Saturday, April 18, 2015
TTA joint hike Soddy Daisy and Plateau led by Ranger Josh and Ranger Ryan. We had 17 hikers plus the two Rangers. Lots of wildflowers and water in the roadbed to try to rockhop around and through. We hiked the 2.5 miles to the creek crossing, and lunch by the creek.There is an old well in the area to the left of the creek crossing. It's fairly deep and rock lined.
This area will someday be linked to Stinging Fork Falls SNA and Piney Falls SNA.
Thanks to Cheryl and George for organizing the hike.
Friday, April 17, 2015
Lora and I went back out to Jones Gap Road. There is a sign up now calling it Big Soddy Creek Gulf. There were lots of spring flowers out. This time we went behind the cabin and took the old road bed up the side of the Gulf. They have added some benches along the main roadbed and at the cabin. We used the cabin one for lunch.
This trail needs lots of maintenance and this was the time to take it, before it grows over for the summer. Once you get far enough up, there are some rock walls and an old foundation from the mining days. Past that you come to a water fall with an old walkway across the creek. We explored the other side of the creek and went down to the bottom of the fall. The actual road bed does not cross the creek, but goes straight up to the top of the mountain. Just as you start up off to your right is a vertical mine shaft and the foundation for the hoist. We went all the way to the top into someone's yard and then turned around and hiked back down. It was about a mile and a half hike, but all uphill one way.
Friday, April 10, 2015
Ladie's Spring Backpack 2015
Tunnel by Pass
3 to 4 miles
Diane and Amy planned this one to knock out some more trails on Amy's map. It would also knock out some of mine and Sara's. The forecast was for beautiful and sunny (NOT) Thunderstorms, rain, thunderstorms, rain...but it wasn't raining yet. My sister drove me to Crossville to meet up with the other ladies. Diane's Honda WILL hold 4 backpacks! YEA! Another trip across the Dragon Tail, to the Road to Nowhere. At the parking lot we met a family from Amy's home town in Maryland. Going on to Nashville to visit family that live on the street Zvi grew up on; the world got smaller.
We started on the Tunnel by pass trail, joined the Goldmine Loop to campsite 67. There's a bench in camp and Diane hung her tarp there for a sitting area. It came in handy. We set up and gathered firewood, and here came the rain. Just enough to get our firewood really wet. Sigh.
Time for bed anyway, I had worked all night; Outcast Hiker.
Looks like a pretty day ahead. On the hunt for wildflowers. Pussytoes, Chickweed, Anemone, lots of violets. The Dog Hobble is just starting to bud. When we got to camp, it looked like it had been vacuumed. We gathered a lot of wood, we will have a fire tonight. Amy and I stayed up to see stars. The moon came out and lit up the sky. The creek is good background music for sleeping.
Bear Creek to Welch Ridge and back to camp
Bear Creek is a horse trail and an old railroad bed. We climbed to 4890' at Welch Ridge. The ridge top was in a cloud and spring beauties coverd the trail junction.#74. This is a big campsite. Nice people had left firewood stacked, and a pile of pinecones for firestarter. Amy's firestarter worked great; cotton balls and vaseline. We found a clothesline, and Manas Furniture set up the seating and adjusted the rocks around the firering. The creek was just the right temp for taking a bath. More stars for tonight. Beautiful weather.
We re-adjusted our plans for the day to get Jonas Creek done while the weather was pretty. We hiked to campsite 70 and got set up, had lunch, and with super light packs headed up the Jonas Creek trail. Supposed to be 4 rock hops. We counted 6. At the first one, Diane skirted around the rim to the right and found some bigger rocks to hop across, still a little wet for the rest so we went with crocs. All the others were swift and knee to thigh high, for us short folks. The junction with Welch Ridge is just over 4500.' Another phone signal so Diane and I got to talk with our honeys. On the hike back to camp, the last crossing now had a bright yellow rope tied across the creek where Diane had rock hopped. Our campsite had some horse hoof prints that were not there when we set up. Things that make you say hmmmm?
We were too pooped to gather firewood. Supper then yawns. Amy and I stayed up for a little while, then more yawns. Bedtime. Creeks were so loud, the owls would have to be over our heads to hear them.
Tunnel By Pass
Our morning looked a little cloudy. We had just gotten everything but the tarps packed when it started sprinkling. We cooked under Diane's tarp. The Mountain House eggs with turkey, red pepper flakes and onion flakes were yummy and the cheese stick made it complete. We had a wet and steamy hike to the Whiteoak Branch trail. It's a short trail between Forney and Lakeshore. We hiked back to the car, dropped our packs and hiked the .4 of the by pass trail out and back. We drove to Noland Creek trailhead and hiked the mile to campsite 69 and back. Lunch at the car. Then head for home.
We stopped in Bryson City for coffee and snacks. La Dolce Vita Bakery had really good cookies. One fills up a saucer. Coconut Lime, and Cowboy Cookies, yummy. They have cheesecake, cookies, cakes, gelato, shakes, and coffees.
We drove thru Cherokee, and across Newfound Gap. In Crossville we stopped for supper at the Cracker Barrel and Craig met us there.
We were very blessed with the pretty weather. So thankful for wonderful friends to backpack with.
Total miles 41.9