Friday Hikers: Doe River Gorge, May 6

Collins Chew reporting

We had occasional misty rain part of the time for our hike through the Doe River Gorge, but it did not interfere with our enjoyment of the day.  After signing releases to the landowners, a Christian Camp, we hiked along the old Tweetsie railroad grade for about 2.5 miles and then returned.  Several geologic features were noted to be of interest.  There were quite a few wildflowers.  The showiest were purple phacelia and fire pink, but there were many others.  We were back in time to picnic at the camp tables.  Hikers were Olin Babb, Kathy and Jerry Case, Anne Cosby, Jan and Chuck Mather, Brian Paley, Susie Seiler, Jerry Sluder, and Collins Chew.

Friday Hikers: AT – Jones Meadow to Allen Gap, April 8

Collins Chew reporting

The weather was pleasant but cloudy for our 7.4 mile on the AT from Jones Meadow to Allen Gap.  Occasionally, a few sprinkles fell, but never enough to cause problems.  It rained a bit while we were in the Shelter eating lunch.  A few wildflowers were out: Service berry, spring beauty, trailing arbutus, various violets, a few bloodroot and chickweed.  Backpackers were out in force with a few other dayhikers.  Hikers were: Don Baker, Kathy Case, Andrew Cleland, first timer from South Carolina Beth Ann Cushman, George Dickert, Carol Dunham, Judith Foster, Carol Idol, Heather Jacob, Jerry Jones, Eloise Kaeck, first timers Lotta and Ken Murray, first timer John Parks, Lowell Toof, and Collins Chew.

The Week Ahead – May 9th

Wow! Do we have you covered this weekend! Take your pick. Whitewater or flatwater paddling, the infamous Damascus Hard Core, or the always reliable Collins Chew and his Friday Hikers. Check out the schedule for all of the details.

  • 2011 Nolichucky Hometown Throwdown Event
  • Moonlight paddle on South Holston or Watauga Lake
  • Friday Hikers
  • Damascus Hard Core 2011 – Look for me here!

Friday Hikers: AT – Chestoa to Curley Maple Gap Shelter, April 1

Bob Harvey reporting

The hike of April 1 was on the Appalachian Trail  from Chestoa to Curley Maple Gap Shelter and return, a total of 8.2 miles.

The temperature was a little brisk to begin with, but once we started the strenuous climb out of Jones Branch valley there was much shedding of outer layers.  At the upper end of the hike, around elevation 2800 feet, we began finding a dusting of snow on the leaves and ground, but it didn’t last long after the sun came out.

Lunch was at the newly-rebuilt Curley Maple Gap Shelter, a vastly improved version of what used to be there.  When we arrived, the shelter was filled almost to overflow by a jolly bunch of northbound through hikers, this being the time of the year that they pass through our territory.  But, there was additional outside seating in the vicinity and we had a great lunch — until we started getting cold again.  It was then time to go.

On the return trip we passed even more through hikers, some of whom didn’t mind stopping to chat for a minute or two.  After the hike we tried to guess how many we’d seen, and the numbers varied widely, but maybe sixteen would be close enough.

Jones Branch may have been running full, but it was crystal clear, something that a number of us commented on.  We had one ford to make of the creek and possibly a few of us got a foot in the water, one of the feet being mine; but we mainly made it across without incident.

The hikers were Olin Babb, Kathy Case, Anne Cosby, George Dickert, Judith Foster, Phil Gibson, Bob Harvey, Carol Idol, Chuck Mather, Larry Miller, Susie Seiler and Jerry Sluder.