Sitton's Gulch 4.16.16

This was just another one of those perfect days we have in Southern Tennessee.  The temperature was in the mid 70's and the sky was a brilliant clear blue.  There were 24 very lucky hikers on today's 4.63 mile hike.  I would rate it easy even though there were a couple of steady uphill sections.  The trail was easy and well maintained.  Although the season is just about over, we did see some wildflowers.  Among them lots of Trillium, a couple Jack in the Pulpit, a few May Apples, Phlox, Phacelia, some Foam plants and a couple Dwarf Iris as well as others.  All in all it was pretty good.  The falls were just beautiful as everyone stopped there for a snack.  This hike took just about three hours.  Following the hike we went to Lalito's mexican restaurant for what was a very nice lunch.  If you would like to see a bunch of pictures including a video, map and altitude graph of the hike, click here.   If you are trying to view the pictures on the TTA website and having trouble, please go directly to the Blog at  To see videos, click on links below.

This weeks joke....
While hiking in the woods, Nate and Sam found this huge rock which had an old iron lever attached to it.  Etched into the rock was the following inscription: "If this lever is pulled, the world will come to an end!"Nate wanted to pull the lever and see what would happen, but Sam, being a paranoid pessimist greatly feared this!  He said to Nate that if he tried to pull the lever, he'd shoot him!  In a daring attempt, Nate lunged for the lever, and sure enough, Sam shot him!  What is the moral of this story? Better Nate then lever! 

Frozen Head, Spicewood Branch Trail 4.13.19

 Three fearless frontiersmen and one fearless woman, gathered under stormy skies at 8:30 at the Durham Street parking lot and decided, thanks to the wonders of cell-phone weather apps, that if we continued to Frozenhead State Park for our hike, we would arrive just as the storm moved out of the area. And that is just as it played out. We made our way to Frozenhead and arrived at the Visitor Center a little after 10am. We met up with another hiker from the Knoxville area and proceeded to the trailhead. We departed the trailhead around 10:30. The hiking map lists this part of the hike as a 2.55 mile difficult hike. I would agree. It was 2.55 miles of upward accent with no level or down treks for the close to 2,000 accent. The trail was well traveled and maintained. It was a bit sloppy in some sections due to the recent rains. We crossed several small streams with waterfalls with no problems. I would say this trail offered up more flowers, but not the variety, than Tuesday's Shakerag Hollow hike. The trail was lined on both sides with white and red trilliums. We also encountered some bright orange/red salamanders on the hike. We arrived at the top of our ascent around 1pm and had our snacks. We observed the weather at the top was a bit cooler because of the altitude and wind. We all had to put our jackets back on. Because of time constraints, we decided to cut the hike a little short and not make the final accent to Lookout Tower. This shortened the hike from 7.1 miles to 6.3 miles. It still was a good hike. We began our descent around 1:30 and we were back at the trailhead a little after 3pm. The descent was much faster and I would suggest you trim your toenails if you decide to make this hike. We arrived back at the Durham Street parking lot around 4:30. All in all, I would rate this as a 6+ mile strenuous hike. Despite the few sprinkles, it was a great hike. John is leading a hike in 2 weeks on the Bird Mountain Trail at Frozenhead. - it should be a good hike.
If you would like to see some nice pictures of this hike, map and altitude graph, click here.  If you are viewing the pictures from the TTA website and having trouble, please go directly to the Blog at  Google Chrome is the prefered browser. 

Shakerag Hollow 4.9.19

This hike was to an area most of the club had not visited before.  Shakerag Hollow is located near Suwanee and is a little further away than we usually go.  Roy and Marti organized this hike and what a great adventure it was.  The weather was a little overcast and cool at the start, but the hikers were peeling off jackets and sweaters not long after the start.  I don't have an exact distance figure, the reason will be explained shortly, but it is somewhere between 3.5 and 5.0 miles.  I would rate the hike as moderate as the climb at the end pretty well tired everyone out.  About 3/4 of the way along the trail everyone enjoyed an excellent display of wildflowers.  There were 18 hikers that started this hike, but two of the hikers had some difficulties about a third of the way in.  It was decided at that time that these two hikers should be escorted out to the nearest road and a car retrieved to get them.  Since I was one of the excorts, I didn't get to complete the hike.  I am glad to report that these two hikers are doing fine, just a little worn out.  Following the hike, everyone had a nice lunch at the Mountain Goat restaurant.  If you would like to see some pictures including a map, please click here.  The map reflects my course and not the actual course of the trail.  However, it should help you in locating the trailhead if you decide to try this hike.  If you are viewing the pictures on the TTA website and having trouble, please go directly to the Blog at  The prefered browser is Google Chrome.  I have included all of the pictures received as of the afternoon of 4.10.19.  If you attempted to send me pictures, and don't see them, I did not receive them.  Please contact me or resend the pictures and I will add them to the blog.
This weeks joke...
The Pentagon today announced the formation of a new 500-man elite unit called the United States Redneck Special Forces, to be know as USRSF.  These inbred Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Louisiana good 'ol boys will be dropped off in Iraq with shotguns and the following facts about terrorists;
1     The season opens this Saturday
2     There is no need for a permit
3     They taste like chicken
4     Their favorite movie is "Brokeback Mountain"
5     They don't like beer, pickup trucks, country music, Ford, Dodge, Chevy OR Jesus and worst of           all ...
6     They are DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE for the death of Dale Earnhardt
The Pentagon expects the problem in Iraq to be resolved over the weekend.

Heiss Mtn. to Retro Hughes 4.6.19

We had five hikers today for our Cumberland Trail hike from Highway 111 to the Retro Hughes Road trailhead.
The day started a little on the cool side but felt very warm by the end of the hike a few hours later. We hiked almost 10 miles on what is a strenuous hike.
We hiked from the Heiss Mountain (Highway 111) trailhead to the Retro Hughes Road trailhead. During the hike we made three descents into and ascents out of the Big Possum and Little Possum Creek gorges. Both creeks have very nice bridges across them.
Today, we lunched at the top of the Little Possum Creek waterfalls (which were running pretty well today) a little over 5 miles into the hike.
If you would like to see a few pictures, including wildflower pictures from Tom,  click here.  If you are trying to view photos of this hike from the TTA website and having problems, please go directly to the Blog at

Soddy Gorge & C.T. 4.2.19

The day was mostly cloudy with the sun peeking through occasionally .  There were 23 hikers on this hike of just 6 miles which I will rate mostly easy except for a couple of moderate places.  A small few of the hikers decided to remain on the lower trail and forgo the hike up to and on the C.T.  this distance was about 1.5 miles.  The rest of us decided to climb up to the C.T. turn off.  Once we reached the turn off to the C.T., we had to decide whether to go North or South.  It was finally decided to go North.  This was somewhat moderate as we had to cross a stream which meant boulder hoping and then along a somewhat rough trail.  Along the way we saw quite a number of different wildflowers especially Trillium and a blue flower covering the large flat rocks.  I can't remember the name, but if someone will text or email me, I'll add it to the blog.  Following the hike most went to Home Folks Restaurant in Soddy for lunch.  As usual, this was another very good hike.  If you would like to see some pictures, altitude graph and map, please click here.  If you are trying to view the pictures on the TTA website and having trouble, please go directly to the Blog at