Friday, May 25, 2012

We shall never speak of this again…


…well, maybe just a little blog post.

We were driving the steeply downhill route to our hiking trailhead when we came upon a group of Harley riders with one bike over the edge of the road.  No one was hurt –- it was a steep 170 degree descending turn and the road edge was soft.  With our 20’ tow strap, 5-6 hulking strong riders and skillful driving by Patty, all was soon put to right.  Belatedly we realized that no one had pictures of the crash site, but that was all for the best.  The driver was looking a little sheepish so we all pledged to never speak of this again.   In short order they were off down “Happy Valley Road”, a perfect gem of a touring road.








  • Little Bottoms Trail 
  • Although frequently used, this trail is recommended only for those who are sure of foot.  It generally follows an old man-way shaped more by 150 years of walking feet than by shovel and mattock. …It retains the characteristics of mountain footpaths of the old days before the uniform graded trails were built.
  • (                               from “Hiking Trails of the Smokies”)

Freely translated that means it climbs the side of a cliff on a long diagonal, doubles back only once then plunges down the other side like a runaway bowling ball.


IMG_3678We walked out to the  place where the tornado mowed a path over the mountain a couple years back.  The damage was extensive. Huge root balls from downed trees would have made it hard to find the trail in the aftermath.  Trail crews are still working to clear it, We came upon one crew cooling in the creek.  (No pictures here, they were, ahem…”out of uniform.” 


IMG_3679Indians in the Eastern US used “trail trees” usually White Oak bent and allowed to grow in an inverted vee shape to mark campsites, water sources and other important points.  (more information at Mountain Stewards).  At the edge of this path of destruction, nature formed a “trail tree.”


Some thoughts:

  • New use for a Bandanna. Tie it to your hiking stick to dip it into the creek. Then you won’t look like a feral dog getting a little water on your overheated scalp.
  • Too much walking, not enough casting.
  • On a steep upgrade, interesting items show up every 60 feet and require careful, detailed study.
  • I really should taste the grapes before I buy them!IMG_3669

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