Sunday, February 26, 2023

Future Trails


Appalachian Trail

You may have to open our picture links in a new window by right clicking the picture link.  I don't know why I am having this issue.

(All hikes are subject to change at any time)
Benton MacKaye Trail
Pinhoti Trail
Bartram Trail

Friday, February 24, 2023

Stone Door

 The four of us got together again at the Stone door campground in the South Cumberland State Park. It was an extreme day for us as the temperature was in the high 80s which we are not used to. We enjoyed the day together and only had about 20 minutes of rain that evening. On the way home I realized that I had not taken any pictures. I called Marco and he did not take any pictures either. So sorry only the short story.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Stone Door


Got to spend a couple of nights at Stone Door. The weather man caught on and dropped it down to 23 degrees. Normal standard practice. Lies were told and cough medicine taken.


Saturday, April 16, 2022

Stone Door


We decided to get together at Stone Door for a couple of nights. It has been far too long since we just hung out, caught up, and told lies. It was a great time for sure!


Friday, November 20, 2020

Cumberland Trail Lawson / Arch / Frozen Head

                                                                                          Outcasts Total Miles: 2534
Lawson Mountain Section 9.8 miles
Arch Mountain Section 13 miles
Frozen Head Section 7.9 miles
Ross Gap trail 2.1 miles
Total Miles: 32.8

Marco picked the trail and off we went. I first showed him the wrong trailhead as we were going I remembered the last time here and had Lora drive to the Smoky Creek road and read the sign saying Cave Branch trailhead. Oops. We then drove to Norman Road and started our hike on the Lawson Mountain section.

First thing we noticed was the new bridges. The second thing we noticed was that the Cumberland trail has not been maintanced on the Lawson or Arch section in many years. Lot's of trees down, some extremely large, overgrown sections, and missing trail markers. 

We hiked in 3.0 miles and set up camp at the top end of Lick Creek. We heard an owl as we were setting up camp. We enjoyed the stars as we sat around the campfire taking our cough medicine. The wind really got up during the night which made us wet the fire pit down before bed.

The next morning we continued to fight our way down the trail. The climb to the top of the mountain was brutal with large trees across the switchbacks. When we got to the section where the Bowling Town coal mining community once existed, where the ponds are we lost the trail. Two other trails are marked in this area, but the Cumberland Trail was not. The road went both ways with a split going on one end. We found the trail after going down the road that was signed "Dead End."  We ate lunch at the creek at mile 6.4. The next climb to the top was the same as the first. This is such a beautiful area for hiking, I just wish they would maintain this trail. The rocks on the top were amazing along with the "Stacked Rocks". When the trail dropped off the edge heading down, we lost the trail again. We came to a road bed that went three different ways. There were no markers anywhere along any of these roads. After studing the map we just went down the mountain side until we crossed the trail again. It was getting late by the time we made it to the Cave Branch Trailhead. We crossed the new bridge over Smoky Creek and hiked along the creek and made camp for the night. This was supposed to be our coldest night so we gathered lots of fire wood. Another clear night to watch the stars. We saw deer two different places today and some salamanders in a puddle. 

Day three:
Another day of battling the trail through some beautiful areas. We lost the trail again as we crossed the footbridge over Straight Fork. There is no markers showing that the trail goes right. Another extremely hard climb to the top with trees across the switchbacks. We carried extra water for the 7.5 mile section that doesn't have any water. When you come to the road walk, there are no blazes to tell you which road to take. More exploring. When you do get on the right road it is full of waterholes all along the travel across the top of the mountain. While trying to go around the small lakes in the road you will be battling the briars. We did get to see some icicles along the rocks. The last time the trail leaves the gravel road we made camp on the side of the mountain. We saw a passel of wild hogs which came back through while we were setting up. Another windy clear night. We got to see deer again today and hear owls.

Day four:
We got up and hiked on to Frozen Head State Park. The trails here are in good shape. Lot's of ups and downs still. We ate lunch where the CT crosses the Tower trail. We enjoyed the Castle Rocks, Mushroom rock, and the rock hop along the rock wall. We camped by the pond for the night. Another clear windy night. We heard owls and coyotes. 

Day five:
We got up and hiked to the Ross Gap trail and took it back to the headquarters of Frozen Head.


Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Long Hunter 2020

Day One: 6.9                                               Outcasts Total Miles: 2501.2
Day Two: 5.7

We could get our days off from work for a five day hike so we ended up doing an overnight hike at Long Hunter State Park. We hiked in the Day Loop and took the Volunteer trail to the campsite #2.

On the way in we saw some day hikers, deer, and listened to the Loon's out on the lake. It was snowing and the high was 32 for the day. When we got to camp we started gathering firewood for the long evening with the temps getting down in the twenties. Troy built a fire that even NASA was complaining about. It kept us warm all night. Lies were told and cough medicine was taken.

