Friday, February 12, 2010

Hwy. 27 to Indian Rock House. 4.9 Miles...BRRRrrrr

Wednesday morning started out cold enough to make the hairs in your nose (come on, you know you got 'em) sting. Even so, our thoughtful and fearless leader, Che, made a great decision when she let the hike go forward. We parked on Hwy. 27, walking back down the highway to get to the stairs that took fourteen of us to the trail. Our feet crunched over frozen ground as we followed a trail that wound gently in and out and up and around until we came to a creek flowing quite heavily. Here, the usual frontrunners had stalled- no one wanted to step foot in that cold water! Eventually, we all passed through and continued on to Lawson Rock Overlook. Once again, we were treated to a fantastic view of the Tennessee River and the gorge.

The next portion of the trail was a rock lover's wonderland. Huge boulders defying gravity while sending imaginations into overtime. In particular, there was a tall, stacked formation laced with verdant green moss that was inaccessible from the trail, but seemed to draw attention, as if, it held a secret we were meant to explore. On occasion, we passed under frozen icicles and grapevine's encased in ice. Every now and then, we would hear a distinctive snap and an icicle would fall to the ground. We passed a bridge with a gushing waterfall coming down the mountain. At Indian Rock House, the guys jumped in and built a warm fire which we all enjoyed. Che treated the group to smore's! Arlene proved to have the best toasting marshmallow skill. :-)

It was a short but very sweet hike! Every one of the trails around the Tennessee Gorge have been spectacular. The Trail Chronicler can't wait for the next hike on the Cumberland.