Friday, August 5, 2022

Soddy Lake

Today was a quick trip to the lake. Trying to beat the storms we did a loop from the park to the bridge. We got to see a huge beaver which was exciting to see. We also saw fish, turtles, and all sorts of birds. Yes, we got caught in a storm and had to pull over and get our of our metal canue till it passed.


Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Carters lake

We arrived at our campsite after lunch. After walking to the boat ramp and swimming beach, we changed into our swimsuits and went back to the beach where we spent the afternoon. We went back to the camper for dinner and walked the whole campground afterwards. There was a Casita in one of the loops.

Sunday we drove over to the Ridgeway Day Use Area and hiked the Tumbling Waters Nature Trail. Short hike to a pretty cascade.  From there we drove to the Visitor Center with overlooks of Carters lake. Then we drove to the South Reregulation Day Use Area and hiked the Hidden Pond Songbird Trail. We also walked the dam. We headed back to the camper for lunch and then canoed the West side of the park. Afterwards back to the beach. We got in another campground hike in.

Monday we hiked the Oak Ridge Nature Trail and explored the day use area. Took a trip to Ellijay. Took a canoe trip in the rain around the East side of the park. The rain stopped and we did a little swimming. Later on after dinner we took another canoe trip past the Island and a little farther East.

Tuesday we hiked the Amadahy Trail. After that it was back to swimming. Later that night we did a canoe trip West to the Boat In Campsites. Our second beautiful sunset.

Wednesday we did the campground hike and then canoe trip ending in the loading of the canoe. We did some swimming before lunch and then broke down camp and headed home.


Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Wash Morgan Hollow TTA

 Deb led another great outing. She plus 7 of us hiked up Wash Morgan Hollow SNA to the end of the Hollow to the waterfall. There is no trail here, you just hike up the creek. Up the creek we found wildflowers on the banks, fossils, and several cool rocks. Visited the Cookeville City Lake Natural Area. Then to the Boils WMA for lunch and a swim. Bill seemed to have had the most fun, trying out the swinging rope. The water was nice and cool! Then to Cummins Falls SP to see Cummins Falls and the old homestead.

I started home from there, the others visited Bee Rock on their way home.

Copied pics from Deb's post on TTA



Monday, July 18, 2022

Lost Cove TTA


Scenic City Chapter led by Betsy explored Lost Cove in Sewannee. Via Point Disappointment (the view was disappointing with all the leaves on the trees blocking the view) and Potter Ridge Trail. It's a relatively new trail with cliffs and rock formations. Lost Creek was dry so it must be lost too.  Hiked out and back so climbing out it was hot! We added a loop on the Caldwell Rim Trail. Picked some blackberries and huckleberries. Yummy! 

When we got back to the parking area, opened the car doors to a blast of hot air. Stopped at a market to get something cold to drink. Then on to the Natural Bridge. 

It was nice to see some friends and make some new ones. 


Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Dog Cove Historic Area

Kat Champlin, certified Tennessee Naturalist, and Conservationist led 15 hikers from Plateau/Upper Cumberland on the Hardy Trail in Dog Cove. It was recently completed, and they will put gravels in the parking area maybe next week.  It's a pretty trail with a waterfall that didn't have much water today, and an overlook that with all the leaves on the trees, you couldn't see Dog Cove. There are rock walls, streams, and wildflowers, and huckleberries! 

Next stop was the Historic Rock House, a toll house and stage stop on the early stagecoach road that ran from Knoxville to Nashville. Famous patrons were Andrew Jackson, James Polk, and Sam Houston. The DAR are custodians, the historian Rick had so many stories to share. Every artifact in there has a story, if the walls could talk I'm sure the historian would be able to share those stories too. 

Next was the Calfkiller River Trail in Sparta, then on to Happy Trails Brewery to sample the brews and wait for our reservation at Marioochi's Pizza which was great food. 

Great day with great people.  Thanks Deb and Kat!


Sunday, July 10, 2022

Collins/Barren Fork Rivers TTA


We put in at the boat ramp in Pepper Branch Park in McMinville and took out at the old VFW boat ramp on 70. It was a great overcast day for being on the rivers and we had good current. It was about six river miles total. Wayne was our leader and did a good job, even showing us where not to go through the rapids. Jim did a wonderful job of providing entertainment by going under a bush. It was a great time with good folks.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Pogue Creek Canyon TTA


10 hikers Plateau and Upper Cumberland, led by Deb hiked beautiful Pogue Creek Canyon.  Lots of bluffs, 2 arches, overlooks. It was hot, just a few tiny sprinkles. Muggy. Part of the hikers exited at Black House Mountain Road. I followed Cindy back to the parking lot adding about 2.5 miles. Huffing and puffing and melting...

