Monday, March 28, 2011
Lora and I hiked the Rock Creek section of the Cumberland trail. Our origanal plan of doing an overnighter in the Smoky Mountains got changed due to weather.
This section lies between the Possum Creek Section and the Laurel Snow Segment of the Cumberland Trail. It has 9.6 miles of through-trail and associated side trails near and in Rock Creek Gorge. This is the northern-most section in the Three Gorges Segment of the Cumberland Trail, which altogether contains 36.2 miles of trail.
We parked at the lower trailhead on Leggett Road and hiked the connector trail to the Cumberland trail. Then we hiked the Cumberland trail to Retro Hughes Road, took a break and hiked back to the Loop trail coming back out at the upper trailhead on Leggett Road. A total of 12.9 miles.
With all the rain we've had lately, the water falls and cascades were beautiful. There were alot of different wild flowers out as well.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Greenbriar Pinnacle March 19
I went to the GSMNP to hike to the Greenbriar Pinnacle. The drive into the trailhead at Ramsey Cascade was beautiful, the sun was trying to peak thru and the Middle Prong of the Little Pigeon River was rushing over the rocks. Lots of fishermen on the river today.
I met up with the Upper Cumberland TTA hikers at the trailhead. Ten of us started up the trail stopping by the entrance to see the bloodroot starting to bloom, along with some yellow violets. First of the spring wildflowers!
At mile 1.5 you come to where the Ramsey Prong meets the Little Pigeon and we turned left on the Old Greenbriar Pinnacle Trail. It was beautiful in the forest, there was a LOT of rhododendren and mountain laurel that will be covering the trail with blooms later. We climbed over several huge trees across the trail on the way up, and under some and around some.....
It looked as if we were hiking up into a cloud, wondered if we would get to see a view from the pinnacle or not. We stopped where some logs were down for a good lunch. Thanks to Carol for the Thin Mints (next time we want Samoas) and Steve for the dark chocolate covered almonds. Just as we got almost to the overlook, the sky cleared and wow! The overlook was awesome. Picture time. We climbed on up to where the old fire tower used to be for a short break and hanging out talking, then started down the mountain. Isn't it amazing how the trail looks so different going the opposite way? A couple of our hikers started down first and got turned around on the trail, instead of under a downed tree and sharp right, they went straight. 3 of us started down after them but never caught them. We didn't know they had taken a wrong turn, thank goodness they had a whistle and got the attention of the others in the group who guided them back to the trail. I know, I know, everyone stay together!!!
The sun was shining and I could see some blue sky between all the clouds. We got to see a few old growth trees and one really huge one right by the trail, tree hugging time. Down at the junction we saw a few people heading up the trail and chatted with them. You wonder why anyone would hike in rubber crocks and where is their water bottle?
At the trailhead the bloodroot had all opened up in the sunshine. After everyone got off the trail, I said goodby andI drove toward the Ponderosa. On the Foothills Parkway, all the pulloffs were crowded with people trying to see that huge full moon. Saw lots of cameras set up and one telescope. The moon looked like you could reach up and touch it.
At the Ponnderosa I had a great hamburger and visited with Craig's Mom and Dad before turning in.
After we went to church Sunday morning Craig and Marco drove from the Boro to the Ponderosa to do an overnight with Craig's Dad. Tagteam hikers.