Friday, November 28, 2014

Collins Gulf - TN Meetup Hikers

Black Friday is the perfect day to go hiking. Car had gas, didn't even have to shop for that.

Met one hiker at the proposed trailhead. The gate across the road that had a private property sign on it had us turning back. We met the other hikers at the road, studied the map, and drove to the Collins Gulf trailhead in Gruetli Laager. 7 hikers ready for an adventure. Jeff was our fearless leader. GSP in hand, off we went. 

Suter Falls was our first adventure. The icicles hanging from the rock walls were sparkling in the sunshine. The steps were a little tricky but our leader showed us how NOT to take them. Lying on your back is not the best way to descend.....He shook it off and kept on. 

Horse Pound Falls was pretty today, lots of water. Then on down into the Gulf. We crossed the creek at the bottom without any wet feet. We had lunch at the Sawmill camp. We had to get our energy up for the climb out of the Gulf. We saw lots of waterfalls, lots of rocky trail, a boulder field, more rocks, and then a pretty walk on the rim back to the cars. 

Good workout and a beautiful trail with new friends.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Oregon November 2014

Took a trip out to Oregon to meet our new granddaughter.  Had a great time and she spoiled us pretty well.  We got lots of time with Melanie, Jagon, and Marjorie which was as always a blessing. The weather was good.  We had some rain, but we got out and enjoyed some walks.  We also learned some more about city eating trying things that we could not pronounce nor know what it was. We enjoyed a concert in Portland seeing the Trans - Siberian Orchestra's Christmas show.  On the way back they decided to send us through Chicago, which once again proved to be the windy city. We landed about three times as the pilot fought the wind.  Our next flight came in late and after we boarded we saw them pull up with a tire.  They had to change a tire and add more fuel to delay our flight another hour.  When we got to Nashville our luggage was not there.  I have not had that happen for a while, so I guess I was due.


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Cumberland Mountain TTA Hike

We had five people do a backpack trip on the Cumberland Mountain Segment of the Cumberland trail.  Eric Luncford, Lora McBride, Craig McBride, Marco King, and Pete Broehl.  This was my first backpack with the infamous Santa Claus.

This is a strenuous hike of a special mountain.  It has two rock formations that stick straight up and run on both sides of the mountain for the entire length. They call it the Devil's Race Track. The trail actually spends a lot of time on top of the rocks.  There are lots of views!  There is also Bruce Creek and Bruce Creek Falls on the lower section of the trail.  There is a shelter with a spring to spend the night at.

We started at Eagle Bluff parking at the overnight parking area 0.2 miles down from the overlook. There was a group of four wheeler riders at the overlook when we got there. They were excited to see Santa as well.  We hiked a total 3.6 miles to the Shelter and camping area.  The rock formations are amazing and the trail traverses across some rock areas that are narrow as well.  There is one rock with a hole going through it they call it the window rock.  There are numerous overlooks all along this trail giving you a chance to enjoy the scenery and take in the color changes.

After we got camp set up we hiked another 0.1 miles to the "Rock climb", which is a large stack of rocks you climb a ladder to get on top of, for an evening view of the valley.

We hiked back to camp and had a great evening telling lies around the campfire.  The next morning Marco got a good fire going to warm us up and eat breakfast around.  We headed out for the Bruce Gap trailhead which is 8.9 miles away.  Lots of up and downs along the ridge.  We ate lunch shortly after the short road walk we had.  We enjoyed the overlook for the Devil's race track where someone has put up an American flag and then we started our downhill trek.  At the bottom we enjoyed the walk along Bruce Creek and seeing Bruce Creek Falls.  Then more ups and downs going towards Cove Lake State Park.  We even saw a large black snake for Pete.

Between the weather, scenery, water fall, and snake, I think we covered everything on every one's list on the 12.7 miles we hiked.  We had a great hike with some great people.