Afterward I drove into Big South Fork. They were having a training day for Park employees, rescue, fire and everyone involved.  Bandy Creek Campground pool is open Friday Saturday and Sundays. Drove to Millstone Farm to check on blueberries. Not looking good :( Stopped by Cumberland Mountain State Park; pool is open except on Mondays. 


Monday, May 16, 2022

Mile High Campground TTA

The Highland Rim and Murfreesboro TTA chapters hosted a camping and hiking trip in the Smokies and near Shining Rock Wilderness Area off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Maggie Valley NC. 

Monday after setting up camp at Mile High Campground, we hiked the short steep trail to Waterrock Knob. Beautiful views and saw pinkster azalea blooming along with Red Trilliums. Nice campfire for the evening along with Joanie's cool colapsing sticks for roasting marshmallows. 

Tuesday part of the hikers did and out and back on Rough Fork, 3 others hiked the 14 mile loop of Rough Fork, Caldwell Fork and Hemphill Bald. Sara and I drove up to Balsam Mountain Campground and hiked the Nature Trail. Another nice campfire and roasting marshmallows.

Wednesday morning I woke up early and walked toward the bath house. I saw what I thought was a horse next to the horse trailer they store firewood in. When I blinked the sleepyness from my eyes I saw it was an elk! 

After breakfast we drove the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway seeing lots of Pinkster Azaleas along the roadside, getting to the Art Loeb Trail. We climbed to Black Balsam Knob for the beautiful views. Saw a few azaleas starting to bloom, and milkweed. We hiked on to Tennant Mountain for more views, lots of trilliums and rose twisted stalk blooming. The rest of the loop included a road bed with campsites along the way, then the Art Loeb spur then back to the parking lot. Drove into Maggie Valley for a super meal at J. Arthur's. Another campfire and beautiful sunset watching lightning storm on the mountain tops in the distance. Rain and thunderstorms moved in during the night, fogging in the campground Thursday morning. Everyone headed home skipping the planned waterfalls hike (except Joe, I think he went anyway)

On the way towards Bryson City I saw roadside signs for peaches, so I followed and found Darnell Farms on the Tuskasegee River. Got peaches, strawberries fresh picked from the fields, and heirloom tomatoes. Stopped in Andrews, NC and walked around their historic town looking in a few shops. Stopped at Ms Bee's Purple Bus near the Ocoee River to see what was there. Cool interesting place if you're looking for unique gift ideas. 

Great time with Sara, Joan, Joni, Kathy, Georganne, Paulo, Joe, Charles and Barbara. 


Sunday, May 15, 2022

Tennessee Summer 2022


We had some beautiful weather for our gathering. Deanna and Dan came in Tuesday evening. Lora and I on Wednesday. Jim and Lynelle on Thursday.

Wednesday was a visiting session followed by a card game.

Thurday we started with a hike in the Smoky's on the Baskins Creek Trail. We hiked to the Baskins Falls and back. With a minor confusion on the amount of time it took, Lora hiked back to the car and brought our lunches. It was a great save! Ice cream on the way home made everything OK. Lynelle and Jim came in that evening.

Friday we hiked the Middle Prong trail enjoying the wildflowers. Once again we rewarded ourselves with an ice cream. Afterwards Uncle Rick, Aunt Linda, and Leslie came over for a visit. It sure was good having everyone together. 

Saturday we hiked the Maryville Greenway into town and back. Lots of good food including Lynelle's flower for dinner.

Sunday was departure day with early get ups and departures. Overall great time!


Monday, March 28, 2022

New Orleans

We were trying to find a way to make our five day trip in New Orleans into a thirteen day trip. We did it. 

We left home on Tuesday March 15. We drove to Eufaula Alabama and camped at Lakepoint State Park for the night. It was a misty evening, but we got in a hike along the waterfront where the aligator signs were. We cooked indoors and had a evening of listening to the rain. We got up and got a hike in around the perimeter of the park and through the campgrounds before we headed out. We saw wildflowers and Yurts.

Wednesday after our walk we drove to Gulf Shores. We stopped in Eufaula to see the statues and the Large Fish (Leroy). We stopped in Dothan to see the peanuts, and then we stopped in Lagrange for lunch at a city park. They had a massive Live Oak tree there. We found an inexpensive campground to stay at three minutes from the beach, Southport Campground. Not a pretty campground, but it worked. It was next to an overpass and a marina. We drove to the beach after dinner and walked the shore line. We saw dolphins. We walked the streets to get pictures of the shark, large octupus, and a ship.

