Friday, May 29, 2015

Sale Creek -Tennessee River

Lora and I headed out with the canoe to the Tennessee River. We put in at the Patterson Road Cemetery boat ramp and headed up stream. Lots of fish, turtles, and birds. Another great trip on the river.


Monday, May 25, 2015

South Rim Trail - Savage Gulf

For our Memorial Day hike we headed to Savage Gulf Ranger station. We hiked the South Rim trail out to Stage Coach Campground.

At the trailhead we met a couple from Murfreesboro who was finishing up a three day backpack. As we continued out there were more backpackers coming through who had been out for three days. The Mountain Laurel and Flame Azelea were wonderful! The water level was down a bit, but would be added to today.

When we got to the South Rim Trail we hiked through the Savage Falls campsite, because neither of us had been to the campsite. There are eight sites here and they are spaced apart pretty good. We came out up above the falls.  We stopped at all the overlooks to take them in on the way to Stage Coach campground. We had lunch along the way and then on the way back we stopped at Savage Falls for a quick swim to cool down. The water is still a bit chilly!

It was a wonderful day to be in the woods. Got in around 12 miles.


Saturday, May 23, 2015

Chinquapin Bike Trail

Lora and I did a day hike on the Chinquapin Bike Trail at Fall Creek Falls State Park. This is pretty much the last trail that we have not done. It is an old road bed that does a lollipop style trail. This time of year it is covered with grass. There were lots of squirrels and we scared some turkeys.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Eaves Spring

Lora and I took the canoe out for the first trip this summer.  We canoed eight miles. We headed to Eaves Spring Boat ramp off Hwy 30 in Decatur. We put in and headed West along Butcher Bluff and explored all the inlets down to Hunter Island. There is a bridge over the first part to Hunter Island that you cannot get under so we went around the Island and explored the cove. From there we headed back across the Tennessee River and explored the inlets on the way back to the boat ramp.

We saw a Bald Eagle twice, some Loons, some Osprey, some ducks, Turtles, Salamanders, Water Snake, Deer, Herons, and some fish (giant carp, and a gar)

We got to see an Osprey chase off a Bald Eagle that was too close to her nest. It was the same one that ran us off too earlier.


Monday, May 11, 2015

Turkeypen Ridge

We went over to Maryville to celebrate Mother's Day with my mother. The next day we did a hike of Schoolhouse Gap to White Oak Sinks and after checking out the sinks we took Turkeypen Ridge Trail to the road. Lora needed to complete the Turkeypen trail.


Saturday, May 9, 2015

Big Ridge and Norris Dam

Once again the Plateau chapter was hiking somewhere I had never hiked. We met up in Crossville and drove to Big Ridge State Park in Maynerdville. There was a renaissance festival going on when we arrived. We left two of our hikers at the parking lot and headed out on the Lake Trail. There were several Boy Scouts and a pile of lumber at the trailhead. Eagle Scout project. We hiked a combination of trails to make a loop. Right away we had one fall off a walkway into the mud, messy, but only a small boo boo. We saw lots of wildflowers and some geese sleeping on some logs. After we looped back to our trailhead we met the Scouts carrying the lumber to the bridge project they were working on. We told them about another bridge we found that needed a little work.

We picked up our two festival hikers and headed to our lunch spot. Museum of Appalachia has quite a selection of fixings for lunch, plus a real sweet lady to take your lunch order. If you look at the pics you will see one hiker I won't name that was a little hungrier than we thought.

After lunch we drove to Norris Lake State Park for our other hike. 3.2 miles on the River Bluff Trail. Of course we went uphill first since we were still stuffed from lunch. It's a really pretty trail, with views of the lake, wildflowers and ferns. We spotted what looked like a natural bridge but didn't get close enough to check it out. I zoomed in with the camera. The loop back along the lake was so pretty with ferns and greenery everywhere, even a giant sized Jack in the Pulpit.

Our after hike treat was refreshing, ice cream! These hikers know how to do it right!

We stopped on the way back for a little history. The Wheat Community African Burial Ground, on a hill next to the highway in Roane County is a really interesting place to visit. The marker at the entrance tells the history of the cemetery since there are no markers on the graves.

Thanks Plateau folks for another adventure.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Pogue Creek Canyon

Wednesday hike with the Plateau Chapter was a Ranger led hike at Pogue Creek Canyon. This area borders Pickett State Park. It is not open to Joe Public just yet. We had 17 hikers plus Ranger Cameron Martin. There was a cable across the road we went in on.  We walked a road bed for a while then entered the woods. The rock walls are so cool, rock houses, small arches, and a few large ones. There were two stairways to the top of the bluff, built by Amish volunteers. Huckleberries are blooming there. The Mountain Laurel is budding all over the area. Another week they should be in full bloom.
We did a little off trail, soon to be trail, down into the canyon to get to our lunch spot. After climbing back out we walked out the roadbed to a beautiful overlook of Pogue Creek Canyon. You can't see the creek but Ranger Cameron assured us it is down there.

This is a beautiful State Natural Area, hope they open it to the public soon.


Friday, May 1, 2015

Collins West

I had a day off and wanted some time in the woods. Ann and Ann from the Boro agreed to meet me at the Collins West Trailhead in the South Cumberland State Park. They had never hiked this section. We were excited about looking for wildflowers. The waterfalls were really beautiful today, lots of water flowing over. We did find wildflowers after decending for a while. Lots of violets, some trilliums, Jack in the Pulpit, stonecrop,  foam flowers, sweet cicily, wild geraniums. We had lunch at Horsepound Falls.
We met 3 backpackers that spent the night at Sawmill. They warned us about a bear they had seen close to their camp. We didn't run into Mr. Bear, but we did find a lot of teeny weeny grasshoppers. The bridge at Suter Falls has a wood walkway to get on the bridge, the walkway was loose, a little rock and roll action. When we got back to the parking lot, a Park Ranger pulled in. I introduced our group,  Ranger Murray is a new Ranger for the  South Cumberland Park but worked as a seasonal ranger 10 years or so ago.  We told him about the bridge and the backpackers seeing the bear, and some trees across the trail. He will be leading a hike there Saturday, looking for wildflowers.