiful-all along the rim following the creek, stream crossings, seeing a couple of waterfalls. Then to Edwards Point for lunch. And right after lunch finding Edwards Point. Hmmm. There are so many rock formations to see along the rim; a natural bridge and the start of another one, I think. Just before dropping into the gorge we came to someone’s smoldering campfire from last night. Not good. Sara had some extra water and poured it on the log. We crossed the creek and started the climb out of the gorge up up up to the views of the beautiful Tennessee River at Signal Point.

A beautiful weekend and the rain didn’t start until we picked up the other car from Prentice Cooper.

Thank you Charlotte for the backpack trip!


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