Monday, January 19, 2015

Curry Mountain Trail

Jan 17
Smoky Mountains 2 day hiking trip

Day 1: Curry Mt...3.3, 
Meigs Mountain...1.9,
Lumber Ridge...4.0, 
the 'M' trail...0.3,
Spruce Flat Falls...2.0.  

Day 2: Jakes Creek...0.4,
Meigs Mountain...6.0,
Meigs Creek...3.5

I met Lillian in Townsend for 2 days of hiking adventures. We drove to the Smoky Mt Institute to leave a shuttle car, then on to Metcalf Bottoms to start day one. The Curry Mountain Trail follows an old logging road thru different types of forest, even a rhododendron tunnel. We saw some stone walls and piles of rocks, old chestnut stumps, lots of vines twining and twisting up into the treetops. After the junction with Meigs Mountain trail we stopped at a cemetery then to the Lumber Ridge Trail. It started as a pretty level walk then uphill to Lumber Ridge. As we hiked down the ridge toward the Institute we watched for a trail to Spruce Flat Falls. We found a trail labeled M and decided to investigate. It turned into an obstacle course with trees to climb over and around and a skinny little path that narrowed as we went along. When it started to drop steeply down we decided to turn around. This must be a training course for the more adventurous. The closer we came to the Institute the more folks we saw on the trail. We laughed when we saw the sign for the falls. Lots of folks on this trail. Short walk from the Institute, good trail, pretty waterfall. After we collected the car from Metcalf bottoms we headed toward Townsend and the McBride Bed and Breakfast, and supper, and a shower, and some cough medicine. 

After breakfast with Mom and Dad McBride we scraped the ice off our windshield and headed back to the Park and Little River Road. We left a car at the Sinks, then on to Elkmont to our trailhead, only we missed the turn??? and turned around at Sugarlands and headed back to Elkmont to our trailhead. We walked past the old homes on the Jakes Creek Trail then on to Meigs Mountain. We passed a couple of campsites and a couple having a glass of wine at one of them. The book says one campsite used to be an orchard and a garden. We saw some old iron pieces that could have been from an engine or maybe a tractor. The other campsite used to have a house, barn and smokehouse here. Then on the the Meigs Creek Trail. It didn't take long to find the first of many creek crossings. The first two weren't too bad, the third, I changed into my water shoes. Lillian make it across, crossing thru rhodo branches on both sides of the creek and rock hopping. On the fourth crossing, she pulled off her boots and did an old fashioned foot washing; barefoot hiking to the next crossing. Boots back on her cold feet, she managed to rock hop the rest of the 18 crossings. I kept my crocs on until no more creek crossings. My oh my that water was COLD! A little uphill to get us warm again, then down, down to the Sinks. There were 4 young people playing around the creek at the bottom of the hill. One guy had a squiggly black salamander to show for his muddy digging. We made it to the trailhead in good time and back to Elkmont to get the other car. 

Two beautiful days of hiking in the Smoky Mountains. 


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