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The Cumberland Trail

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    • It was good to see Bo Peep again for a CT hike; she's not as slow as she thinks she is.

      I had done this section (Soddy Gorge South) twice before, once in fall, once in winter. This was my first time out with leaves on the trees, and it definitely makes a difference! Felt like a totally different hike, which scratches my itch for novelty.

      I'm now at 126+ miles on the CT, with mostly long (shuttle and/or backpack) sections to go.

      Spotted some graffiti in a rockhouse. I usually find it upsetting/disappointing, but this one wasn't so bad - it appears to have been made with shale (not spray-paint) and had a good message: "Read ... Think ... Repeat".
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    • Time Zone wrote:

      It was good to see Bo Peep again for a CT hike; she's not as slow as she thinks she is.

      I had done this section (Soddy Gorge South) twice before, once in fall, once in winter. This was my first time out with leaves on the trees, and it definitely makes a difference! Felt like a totally different hike, which scratches my itch for novelty.

      I'm now at 126+ miles on the CT, with mostly long (shuttle and/or backpack) sections to go.

      Spotted some graffiti in a rockhouse. I usually find it upsetting/disappointing, but this one wasn't so bad - it appears to have been made with shale (not spray-paint) and had a good message: "Read ... Think ... Repeat".
      I think the scribe should read, think, and repent :D
    • BP and I did Eagle Bluff section yesterday. Equal parts rewarding and challenging.

      In warm weather (it was 80s yesterday) you may need more than 2L of water - I sure did, thanks to the elev gain and lack of breeze. There aren't that many spots to get water either. It's 11.7 mi long; waterfall at MM 2.7 (picture # 2218) and then nothing filterable until MM 8.8, a stream that was barely a trickle (and is reputed to often disappear in summertime).

      It's quite overgrown in several long stretches. Where it's not overgrown, the trail often follows a rocky spine that can be surprisingly narrow with steep drop-offs on one or both sides (pix 2227, 2239, 2240). Getting down from the ridge trail quickly in a t-storm would be hard to do.

      Some great views to be had, though, such as from Devil's Racetrack (pix #2221, 2223) and Eagle Bluff (2233 - what an entrance, eh?, 2234). Since it's an up and down and up hike, you can sometimes look back on previous peaks (2246).

      Saw several turtles, newts, a black snake, hawks, and a turkey. Might have scared a bear off the trail - saw fresh scat soon after hearing some animal scampering away from us through the brush.

      It's quite the physical challenge - much elevation gain and loss, substantial distance, the trail's conditions/composition, and the heat of course.
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    • It was muggy and buggy and tons of fun. A few more pics...craziness.

      The snake scared the crap out of me. Look closely to see his head.

      I lost my glasses. Thank goodness they were my spares (that I could barely see out of.)
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      In life there are no limitations. Except stupidity. If you're stupid, you're screwed.

      Stephan Pastis

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Traffic Jam ().

    • jimmyjam wrote:


      Note the two black toe nails and one new toe nail because one black one fell off- and I finished that hike over a month ago lol!!!
      mine usually take a while to fall off too. It’s weird cuz on my 60 mile hike, I didn’t have any toe or foot trouble but this 11.7 mile section was rough. I wore the same socks and shoes. Thinkin’ it’s time for some super feet.
      In life there are no limitations. Except stupidity. If you're stupid, you're screwed.

      Stephan Pastis
    • Bo Peep wrote:

      jimmyjam wrote:


      Note the two black toe nails and one new toe nail because one black one fell off- and I finished that hike over a month ago lol!!!
      mine usually take a while to fall off too. It’s weird cuz on my 60 mile hike, I didn’t have any toe or foot trouble but this 11.7 mile section was rough. I wore the same socks and shoes. Thinkin’ it’s time for some super feet.
      Losing toes nails normally is the result of shoes being too small and banging into the shoe on down hills, I don't understand what I see in your situation, I understand the second toe on the right foot getting damaged because it is the longest, don't understand the little piggy on the left.
      I may grow old but I'll never grow up.
    • Drybones wrote:

      Bo Peep wrote:

      jimmyjam wrote:


      Note the two black toe nails and one new toe nail because one black one fell off- and I finished that hike over a month ago lol!!!
      mine usually take a while to fall off too. It’s weird cuz on my 60 mile hike, I didn’t have any toe or foot trouble but this 11.7 mile section was rough. I wore the same socks and shoes. Thinkin’ it’s time for some super feet.
      Losing toes nails normally is the result of shoes being too small and banging into the shoe on down hills, I don't understand what I see in your situation, I understand the second toe on the right foot getting damaged because it is the longest, don't understand the little piggy on the left.
      yeah having the pinky on turn black is a first. It's from not having my shoes laced properly to keep my feet from sliding forward on the downhills. I like my shoes on the loose side.
      "Dazed and Confused"
      Recycle, re-use, re-purpose
      Plant a tree
      Take a kid hiking
      Make a difference
    • TZ and I attempted to hike the Obed Wild and Scenic River section. It was a tough hike and we opted to turn back and bail for various reasons.