We heard coyotes in the night but the exciting part was waking up to gunshots at six in the morning. Jumping up out of a hammock never does go very well. Getting in the defensive position only to find out that it was duck hunters. Troy and Marco just went back to sleep. I was up for the day.

More gunshots as the morning progressed. We ate, packed up, and headed down the trail. We just followed the Volunteer trail on the way out. We did see the deer again.


Friday, November 22, 2019

Sheltowee Trace IX

Day One: 4.0                                                 Outcasts Total Miles: 2488.6
Day Two: 8.0
Day Three: 8.0
Day Four: 10.5
Day Five: 3.5
Total Miles: 34

This is our first visit back on the Sheltowee Trace since 2011 when we finished the whole trail. Since that time they have rerouted the trail through the Big South Fork, so we thought that we would go back and do the reroute. The sections that are also part of the John Muir trail, which we hiked in 2009, where the only repeated sections.

We planned on exiting our trip at the Parch Corn Creek trailhead on Terry Cemetery road. This trail is no longer maintained by the park. Lora and I found it in a book in 2012 and hiked it back then on a loop hike. It was well overgrown then, but who doesn't like a challenge? I felt a little confident on the location of the trailhead and we left the car there.

We drove to Burnt Mill bridge to start this hike at the Southern Terminus of the Sheltowee Trace. Once on the trail and seeing the jalapeno man we learned that the John Muir also relocated to this same trail. This is a very pretty hike along the river with a lot of bluff walls before it climbs up and starts through the woods. There is a creek that shows on the map about four miles in on the trail. When we dropped down into the gorge we could see water, but when we crossed the creek it was dry. So down hill we went until we found the water and we made camp here. It was a good night telling lies around the fire drinking cough medicine.

Day Two:
We got up and on the trail. Just before you get to the Honey Creek loop, the trail turns into road. As the Sheltowee was famous for back in the days, there was no marking which way to turn from here.  With a little exploring, we decided to continue straight and it paid off. The Honey Creek loop adds some challenges as you climb, drop down, and crawl through rocks and obstacles. After the loop you climb over the ridge and start back down to the river gorge. We saw a doe and two bucks cross the trail in front of us. There is a picnic table before you start the drop.

I know that horses are not stupid, but somehow they end up on these trails clearly marked for hikers only and warnings about how dangerous these trails are. They have torn up this trail. You go by an Indian rock house and a water fall on your way to the O&W bridge. We crossed over the newly repaired bridge and followed the trail along the main river. We stopped about two thirds of a mile from the Leatherwood Ford on an old road bed to make camp for the night. We saw our first two people who were trail runners. It started sprinkling about the same time we got our hammocks up so there was a small panic as we got our tarps out and deployed. No campfire tonight, but it did stop raining.

Day Three:
We headed up and crossed over the Leatherwood Ford bridge. The old hiking bridge is still out. It was a beautiful day for hiking as we climbed up to the Angle Falls overlook. This is where we saw our second two people who were out day hiking. We enjoyed the overlooks and rock walls as we took the Fall Branch trail around and down to the John Litton loop. We made camp just into the Scott State Forest. Plenty of good firewood here for the night. Stars were out and we heard owls and coyotes.

Day Four:
Today we had good weather again. We hiked around the Honey creek campground and across Jack's Ridge dropping down to cross Laurel Fork Creek and Black House branch. We stopped by the Charit Creek Lodge for a visit on our way by. They have done a lot of work here getting the place cleaned up.

We continued our hike out to the big river to make camp for the night. Once again lies were told and medicine taken around a nice campfire. Right about midnight the rain came in.

Day Five:
There was some apprehension about me finding the Parch Corn Creek trail. Just cause it was years ago and I didn't hike it from this direction and I didn't remember much about it and.......
We headed out feeling good because there was a sign with Parch Corn Creek on it stating we had 1.1 miles to get there. After we crossed the creek we turned left and started following the trail. Where the trail crossed back over the creek I knew we had to stay on the right side of it even though the trail faded off into the river. We crawled along the bank until it turned back into a road bed. Then we came across the old home site and I felt better. The trail continued out and then through a field which I didn't remember so back to the home site we went. I found what could be a road bed and it was going straight uphill so I knew it had to be it. After we climbed a while I found the tail tail sign it used to be a trail. The sawed off tree along side! Continuing up the side of the mountain following the faded trail we finally got to the top where we found the two poles with a sign stating no cars beyond this point. I was feeling good then. We continued to battle through brush until it opened up to a road bed and finally the rock walls with the Indian rock house. And yes, the car was at the end of the trail!

We had a great hike followed by Waffle House after we retrieved the truck from Burnt Mill Bridge.