Saturday, June 19, 2021

Roan Mountain SP / Warriors' Path SP

We arrived at Roan Mountain State Park to find two 21' Escapes, one Casita, one Oliver, and one Parkliner. It was like having an Egg rally. After we got set up we did the walk around the campground and tried to meet everyone. Tom and Linda, Bill and Erlene were the two in Escapes. We were invited to join them around the campfire tonight. We contiued our hike around the campground. There are two loops up top and then a camper loop, a tent loop, and a group camp down on the bottom. A lady stopped and told us to look for deer in the evenings in the fields around the pool area. She said that there were around 30 of them. So during our walk we looked for them as well. We hiked the Riverside trail and then joined everyone around the campfire. The excitement for the night was the Synchronous Fireflies along the creek. We thought they were only in the Smoky's.

Tuesday morning we got up and headed up Roan Mountain. We hiked to the Roan High Bluff first for a morning view. Then we hiked to the Roan High Knob Shelter. Just before we got there a large Black bear came down to the trail in front of us and gave us a look before heading down the trail the same way we were going. We soon came across another couple heading towards us and they never saw him. So we went up to the shelter and the high knob itself before returning to our car and lunch. From there we stopped by the gardens that only had a couple of blooms on them and then headed on to Carvers Gap to hike the balds.

On the way up we heard a bass. We found a lady playing the bass with her two daughters singing and playing the mandolin. They were up there for a photo shoot so we got to listen for a couple of songs.  We hiked Round Bald, Janes Bald, and up to Grassy Ridge. There were lots of people out hiking today. We saw Ravens, deer, Azalas, Jacks, Rhododendron, and violets.

After we got back we went to visit the Miller Homestead. A really nice place to see. We went up to the overlook and cemetry as well. From there we went to the Gristmill Visitor center to check it out and get icecream. We hiked the Peg Leg Mine trail. Then we stopped at Cates Hole to see what was there. Nice swimming hole and the trailhead for a couple of trails. Later we visited with fellow Eggers and then went with Park Manager Ranger Monica to see the Synchronous fireflies and Blue Ghost fireflies.

Wednesday we went and hiked the Moonshiners Run and Turkey Trot trails from Cates Hole. After that we relaxed around the campsite as our fellow Eggers stopped and visited us. We walked around the campground again visiting with the Host and saw that another Casita had arrived. We saw a family of 5 groundhogs, and deer today. We went back down to the group campsite to watch the fireflies with our fellow Eggers.

Thursday we got up and headed to Warriors' Path State Park. We were early so hiked the Lakeshore Trail while we waited for our site to open up. We picked up a life jacket from the shore and turned it in at the Camper store. We set up camp, ate lunch, and then headed over to Duck Island to relax in the sun and swim. It appeared that I also took my wallet to swim with me, but it did not come back with me. Bummer. We ate dinner and then walked the park. We saw deer, ducks, geese, turtles, and fish. That night we had our own campfire.

Friday we hiked the Riverbank trail to the bridge and then hiked the Devils Backbone and Fall Creek Loop trails. Really nice views and pretty area to hike. We saw more fish, turtles, and a heron.


Friday, June 4, 2021

South Carolina II

Lora and I got the opportunity to go back to South Carolina for a few days. We started out with a trip to Lake Tobesofkee Recreational Area in Macon GA. We stayed the night at their campground. It was a very nice and clean campground. We enjoyed their beach which was patrolled on a regular basis. Very nice.

On day two we headed back to Camelot  Equestrian Farm in St. Helena Island, South Carolina. We had been here two years ago and were eager to go back. We stayed three nights with some wonderful neighbors. One couple was from North Carolina and the other from Tennessee.

After setting up camp we headed over to the beach. Usually we would just walk, but I messed up my back before leaving TN and was a little on the wimpy side. We came back to camp for dinner and then went back to the beach that night. On the way we checked out the Coffin Plantation, the drive was lined with live oaks, spanish moss hanging all over. The house at the end must have been the plantation mansion.  That night we enjoyed a campfire with the neighbors. Lora was looking at the Big Dipper when she noticed weird lights in the sky, telling everyone LOOK UP! There were what looked like satellites, numerous, all in a row flying low in the sky. Alien Invasion? After hearing the neighbors story about weird driving experience on the road earlier, thinking Aliens had taken over someone's car....well you just never know. Miss Google said Elon Musk satellites. Hmmm. 

Day Three

We got up and headed to Port Royal to check it out. We went to the Cypress Wetlands and did the walk around the wetlands. We saw lots of different birds and a couple of gators. Very nice people that we visited with as we walked. There is a little historic area here too. From there we went to the Port Royal Boardwalk and Obervation Tower. We watched a fisherman catch a shark and sting ray. From there we had lunch in the Lenora Park and then walked a ways on the Spanish Moss Trail. Time to head back to the beach for the afternoon. That evening we enjoyed another campfire with the neighbors.