      I said some choice words about the CT. It’s a good thing TZ is forgiving. ^^
      In life there are no limitations. Except stupidity. If you're stupid, you're screwed.

      Stephan Pastis
    • jimmyjam wrote:

      Traffic Jam wrote:

      TZ and I attempted to hike the Obed Wild and Scenic River section. It was a tough hike and we opted to turn back and bail for various reasons.

      I said some choice words about the CT. It’s a good thing TZ is forgiving. ^^
      were you cussing like a sailor? :)
      Maybe...probably. :P
      In life there are no limitations. Except stupidity. If you're stupid, you're screwed.

      Stephan Pastis
    • Traffic Jam wrote:

      jimmyjam wrote:

      Traffic Jam wrote:

      TZ and I attempted to hike the Obed Wild and Scenic River section. It was a tough hike and we opted to turn back and bail for various reasons.

      I said some choice words about the CT. It’s a good thing TZ is forgiving. ^^
      were you cussing like a sailor? :)
      Maybe...probably. :P
      Cof124 I think we've all days like that.
      "Dazed and Confused"
      Recycle, re-use, re-purpose
      Plant a tree
      Take a kid hiking
      Make a difference
    • I bailed after three days on a section hike one August. Sweltering temperatures, dry springs and creeks. I came to an overgrown section just north of the James River, I was sobo, and it was waist high stinging nettle and I only had on the top part of my zip offs and had waded in fifty yards before I realized what the stuff was. I itched and burned like crazy. A quarter mile later I was finally out of it. I was cussing for some trail maintaince and bailed when I got to the river.
      "Dazed and Confused"
      Recycle, re-use, re-purpose
      Plant a tree
      Take a kid hiking
      Make a difference
    • It was warm, not hot, but very humid; I really overheated. I may need to experiment with no hat - I'm used to protecting my scalp by covering up, but I think it may be contributing toward cooking my brain when backpacking in those conditions. I can't cool off - sweating buckets. Maybe I could go to a cotton bandana, or just put some SPF 50 on there every 2 hrs. Or a combo - go Willie Nelson style bandana, keep the sweat out of my eyes, yet the top part free to evaporate sweat and cool that way. Thoughts? Perhaps sweating buckets is unavoidable when doing strenuous hiking in high humidity situations (warm, no breeze). But that requires me to drink copious amts of water ... I probably should have been drinking around 1 liter every 1.5 miles, but I did about half that.

      The miles on the Obed WSR section we saw were pretty badly overgrown and poorly blazed where it needed it most. I'm starting to be struck by how the best blazed sections of the CT are where the trail is most obvious, a clearly beaten down path. I guess sometimes the explanation is that in poorly blazed sections, the trees with blazes have died and fallen over, leaving both a gap in marking plus an obstacle. But other times it seems like there's no excuse for the lack of blazing - and as the trail gets rather little use or maintenance in these remote areas, it gets overgrown over time.

      The southernmost mile of the section is characterized by loose, moss-covered, damp rock steps that descend and ascend steeply. It's very hard to maintain any respectable pace in that section. Hiking poles are an absolute necessity there, IMO.

      Although it was frustrating to have to turn back, we live to hike another day, hopefully wiser. Some hard lessons derived from it, but some costly consequences were avoided too.
    • Even a regular, cotton bandana can be weted to help cool the head.
      And drinking copious amounts is something I have to do too, or I have problems.
      I fact, I've been to the hospital twice do to heat related problems. That was like 40 years ago and had nothing to do with hiking, but in each case I was told that I was dehydrated because I didn't drink enough. So keep cool as you can and keep hydrated, easier said then done though when you're out hiking.
    • Traffic Jam wrote:

      TZ and I attempted to hike the Obed Wild and Scenic River section. It was a tough hike and we opted to turn back and bail for various reasons.

      I said some choice words about the CT. It’s a good thing TZ is forgiving. ^^
      I believe anytime you get out in the woods and get to walk some it is a good thing, even if you don't do as much as planned. :thumbup:
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • New

      My daughter and I went on a spur-of-the-moment hike to Obed, intending to hike to the Alley Ford campsite from the northern trailhead, a short 5 mi round trip. We got a late start and planned to eat lunch and swim at Alley Ford.

