Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Cumberland Mountain State Park

We met Dad and Mom at the Cumberland Mountain State Park in Crossville.  They brought their motor home over and we parked in the campground for an overnighter.  After a good visit we headed over to the boat house to rent some kayaks.  When we got there the boat house was closed so we went to the visitor center and found that the pool and boats were closed due to manpower during the week and where only open on the weekends.  So we headed to the trails.

We walked the Pioneer short and long loops for a five mile hike around Byrd Lake and creek.  We saw lots of varieties and colors of mushrooms and wildflowers. We saw fish, lots of frogs, and one snake. It was warm and quite muggy so we didn't mind when we got a light rain towards the end of the loop.  We headed back to the campground and grilled out some steaks.  It was a nice evening to sit around the campsite visiting.

The next morning, after breakfast, we hiked the 2.1 mile Byrd Creek trail and .5 miles of the Cumberland Plateau nature trail.  Again more flowers and mushrooms with a treat of ripe persimmons.  All the trails were in great condition with lots to see.  We stopped by the park store for an ice cream and after a grilled out lunch we packed up and headed home.

Great weekend!


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Dale Hollow Lake - Star Point Marina

Lora and I went to Dale Hollow Lake for an overnighter.  We put in at the Star Point Marina on Jouett Creek.  Our reservation was for campsite #29 Jouett Point.  We paddled out following the lake shore out to our campsite.  After setting up camp we headed across the lake going through the gap by County Line Island and headed up the East Fork of Ashburn Creek.  There were lots of boaters and jet skiers out today!  We saw lots of wildlife including deer, turkey, waterfowl, fish, and turtles.

It was a good night sitting around the fire watching the boats go by.  The next morning we woke up to the crows overhead crowing.  We got up and after breakfast we got loaded up knowing that we had until noon before the rain came in.

We headed across Jouett Creek and went up the shoreline exploring up to Muddy Branch.  Then we headed back to the Marina.  We miss calculated by about twenty minutes which yes, we got really really wet!  We made entertainment for all of those boaters at the marina as we paddled by in the downpour.

We got in 10.6 miles the first day taking 3.2 miles to camp.  The second day we got in 6.8 miles.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Dry Branch - TN River

Lora and I headed back to the TN river for a canoe trip.  We put in at Cottonport Road boat ramp off Hwy 30 again.  This time we headed to the TN river and went North a mile to Dry Branch.  It was time for lunch as we entered so we found a tree to hang out under and had our picnic.  A fisherman came by that we talked to and he headed up stream.

After lunch we headed up Dry Branch and ended up at yet another yacht club.  Again there were no boats? We paddled around the lake and then headed up McKinley Branch.  We passed by the fisherman and then the creek opens up to a very large lake.  We spent some time exploring, but never did get it all in.  We got in around five miles.

This is a great place to explore if your out with a kayak or canoe.  We swam in the the main river and headed back to the car.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Cummings Falls / Burgess Falls TTA

I met the Plateau TTA group at Cracker Barrel in Crossville and we carpooled 17 hikers to Cummings Falls State Park. I haven't been there in a while so the area looked a lot different. A huge parking lot has been built plus bathrooms. Signs posted and a decent trail to the creek. There are a couple of ropes in a steep section of the trail. Steps would work better, but we appreciated the ropes. They said last time they were there the water was thigh deep and only 3 hikers could cross so they gave up. Today the water was no more than ankle to knee deep. The falls were beautiful, no swimmers this morning yet. It is a popular place for the locals and college kids.

We departed the park headed for Cookville along the backroads of Tennessee. One missed turn made for a scenic route. We had lunch at Cinco Amigos; good food, and then visited the Railroad Museum. John's birthday gave us a good excuse to visit the ice cream shop across the street. I scream, you scream,......
I had Loaded Butterscotch ice cream and OMG it was good!

On to Burgess Falls. The hike down was not too bad, but the hike back up made me pay for all the calories consumed. I told the Plateau folks they get a lot of hikers for the waterfall hikes, they said they get a lot of hikers for the lunch included hikes. I understand.


More Pics:

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Goodfield Creek - TN river

Lora and I did 5.8 miles on Goodfield Creek of the Tennessee River.  We put in at the boat ramp on Cottonport Road off of Hwy 30.  We went under the bridge and looped around the lake counterclockwise. We paddled up Goodfield Creek as far as the water would let us.  While cooling off in the creek a young boy came up on his four wheeler and we talked a bit about his hunting and fishing.  He was trapping Coons, but had a opossum in his trap.

We ate lunch in the creek and then continued back to the lake and finished our loop.  We went back under the bridge and explored the sloughs on the Northern side before going out on the TN river.  We then headed back to car.  There were some young kids jumping off the bridge when we got back to the boat ramp.


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Wisconsin 2014

We headed up to Oconomowoc Wisconsin for my nieces' High School graduation party and a family get-to-gather. We got up there Friday night to start with a pizza party and bonfire.  The following day was the graduation party. We got to visit with a lot of family and friends.  She starts Michigan State next month.

The next day, the visiting continued after church and then we headed to Delafield for the Derby Days festival. We watched a parade, enjoyed a couple of different bands preform, and watched some of the frog jumping. We got some card playing in as the "shark" sharpened her skills.

Monday was a hiking day.  The ladies went shopping, except Lora who did some hiking with us in the Kettle Moraine State Forest.  There was a lot of cross country ski trails and we visited the observation tower.  Lots of wildlife and wild flowers.  We climbed the second highest peak in Wisconsin.....Not too high.  Afterwards some of us headed over to see McKinley's horse riding training.

Tuesday we headed we headed out to the Nemahbin lakes area and did some kayaking.  We paddled a few different lakes connected by creeks doing lunch on the shore.  We checked out six different kayaks to get the feel of them. Dad put on a show for us and was surprisingly the only one to flip over.  Mom finished up being towed back to port by Steve.

Steve, Kathy, and Betty left Wednesday.  We had a down day and did a little shopping.

Thursday we attended the Oshkosh Air Show.  We had a great day for it and they had a great show for us. The highlight included the Thunderbird's, and a wing walker who tweeted while on the wing.  Lots and lots of airplanes.

Friday was clean up day and headed down to Golden lake for some swimming and a boat ride.

We managed to get in chicken and sliders and the homemade beef soup traditions.