I went to Big South Fork Saturday to hike with the Upper Cumberland Chapter of TTA. Talking to Craig along the way and he was asking the usual questions of “did you remember your….” and I thought I did remember…Only when I was almost to the park I started looking for my wallet……no wallet. I called Mom to go to my house to see if I dropped it somewhere between the house and the car or the mailbox. She found it in the garage and offered to bring it to me. (two hour drive) I declined the offer and watched my speed from that point.
I started down the Divide Road and was almost to the trailhead when I saw a ditch in the road. I stopped and thought “what would Craig do?” and drove thru it slowly only dragging the hitch coming out of it. Then found 4 more ditches dug into the road. I got to the trailhead and no one was there. I waited a while and started wondering if the others might not be able to get thru the ditches. I drove back to look for them, met up with a couple of hunters with their dogs. I asked about the ditches in the road and they explained about water bars. They must be expecting floods. I found the other hikers, warned them about the ditches and turned around to follow them back to the trailhead. We managed to get thru without losing a muffler or oil pan.
There were 7 hikers ready to get on the trail with Kathleen leading the way. We hiked the Longfield Branch Trail to No Business Creek and crossed in our sandals. Pete showing us a better way, used plastic bags over his boots. We hiked the JMT up to the JMT overlook then back to the No Business Trail. We reminded Kathleen that our lunches were calling to us so we stopped along the creek to eat. We saw old homesites and one had daffodils budding and one blooming in early February!
Then on to Maude’s Crack where we followed Pete up and thru, then a view from the top. We followed Maude’s Crack Trail back to the cars. We found firewood in the parking lot and Lillian the engineer came up with the idea to use the firewood to put in the ditches to try to keep our vehicles from dragging so much. They put this plan into action with Lillian and Richard placing the wood, letting us drive across and then taking the wood to the next ditch. In and out of the van till we got thru all 5 ditches. I told Lillian she should get a job with TDOT.
The others headed on to another adventure at the Twin Arches and I headed home, without my license, driving responsibly and not stopping for ice cream, boo hoo. My fellow hikers did offer to give me money if I needed some, I knew I had enough water, a snack and enough gas to get home. Wasn’t thinking about ice cream until I passed the Sonic in Crossville. Lesson learned.