Start of a New Week

Well, here I am about to drop off for the night. It was a stressful day at work, but I won’t get into that. Nothing a little Phish Food won’t ease.

I am still patiently waiting for the LBS to get my headset and stem in for the Monkey. It seems that QBP is still out of what I want. I guess it’s not a big deal, seeing as I am piecing it together. I won’t be able to check with them until wednesday, when I’m off again. Had 7 days in a row of work.

I also haven’t gotten much riding in in the last week. Why? It has to do with the last hike that I posted a pic from.
It started on Schoolhouse Gap. This was a road that a minister built with the local Indians. The road doesn’t go to any school, but is believed to have been used by the school kids to get to one further away. It happens to pass right by an old settlement called White Oaks Sinks. Here lived about ten families. It’s a kind of bowl shaped lower area. Anyway, to get there you have to take an old manway. A manway is an unmaintained trail in the park. We followed it down I figure about halfway. To the bottom. Here we noticed some animal tracks. Turned out to be big animal tracks. Feline. Hmm…so we turned around and headed back to our trail. On the way up to our next trail, we encountered a park employee cleaning out the waterbars. So, we stopped and asked him about the manway. Apparently, you can take it all the way to the end of the trail and pop back on it by some caves. The caves have been barred up due to a stray hiker or more going in and getting into some sort of trouble. So we continued on.

We got to our junction with Chestnut Top Trail, which basically follows along a ridge. From this trail you will see views of Townsend and Thunderhead Mountain. With a view of the Townsend area, we stopped for lunch. It’s very beautiful up there. And lunch hit the spot. Thanks Meg!! I really enjoyed the dessert! Again, we went up. It’s not a steep climb. We hit the top and started our trek down. I really enjoyed the company, as I was learning about the local flora. Just in case you come to the Smokies in spring, this trail will be loaded with wildflowers. And so many people don’t see them here. They go to some of the more popular and easy to get to trails. Off to the right, you will now get a view of Thunderhead Mountain. It is the tallest on the west side of the park. Check my earlier blog for a view. Well, around this time, I was looking down at another animal print, this time canine, Pam was talking about and stepped to the side of the trail. I put my right foot down on top of some leaves and proceeded to slide off the trail. Fortunately, a log grabbed my knee and stopped me. The look on the girls’ faces was a little bit of shock. But, then I’m a klutz and usually fall or wobble a lot on the trail. Yeah, the knee was bruised and swollen, but no skin was broken! So we headed on further. At one point Pam is ahead and warns us that “that turn is off camber and sketchy, Marla”. I guess she was talking to me, eh??The trail eventually takes a 180 degree turn and you will head towards what is known as the wye. It’s where the road from Townsend goes into the park. From the trail, you can look almost straight down on it. As one nears the end of the trail, the stream comes into view and you can hear it. It almost drowns out the noise of cars passing by. It was a good trip. Hey, at least I got my yearly fall out of the way early!

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