Thursday, February 1, 2007

Long Hunter

February 2007
Long Hunter.........................Trail Rating............Outcasts Total: 53.2 Miles
Volunteer Trail...6.0 Miles.........Easy
Day Loop............2.0Miles..........Easy
Volunteer Trail...6.0Miles..........Easy
Total………………14.0 Miles

This is the trip of the Gentle Gail Force Winds. I had hiked this trail about thirteen years ago and it held some special memories kinda. I was hoping that I remembered it a little better than Greg remembering the Stone Door.

Once again it snowed in Tennessee and surprisingly it happened for our hiking trip. We know that there is something wrong now. How can it be that every Ranger in Tennessee is so happy? Yes, once again we have a Ranger giggling while checking us in. He mumbled something about not worrying about too much company out on the trail.

This time we finally had someone brave enough to hang with the tough guys. Greg’s sons, Nathan and Chase, went with us along with all three of his dogs. A little on the nippy side the trail hugged the Percy Priest Lake. The weatherman had said five to ten mile an hour winds with gusts up to twenty. Yea, that was close. I guess this trail was easy enough on Troy’s knees as he left us on the way in and on the way out.

The trail was real nice and as long as we had cover from the wind, the temperature was just right. At one point on the trail two guys were heading the opposite direction. When they saw us they left the trail and headed into the woods. Not sure what that was about we kept an eye out for a while. Greg suggested that they might be a little queer.

After we set up camp, we had time to spend skipping rocks across the lake and shooting skeet (actually throwing rocks at big flat rocks that Greg through up in the air.) We also tried a little Jug fishing. There were about twelve Jugs in the water just off the shore. We tried numerous sticks and small trees to recover a fish with no luck. I even went as far as to try to walk on the water, which didn’t come out so good.

After dinner Greg chasing stray dogs away through the woods entertained us. The wind had died down and we were gifted with a beautiful sunset across the lake. The boys headed to bed first followed by Troy. Before Troy got settled in good we heard what could only be described as a wounded animal screaming from the end of the cove. It screamed three times and then one more time a short minute later. Troy said it was those Swamp Monkeys. Not real sure.

Shortly after I went to bed, I heard a critter running around my hammock. When I sat up it was over by Greg’s hammock so I figured I was just hearing his dog stirring. Certainly the dogs would bark if something came into camp. I woke in the night to a mad man attacking the dogs. After I got up I realized it was just Greg. His dog’s had actually got loose and the others ripped through the end of his new tent where the boys were sleeping. He was not a happy camper. After shaking the tree, I went back for a comfortable nights sleep.

Shortly after breakfast, Mother Nature decided to turn up the fan a little. Those wind gusts got a lot stronger on the hike out. As I said, Troy left us behind and actually went for drinks before we got out of the woods. It took us a little longer because Greg had a lot of dancing to do on the trail. You should have seen some of those moves, one time he actually went about five feet in the squat position. My Dad would have been proud. Also on the way out beside a bench we found an open jar of Vaseline that we know wasn’t there the day before. I guess that Greg was right.