Day Four

We got up and headed back to Port Royal. We went to the Widgeon Point Preserve. They have some nice trails here. We did the loop and saw lots of trees and swamps. Crabs everywhere and one Eagle nest. From there we went down to the Fishcamp and checked out the fishing boats. Then we checked out the Traveling Buoy Park, and had lunch at the Fort Frederick Cultural Heritage Preserve. We were visited by an eagle and a red tail hawk. By then it was late enough to go back to the beach. Tonight we had the campground to ourselves and just watched the stars and fireflies. We got to see turkeys with babies, and deer.

Day Five

We packed up and headed Northwest to the mountains. We camped at the Cartoogechave Creek Campground in Franklin North Carolina where we had stayed before. It was basicly a day of travel today. We walked the campground and visited with people then watched the stars and fireflies.

Day Six

We got up this morning and headed into the National Forest. We hiked two short hikes to Mooney and Laurel Falls. From there we headed on home.


Monday, May 24, 2021

Fall Creek Falls Lake Trip

Lora and I went to Fall Creek Falls to canue the lake. We had talked about it for years, but never got around to it. It was a beautiful day. We got to see fish, turtles, snakes, geese, and ducks. We did about six miles. Afterwards we went down to the swimming hole, caught some more sun and had a cookout for dinner. 

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Annual Tennessee River Gorge Paddle

Joan's annual Tennessee River Gorge Paddle through Prentice Cooper State Forest. We went from the Suck Creek boat ramp to the Raccoon Mountain boat ramp. It was a wonderful day out on the water. We got to see some Eagles as a bonus. It was Joan, Tom, Craig, and Braedon.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Braedon Fishing

Got the oppertunity to take Braedon out fishing. The fish weren't biting, but we had a great time swimming and catching turtles. We went to Sale Creek.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

White Oak Loop BSF


Lora and I headed to Big South Fork to spend the weekend. We drove to Bandy

Creek and then hiked the North White Oak Creek Loop. We crossed Bandy Creek and took the left branch of the trail to hike clockwise. We crossed 297 and then turned back West onto the Cumberland Valley Loop and then South on the White Oak loop to camp on the West fork of the Coyle Branch. The next morning we decided to hike out so we could go to Dunlap and listen to music at Valley Fest. We hiked back North and took the Cumberland Valley loop back to the North White Oak Loop and back to Bandy Creek.

We drove to Dunlap to the Valley Fest and got to see Track 145, Stars and Bars Band, Keith Burns, Cody McCarver, and John Schneider.


Friday, April 30, 2021

50th Anniversary of the Cumberland Trail


Hikers, trail builders, and supporters from TTA chapters, the Cumberland Trail Conference, and other organizations came together to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Cumberland Trail, April 30th. Trail history, development, support, music and hikes were enjoyed at the Head of the Sequatchie facility of the Trail. Pictured are plateau musicians Tater and Friends, Park Manager Bob Fulcher, Trail founder and namesake Justin P. Wilson, State Parks Operations Director Mike Robertson, Tennessee Federation of Garden Clubs President Maggie Burns, and oral historian Joey O'Dell. Photos include the "spring" origin of the river as it emerges from a cave and views from the Selby Ridge Lodge. Murfreesboro chapter attendees were Craig and Lora McBride, Sara Pollard, and Patty and Geoff Hull.


Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Roaring Creek Backpack


Lora and I decided to backpack the 9 mile Roaring Creek Segment of the Cumberland Trail. We left our car at the trailhead and headed in. We got to see the new bridge over Gilbreath Creek and from there on was new trail to us. There are some nice overlooks, rock outcroppings, and water sources all along here. We hiked to the end of the trail and then backed up to Sale Creek where we could hang two hammocks up just upstream from where the trail crosses. The next area back to camp would be around MM 8 where there is a flat Glade that has numerous creeks running through. This time of year the ticks were crazy and the trail was on it's way to being overgrown. Lot's of wildflowers.


Sunday, April 18, 2021

Rock Island State Park


We headed over to Rock Island State Park for the day. The weather was great. We climbed all over the rocks and then ate lunch. From there we headed over to the Collins River trail and hiked the three mile loop. Then we headed to the beach which we found was underwater as the lake was up. We toured the campsites looking for Egg campers and then went back to the rocks to soak up some sun.


Saturday, April 17, 2021

Prater Place


Wanted an easy hike today to look at wildflowers. Prater Homestead is part of Fall Creek Falls State Park. We had been a couple time before, neither of us remembered the big climb along the way. Saw the entrance for Camps Gulf Cave for the first time. Pigeons were roosting above the entrance. Lots and lots of wildflowers blooming. Saw Synandra and Dwarf Larkspur today. We had Hemlock Falls to ourselves for a long time. On the way out there were several hikers looking for a waterfall. One lady had a boquet she had picked along the way. Oops. One family had a one month old baby with them and weren't carrying any packs. Another couple hadn't ever been there and had nothing with them either. We reminded them it was 3.5 miles in and then 3.5 miles out. No water, left it in the car. Good Luck everybody!