Barry Griggs reporting
Under dry but threatening skies, four dedicated hikers decided to forge ahead and tackle the 3-mile round-trip hike to White Rocks on Buffalo Mountain. According to the forecast and radar, it was almost certain that we would get wet before we returned, but so what! About thirty minutes into the hike our weather expectations were realized as a light drizzle began to fall. The rain gradually increased in intensity and everyone donned their rain gear (those who had it) for some degree of protection. While there was a steady drizzle and some wind, it never reached the level of a downpour and there was no thunder, so we were good. We encountered one other wet group of hikers from a Johnson City church who were trying to locate their church through the fog/rain from the White Rock overlook, but no luck. Footing was a bit iffy at times with piles of wet leaves on the sometimes rather steep trail, but that just added to the adventure. After White Rocks, we decided to continue on to the communication towers and return via the Tower Ridge Trail to see some different scenery. In spite of the uncooperative weather, we had a very enjoyable hike with good company. Our group included Paula Cahill, Peng Song, William Werner and Barry Griggs.
Vic Hasler reporting
On a gorgeous, late fall, Sunday afternoon, one car carrying Steve Ankabrandt, Gerald Scott, Marc Schurger, and Vic Hasler took the 50-minute drive to the trailhead arriving at 2PM. With an early 5:30PM sunset, long shadows were already creeping into the valley. Leaves thickly covered the gravel road which runs along the cascading Rocky Fork stream. Back on wintery January 10, 1789 morning, John Sevier and his men had to walk or ride horses in snow along or in the cold flow – pulling “grasshopper” field cannon with three pound balls/canister shot. A portion of the troops were also sent over Flint Mountain to close the retreat path. Upon reaching Flint Creek, we discovered that a large blowdown across the stream has been converted into a simple bridge, thus affording a quick and dry passage. The Indian encampment site was in the bottomlands where the two creeks merged. Sevier reported determining their exact location from the smoke of their campfires. The wet weather caused the gunpowder to not function, so the battle quickly evolved into hand-to-hand combat with sword and tomahawk. The encounter was no longer than an hour, leaving a “bloody field” per the governor’s report. For the hikers, we could see the regrowth forest in the lowlands, but could only imagine what occurred on that snowy morning. We hiked to the upper end where the Flint Trail continues following the creek up to the ridgeline at the A.T., and then turned back. A nice easy three-mile hike was enjoyed. Some will be back next year to pursue fishing, and a hike to the top of White House Cliffs as a newly cut trail was observed.
Tim Schaefer reporting
Event Date: November 4th, 2013
Yet another beautiful fall day for a hike. This one was a bit colder than the previous week’s hike, but still extremely pleasant. Since we had small children, we kept the distance down and did just Boneyard. The trail map said 1.9, our wiki says 2.44. I’m inclined to believe our measurement, as it took us right at two hours including the short distance to and from the loop. For those who have never considered hiking these trails because of the mention of “Bike Trails,” these are some of the nicest trails that I’ve been on in Kingsport, with great views of the park and river. All we had to do was dodge out of the way of two bicyclists for our entire hike. Not bad for such a nice hike so close to home. Joining me was my family, Paula Cahill, and family friend Amanda.
Tim Schaefer reporting
Event Date: October 27th
It was a beautiful fall day for a hike along the tracks to the old train bridge. For those who haven’t ventured out here yet, it’s an extremely nice hike with great views along a narrow gage train track (i.e. flat and even grade). As always, check out our wiki for Doe River Gorge for details on the trail. Joining me was my family, Jaime and Paul Aiello, and Zhufang Liu and Jingua Yuan and their children.
Garry Luttrell reporting
Event Date: October 19th
Fred Mullner, Serita Blankenbecler, Paula Cahill, and Garry Luttrell enjoyed the stroll, and sometimes rock climbing, up to the summit of Wilburn Ridge. Along the way we saw lots of ponies; in fact, more than I’ve ever seen before on a day’s trip. And, we could say the same for the number of hikers, scouts, groups, dogs, etc. We sat down on the top, opened our snacks, food, and drink; and, it seemed like the wind increased and temperature fell, as if some voice was saying: it’s time for you to move on, and let someone else enjoy the great 360 degree view.
Carl Fritz reporting
This 13th annual Damascus Hard Core event was Sunday, May 19th and Monday, May 20st. It was preceded by the tragic event at Damascus Trail Days during the parade on Saturday when 50 people were injured by a car. Everyone experienced more obstacles including rainy weather during the Hard Core event. But Monday ended spectacularly with everyone happy. Continue reading