25th, 2009 -
My good friend and TEHCC Steering
Committee Chair Jake Mitchell, has joined Shannon and I for our
maintenance section of the Appalachian Trail this year.
Since we now have extra help, we also expanded our section to
the entirety of Pond Mountain... from the Hampton Blue-blaze to
the Shook Branch area at Watauga Lake.
On our first maintenance outing of
2009, Jake brought another friend, Tyler Kilgore, to help.
We decided that we needed to cut a large blowdown on the Hampton
blue-blaze trail so we hiked in with the crosscut saw, but when
we arrived the blowdown had already been removed by the Forest
Service. Nevertheless, we hiked the entire blue-blaze
clearing smaller limbs and cutting brush. We also picked
up trash at the parking area.
Following our maintenance we
decided to drive over to Dennis Cove and hike in to Laurel Falls
from that route. With the wet weather lately the falls
were a treat. With it also being half frozen, it made for
some unique photos.
We ended our day by stopping off
at the Kincora hostel to say hello to Bob Peoples.
There (to Laurel Falls from Dennis Cove):
Elizabethton, take 19E toward Hampton. Once in Hampton turn
left onto highway 321 toward Mountain City. Proceed 0.8
miles and turn right onto Dennis Cove Road. Follow this
winding road for 4.0 miles and you'll see small parking area on
your left. If you wish to hike in from the Hampton
Blue-blaze route see these
trailhead will be off to your left from the parking area.
This is the Appalachian Trail (heading north) so just follow the
white blazes. After approximately 1.1 miles you make a sharp
turn to the left and proceed down into the ravine for another 0.1
miles (again following the white blazes). If
you wish to hike in from the Hampton Blue-blaze route see these
directions instead (it's about 5 miles round trip instead of