Laurel Fork Gorge Bridge Replacement (1999)

On January 7-8, 1998, torrential rains struck northeast Tennessee and western North Carolina. Carter County, Tennessee was hit especially hard, with widespread flooding and seven deaths caused by ten inches of rain during a 24 hour period. The lower two bridges on the A.T. in Laurel Fork Gorge were completely destroyed. The center span of the upper bridge (the Koonford Bridge) was also destroyed, but temporary repairs were quickly made by TEHCC on January 17, 1998. A temporary blue-blazed route for the A.T. to bypass the two destroyed bridges was completed in May 1998. Continue reading “Laurel Fork Gorge Bridge Replacement (1999)”

Laurel Fork Bridge Near Bitter End (1997)

Fifteen of us ignored the weather forecast and the drizzle to build a bridge. We knew beforehand that the bridge over Laurel Fork, Trail south of Bitter End, was rickety and needed to be replaced. Our timing was good as when we reached the bridge on Saturday morning, we found that it had collapsed! Several Club members had drilled the holes and generally prepared the bridge for installation earlier in the week, so once we got the material to the site, it went up pretty quickly. Continue reading “Laurel Fork Bridge Near Bitter End (1997)”

Overmountain Shelter (1993-1997)

The Overmountain Shelter is located near Yellow Mountain Gap (4,682 feet) on the Appalachian Trail. The shelter’s name is derived from the Overmountain Men, who passed through the Gap on their way from Sycamore Shoals (now called Elizabethton), Tennessee to defeat the British Army at Kings Mountain, South Carolina during the Revolutionary War. That defeat freed the American South from British domination, and was a turning point in the war. Continue reading “Overmountain Shelter (1993-1997)”