Monday, September 9, 2013

Frozen Head - TTA

Camping/Hiking weekend at Frozen Head State Park arranged by Joan and Sara. We had 13 campers- Joan, Sara, Marietta, Richard, Wayne, Linda, Kat, Marcia, Greg, Steve, Cindy, Gary, and me.  I got there after work Friday evening right after most everyone else came off the trail for the day. Greg and Cindy got there after I did.  Kat had a campfire burning and had gathered wood for the weekend. It looked like tent city in the group campsite. Plus two adjoining sites had more tents. I brought veggies and dip to go along with all the other munchies and goodies. Supper was baked and fried chicken, potato salad, slaw, baked beans, macaroni and cheese. Dessert was peanut butter cookies and chocolate cake with a candle for the birthday girl. Sara, Linda and I all have September birthdays. We visited and sat around the campfire. Owls talked to us thru the night.

Saturday dawned clear and sunny. Sherry and Carolyn joined us for the day. The trail for the day was up the Lookout Tower trail to Bird Mountain. We saw Castle Rock, Mushroom Rock and the Retention Pond where we had lunch. Some of our hikers descended on North Old Mac after Castle Rock while the rest continued on the Cumberland Trail. Parts of the trail are overgrown with grass, briers and stinging nettle. We need more folks walking the trail to keep it clean. At Ross Gap we went down a rutted road bed climbing thru downed tree branches. At the end was a creek with really cool water, boots and socks came off and splish splash. A little further down the road was a swimming hole. Gary jumped in and Cindy and I were right behind him. Refreshing! Back at camp, into dry clothes, we went into Wartburg to have dinner at El Patron. The food and service were great. When we left we stopped at a few local stores to find liquid refreshment for the night. After conferring with a local police officer we found what we were looking for without totally incriminating ourselves. Another great campfire and visiting. More owls sang to us. 5 of us used our headlamps to walk to the entrance to an open area to watch the stars. No moon, dark, bright stars, one really good meteor, growling bear???, barred owls, one screech owl, then walked back to camp. Everyone else was already turning in for the night. We turned in too. Really early morn, a great horned owl woke everyone up for a concert. It was so cool.

Sunday morning, we ate and packed up camp. One headed home, 3 were going to check out the park for a while and head home; one was covered with chiggers and suffering, the rest of us drove to the entrance and started the South Old Mac Trail. We hiked up to the junction to North Old Mac and 2 more hikers headed back. The rest of us kept climbing and had lunch at the tower where there was a pile of flowers blooming around the area. 3 hikers started back. Back at the junction the rest of us (4) checked out the Panther Gap Rockhouse. The North Old Mac is a really pretty trail. There was a spur trail out to an overlook with a campsite but no known water source right there. We looked for water as we hiked on down. There were several places where water would be coming down the ridges in wet season, mostly dry today. At the end of the trail, Joan was going to head home, Gary, Cindy and I headed for the swimming hole. We cooled off before the drive home. Middle TN for them, south on 27 for me.

Great weekend in a beautiful park with great friends.    

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