Thursday we got up and drove to the Gulf Shores State Park and hiked their busy biking trails. It has a really big, but nice campground. It's also a biker's paradise. We ate lunch there and then drove to Fort Morgan. That is a cool fort to visit and we enjoyed the beach there as well. On the way back we stopped in Gulf Shores to hike the Wade Ward Nature Park Boardwalk. We saw crabs and snakes. That evening we walked over to the Marina to check it out.

Friday we headed West along the coast line. We got caught in a major storm in Daphne, but managed to see the big fist with the flag. We got caught in Mobile in another major storm and then got caught in some major traffic in a construction area. We finally made it to our compound, Parc D'Orleans. It is a campground in the suburb which is gated with a tall solid fence all the way around it. A train track runs behind it and the campers are stacked in there. The owner was extremely nice and the campground was clean. Just not our style of camping. We had two nights here before we could get into the State Park. We set up and then headed to the airport to pick up Melanie. Melanie had us reservations at a resturant downtown so we headed there and then got her checked into her hotel. Afterwards we walked around down town.

Saturday we got up and drove to the French Quarter. We walked the streets and toured the St. Louis Cathedral. We noticed that Bourbon street was freshly washed down. We left before we had to pay for parking and headed to St. Bernard State Park to walk the trail and have lunch. From there we visited the Chalmette battlefield and cemetry. There is also a shipping port next to it so we saw the ships being loaded. Then we drove to the La Bayou Sauvage NWR and walked the boardwalk. We got to see an alligator swimming in the channel. We then drove to another section which the boardwalk was closed due to damage, but right where we parked there was a large alligator laying in the swamp. We met Melanie at the convention center where they were serving food and drink so that made for our dinner. After that we headed to Bourbon Street. They were having a parade and the ladies recieved beads, garters, and flowers from the men. There was nothing I could do to control them. We got off the streets while we felt safe.

Sunday we headed to the City Park. We parked at the Museum of Art and walked part of the park. It was huge! There was a lake there that we walked around, flower gardens, and an art park with sculptures. We listened to a guy singing at a pavilion. Then we met Melanie and had lunch at another park near the Garden district. We walked the garden district looking at the houses and cemetery. After lunch we headed back, picked up our camper and moved to Bayou Segnette State Park. There were Airstreams everywhere and we found out that it was a caravan. We had a armadillo walk next to our site. We headed back to Melanie's and had a stir fry dinner around a fire pit. 

Monday we got up and hiked the entire State Park. We met Melanie for lunch and had pizza, Hand grenades, and Monkey Buns in the French Quarter. Then we walked around the Jackson Square. Afterwards we headed back to the City Park and hiked through the forest part. At the showers that night a park ranger stopped and told us that we were going to have severe thunderstorms and tornadoes the next evening. What do you do?

Tuesday we locked down the camper and headed to the WWII museum. Really cool place. We took time out for lunch with Melanie and then went back to finish. We took Melanie to the Feiry Crab for a lobster and crawfish boil. The storm started while we were there and so we sat in the parking garage afterwards. When it finished we dropped Melanie off and went to check out the camper. All was well. We walked the campground and saw an armadillo and a owl.

Wednesday we walked and then headed out to Historical Blakeley State Park in Spanish Fort Alabama. This is a beautiful campground with lots of space between campers. We hiked the Northern part of the park including the battlefield. We saw another armadillo. We heard an owl at camp and had a campfire that night. We saw lots of flowers: Dwarf Crested Iris, Buckeye, and Little Brown Jug.

Thursday we went into Daphne to shop and we walked the boardwalk. As soon as we got out of the Jeep at the boardwalk, an alligator swam across the creek towards us. Almost tame? Back at camp we hiked the Southwest part of the park including the Hiding tree, Pontoon boat, boardwalks, champion tree trail and saw flowers, birds, lizards. We had a campfire that night too.

Friday we walked the campground and then headed to Georgia and camped at Florence Marina State Park. We hiked the campground and trails and saw five large alligators, lot's of turtles and birds.

Saturday we drove over to Providence Canyon State Park and hiked the canyons. Beautiful park and canyon. We hiked all the trails. We headed back to camp and had a relaxing evening at camp. We walked the park again looking for gators and only saw one.

Sunday morning we walked the campground and got to see one last Gator and then drove home.