Memphis and Jackson were the hosts for this year at Pickwick Landing State Park. I drove thru 4 states to get there, TN, GA, AL,and MS. Added Mississippi to my list of states visited. Alabama has spent some $$ on their highways. Nice. Got to see lots of WMAs on the way and some signs for Coon Dog Graveyards. People really love their coon dogs here. I got to the park before dark and set up my hammock in the campground with Sara and Gary and Cindy's tents. In our little circle also were Jan, Jennifer and Joan.
I got registered and shopped for a little while at the White Elephant tables and found some nice stuff. And some more nice stuff at the baked goods table, butterscotch brownies, yumm. The silent auction tables had some of the TN State Fair winning pecan pies again this year, and I also bid on a cool painting of a canoe. Dinner was in the Inn, then we had entertainment provided by Kindred Spirits. Then Allan Trently, Environmental Scientist gave a talk on our state natural areas.
Saturday after breakfast we met up with our hike leaders, Francis was taking 27 of us to Tishomingo SP in Mississippi. The park takes its name from the leader of the Chickasaw nation, Chief Tishomingo. The Natchez Trace Parkway runs thru the park. Tishomingo offers a unique landscape of massive rock formations and fern-filled crevices found nowhere else in Mississippi. Massive boulders blanketed in moss dot the hillside. This is a beautiful park. We had some excitement atthe end of our hike when a young hiker twisted her ankle and had to be rescued off the trail. There was a big family group there and some of their teenagers were coming down the trail and carried her to the trailhead where they were met by the Ranger and the ambulance. The girl, her mom and grandmother came back to the inn after the trip to the hospital. Ankletoo swollen to get a good x-ray. Hope to hear more later.
We got back early enough for me to drive to Shiloh National Military Park and watch the film in the visitor center. I would like to go back for a longer tour of this park, but I needed to get back for the meeting.
After another lovely dinner we went to the meeting for the chapter reports and awards. Rob Weber, the CTC Board Chairman reported on all the accomplishments of the Cumberland trail workers and volunteers and also on the future of the CTC. Looks like good things in store for finishing the trail and making connector corridors in the counties surrounding the Cumberland Trail. The silent auction was over and I scored! Pecan pie and the painting!
Sunday we waved goodbye to our hosts and followed our hike leader Glen to Lady Finger Bluff Small Natural Area. Getting to the trail was half of the hike for the day. We followed a gravel road that went thru a creek. OK for the Subarus and the Highlander but the two sedans didn't want to try it. Jackie got into my car, Glen came back for Ron and Judy.
The hike was 2.7 miles round trip. We had snacks at the bluff with a beautiful view. Gnarled and twisted red cedars along the bluff, cactus blooming below the bluff. Turtles swimming in the water. Across the river is a Migratory Wildlife Refuge. It looked like a good landing strip for migrating ducks and birds. Someone had camped on the bluff last night and left a big pile of still hot ashes. I poured my water on it, reminded of all the recent wildfires in our beautiful but extremely dry state.
Jan and Jennifer rode with me to the hike and I dropped them off at Sara's in the Boro. Got home and found my sister who had cooked a wonderful dinner and brought me a plate! Chicken and dressing, sweet potato casserole and deviled eggs. I love my sister.
It was a great weekend with the TTA folks and many thanks to the Memphis and Jackson chapters.