Laurel Falls 10.15.19

The weather has certainly cooled down.  It was in the 60's when we started our hike.  By the time we reached the upward climbing portion of the hike, the hikers were already peeling off outerwear.  I would rate this hike as moderate as once we turned off the main trail and headed toward the falls it was a steady climb of about 1.5 miles.  Not to worry, we're a tough bunch!  The distance of this hike was 5.21 miles and it took us 3 hrs and 36 minutes.  Once we reached the falls we stopped, rested and had a snack.  I have been hiking to these falls for many years and this was the first time they were completely dry!  Even Henderson Creek, which we followed at the beginning of the hike, was down to a trickle.  If you would like to see some photos of this hike including a trail map and altitude graph, click here.  If you are trying to view the photographs through the TTA website and having trouble please go directly to the BLOG at www.sdctta.blogspot.com.  Google Chrome is the preferred browser. 
This weeks joke...  If you are seeking creative ideas, go out hiking.  Angels whisper to those going for a hike!  A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing! 

Bird Mountain Loop Trail 10.12.19

Today we traveled to Frozen Head State Park for a seven mile hike on the Bird Mountain Trail, which peaks out at 3010 feet of elevation. We had seven hikers  today - ( three were from the Chattanooga area, two were from Monterey, and two were from the Knoxville area).
The weather was overcast and pretty cool with temperatures about 40 degrees at noon but up close to 60 degrees by the hikes end (and after a nearly 2000' drop in elevation).
We lunched at a picnic table  (in the middle of the woods - but on the trail) about 40% of the way thru the hike.
This hike was similar to last weeks Spicewood Trail hike at Frozen Head. This hike had an ascent of 1850 feet, mostly in the first part of the hike.
If you would like to see some really nice photos taken during this hike, including a map, click here.  If you are trying to view the photos using the TTA website and having trouble, please go directly to the BLOG at www.sdctta.blogspot.com.  Google Chrome is the preferred browser.  

Benton Falls 10.8.19

There were 15 of  us on this easy 3.5 mile hike to Benton Falls and then a loop back to the parking lot.  The hike lasted about 2 hours and 20 minutes with a moving average of 2.4 mph.  The weather really cooperated during this hike.  Finally it has cooled off.  Today we hiked in the mid 70's which is much better than the mid 90's of our last few hikes.  It was overcast during much of the hike, but it seems that it is often overcast when we hike here.  The hike took us to the falls, which due to the draught was just a trickle, but still quite beautiful.  Here we stopped for a brief snack.  On the way we ran into a dog with her GPS collar on.  She stayed with us a ways until her owner finally got her back.  We were to later find out that she belonged to a group of bear hunters. The hike was delightful and there was considerable chatter along the way. After the hike 12 of us went to Puleo's Restaurant, which is one of my favorites as they have great fish tacos.  Please note: for those hikers with foot issues I have included a picture that has suggestions for how to lace your shoes if you have various foot conditions.  
Tammy's views;
Tuesday was a wonderful fall day to hike to Benton Falls. The trailhead began at the Chilhowee campground in Cherokee National Forest. The morning started cool with a hint of fog but we warmed up hiking the sandy flat path. After walking about 1.5 miles, we descended a rocky stairway to the base of the 65-foot falls as Rock Creek spilled over the cliff. The rhododendrons framed the entire area. We returned by way of the Redleaf and Arbutus trails, traversing about 3.5 miles total. We were also accompanied by a friendly 4-legged hiker. She was supposed to be hunting bear but instead was hunting snacks. 
If you would like to see some pictures taken during this hike as well as trail maps and an altitude graph, click here.  If you are trying to view the pictures through the TTA website and having trouble, please go directly to the BLOG at www.sdctta.blogspot.com.  The preferred browser is Google Chrome.
This weeks joke....The guitar of the noisy teenager at the next campsite makes excellent kindling.

Spicewood Trail 10.5.19

We finally got some decent hiking weather for this hike.  We departed the Soddy Daisy parking lot at 8:30 and arrived at Frozen Head at 10:10.  The temperature was in the high 60's to low 70's with the humidity at a bearable level.  5 hikers departed the trailhead at 10:30 and began the 4 mile ascent to the tower on Chimney Top Mountain.  This part of the hike was a steady elevation ascent of 2,000 feet with little level and no downward direction.  We arrived at the tower around one o'clock and had our lunch.  We finally got a welcoming breeze at the top of the tower.  After lunch, we began the 3+ mile descent on the Old Mac Mountain Trail portion of the loop, and finished the hike around 3:30.  The temperature by this time had risen into the mid 80's but the humidity remained at a bearable level.  While I was listed at the leader of the hike, I spent most of my time being the sweep – I admit, “I am the weakest link”.  The trail was well maintained with little overgrowth.  This hike is rated moderate, and I would agree because of the length 7+ miles and elevation change – 2,000 feet.
If you would like to see a selection of pictures from this hike, including a map, click here.  I you are trying to view the photos through the TTA website and having problems, please go directly to the BLOG at www.sdctta.blogspot.com.  Google Chrome is the preferred browser. 

Ruby Falls to Glenn Falls 10.1.19

I had not been on this trail for many years and had completely forgotten about it.  There were only eight of us on this 5.75 mile hike that took nearly four hours.  The actual walking time was 2 hrs and 33 minutes.  I would rate this hike as moderate as it is a shallow, but steady climb to the falls.  Unfortunately, there was no water at the falls.  This is a result of the high temperatures and severe drought that Chattanooga has been experiencing.  The trail was easy in that it was quite smooth with a little overgrowth.   The final mile of the trail was really tough as it was directly in the 95 F. sun on a slight upgrade.  We were all thoroughly worn out at the end.  You can always tell that everyone is getting tired as the chatter completes disappears.   Following the hike we all had many cool drinks as well as lunch inside of the Purple Daisy Cafe. 
If you would like to see some pictures taken during this hike as will as maps and an altitude graph, click here.  If you have trouble viewing the pictures through the TTA website, please go directly to the BLOG at www.sdctta.blogspot.com.  Google Chrome is the preferred browser. 
This weeks joke.....What is the difference between a cat and a coma?  A cat has claws at the end of paws.  A coma is a pause at the end of a clause.