Collins kept the Friday Hikers busy in the month of March with trips to hike the trails to Pinnacle Mountain, Ripshin Mountain, and the section of our maintained Appalachian Trail from [[US421 to Damascus|Taylors Valley to Damascus]]. Read on for the details.
Pinnacle Mountain, March 4, 2011
We had a beautiful day for our hike to the top of Pinnacle Mountain on the new USFS Trail. We started at the trailhead that is within sight of I-26 at the Unicoi exit. We agreed to say it was 8 miles round trip, but that probably would be a little much. The climb was about 1,400 feet. An observation platform has been constructed on the old fire tower steel and there is a great view in all directions with nothing as tall anywhere near; although it was quite breezy. The new trail is wide and well graded all the way to the ridge line and was not muddy. Hikers were: Olin Babb, June Donaldson, Bob Harvey, Heather Jacob, Jerry Jones, Terry Oldfield, Kim Peters, Leslie Padget, Susie Seiler, and Collins Chew.
Ripshin Mountain, March 11, 2011
We had a nice, cool, sometimes breezy hike in snow from the Tiger Creek Road to Ripshin Mountain. The snow was beautiful with an occasional fall of a few fine flakes. The view from the rocks at the top was pretty close up, but the 3-inch long rime ice festooning the branches was beautiful and rare. The snow at the bottom was about 2 inches deep with perhaps 8 inches at the top. Snow and small blazes forced us to do a bit of bushwhacking on the way up, but we mostly stayed on the trail coming down. Susie Seilers guided us and arranged for a neighbor’s dog to accompany us. We ate lunch by a lake near the bottom. The hike was about 4 miles round trip which fit the day pretty well. Hikers were: Susie Seilers and Collins Chew plus first timers Frank Sluder and Phil Gibson.
AT-Taylors Valley to Damascus, March 18, 2011
We had a warm, overcast day for a pleasant 7-mile hike from Taylors Valley to the Ice Cream store in Damascus; mostly on the AT with a little Virginia Creeper at start and end. We saw our first thru-hikers of the year but almost no wildflowers. Hikers were: Olin Babb, Cathy Case, Anne Cosby, Judith Foster, Phil Gibson, Bob Harvey, Jerry Jones, Larry Miller, Jerry Sluder, Susie Seiler and Collins Chew.