      We got caught in a downpour and decided to turn back before the predicted thunderstorms passed through. The 2+ miles we hiked before turning around was easy, peasy...we averaged 2.6 mph. Hiking in the rain was fun and really cooled us off on a very muggy day. It’s been a while since I’ve hiked in rain and had forgotten how nice it is. We were soaked but felt great!
      In life there are no limitations. Except stupidity. If you're stupid, you're screwed.

      Stephan Pastis
    • New

      The main point of today’s hike was to check mileage.

      There is a group of hikers who recently hiked the Obed CT and claim the mileage is closer to 17-19, rather than 14.1. Every published description and sign says 14.1 or 14.2 so I am skeptical of the group’s claim.

      However, my hiking buddy believes there is credence to their claim and that the smart thing to do is to plan for the extra miles when planning a second attempt. I respect that but adding those extra miles makes planning more difficult.

      Anyway...I wanted to at least verify the mileage to Alley Ford.

      This section is really hard to plan for several reasons. We found out on the first attempt that overnight parking isn’t allowed at the southern end and my vehicle would have been towed. So, we either do it as a day hike or get shuttled.

      Also, hiking isn’t allowed during hunting season.

      Camping isn’t allowed except at Alley Ford which is at 2.4/11.7

      Parts of the trail are difficult to navigate due to poor blazing and lack of maintenance. On the first attempt, several spots required a significant amount of time to find the trail.

      The hike today was easy but the majority is tough which will require plenty of time and daylight for me.
      In life there are no limitations. Except stupidity. If you're stupid, you're screwed.

      Stephan Pastis
    • New

      Traffic Jam wrote:

      My daughter and I went on a spur-of-the-moment hike to Obed, intending to hike to the Alley Ford campsite from the northern trailhead, a short 5 mi round trip. We got a late start and planned to eat lunch and swim at Alley Ford.

      We got caught in a downpour and decided to turn back before the predicted thunderstorms passed through. The 2+ miles we hiked before turning around was easy, peasy...we averaged 2.6 mph. Hiking in the rain was fun and really cooled us off on a very muggy day. It’s been a while since I’ve hiked in rain and had forgotten how nice it is. We were soaked but felt great!
      Summer rain in the South and up above treeline in North can be totally different. One a nice refreshing cooling off :thumbup:
      and the other a risk of hypothermia. :thumbdown:
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • New

      Astro wrote:

      Traffic Jam wrote:

      My daughter and I went on a spur-of-the-moment hike to Obed, intending to hike to the Alley Ford campsite from the northern trailhead, a short 5 mi round trip. We got a late start and planned to eat lunch and swim at Alley Ford.

      We got caught in a downpour and decided to turn back before the predicted thunderstorms passed through. The 2+ miles we hiked before turning around was easy, peasy...we averaged 2.6 mph. Hiking in the rain was fun and really cooled us off on a very muggy day. It’s been a while since I’ve hiked in rain and had forgotten how nice it is. We were soaked but felt great!
      Summer rain in the South and up above treeline in North can be totally different. One a nice refreshing cooling off :thumbup: and the other a risk of hypothermia. :thumbdown:
      Yep.

      We were cold by the time we got home as we both only took an extra shirt and had to drive home in wet clothes. But it wasn’t too bad and was definitely worth it.
      In life there are no limitations. Except stupidity. If you're stupid, you're screwed.

      Stephan Pastis
    • New

      Traffic Jam wrote:

      jimmyjam wrote:

      What are you using to measure mileage?
      My Suunto GPS watch.
      Apparently, several people in this particular group used Gaia. Ive been trying to figure out why the difference in mileage. I wondered if a change in time zone affects gps tracks (i dont think it does) so did some googling and found this... granted, its two years old. Maybe you smart people can explain this to me.

      outdoors.stackexchange.com/que…-inaccurate-for-distances
      In life there are no limitations. Except stupidity. If you're stupid, you're screwed.

      Stephan Pastis
    • New

      Traffic Jam wrote:

      Traffic Jam wrote:

      jimmyjam wrote:

      What are you using to measure mileage?
      My Suunto GPS watch.
      Apparently, several people in this particular group used Gaia. Ive been trying to figure out why the difference in mileage. I wondered if a change in time zone affects gps tracks (i dont think it does) so did some googling and found this... granted, its two years old. Maybe you smart people can explain this to me.
      outdoors.stackexchange.com/que…-inaccurate-for-distances
      Can you picture me with an antenna on top of my head while hiking? Bet that would generate a few interesting trail names.
      "Dazed and Confused"
      Recycle, re-use, re-purpose
      Plant a tree
      Take a kid hiking
      Make a difference