Meeting times

Monthly Meetings : 2nd Tuesday at 7:00 pm CT, Barfield-Crescent Park's Wilderness Station, 697 Veterans Parkway, Murfreesboro

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cumberland Trail Building Trek, Report by Jim Schroeder.

I availed myself to participate in the Nov 10 to Nov 20 CT trail building effort in the area of the northeast corner of Frozen Head State Park. The plan was to arrive at the base camp on Sunday the 13th and work Monday and Tuesday and head back home on Wednesday. The camp was located at the “Garden Spot” right at the northeast corner of the park and was easily accessible via old logging/mining roads reconditioned to accommodate present day operations along with the relatively new natural gas fields; a far cry from my first visit to this then remote area back in 1998 when access was only available by a combination of logging roads, unused mining roads, ATV paths, etc. with entrance to the area originating from the Moore’s Camp coal wash station off HWY 116.

Joining 10 other trail builders, including some from various locations across the TTA chapters, I proceeded to set up my tent and joined in a camp supper prepared by CT master builder Tony Hook and then an evening of fellow ship. The night was disturbed by frequent gusty winds which buffeted the walls of the tent in snapping and creaking noise.

Monday found the team working its way down the 10-legged switchback system westward into Frozen Head Park to upgrade sections of trail and continuing work to tie the CT into the old “North Boundary Trail” of the park. I had forgotten how much energy it took after a day’s trail work to make the 500 foot switchback climb back up to the base camp. But a slow paced climb with frequent rest stops along the way got the job done.

After an early supper, the rains came damping fellowship and story telling opportunities and caused the writer early retirement to the tent for reading and early trip under the covers. The night was disturbed again by not only gusty winds, but coupled with frequent short down pours. Some of the gusts were so severe they caused tent fly stakes to be dislodged resulting in some moisture entering the tent in now unprotected mesh side walls. Thankfully the penetration of moisture was not severe enough to cause discomfort but only some wet spots on the tent floor.

With forecast for rain all day on Tuesday and Wednesday, I broke down my camp and packed it in the vehicle. The work plan was to do reconditioning of trail between the Park and the road crossing to the northeast. Driving to the road crossing, the team had no sooner started working inward, when it came down in buckets. I decided enough was enough and headed for the home front while the rest of the team headed back to base camp to await a break in the weather.

SUMMARY: All in all this was for me another good endeavor. Working to complete a trail that will be there for others to use and enjoy for many years to come in the wonderlands of GODS creation, coupled with the camaraderie of fellow trail enthusiasts, is always makes my efforts worthwhile.

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