Saturay–March 13, 2021
Location–West Armuchee Road, then to home of Tim and Donna Tate, Ringgold
Tim & Donna Tate are long-distance hikers. On the trail they go by Hikernutt & Tagalong. They supported Rick Vagabond Rick Guhse when he hiked the Pinhoti Trail two decades ago. They’ve since remained friends–and now they’re friends of mine. Thanks, Vagabond, for getting us together!
A fine spaghetti dinner prepared by Donna last evening and a great night’s sleep–and Copperhead and me, we’re ready to hit the trail again this morning. Tim and Donna get us to Mack White Gap and we’re hiking shortly after seven–makings of another great day on the Pinhoti Trail!
Climbing to the ridge above US-27/Mack White Gap (seems there’s always a climb to the ridge) we soon enter an area of longleaf pine restoration/reforestation. We pause to read about “Restoring the Longleaf Pine Forest.” Very informative! Hopefully, you’ll be able to zoom in enough to read the longleaf story.
They got a later start, but being faster hikers (and as usual) Little John & Ryan soon catch us–and we hike the pleasant ridge walk along Taylor Ridge together.
Everything is popping now. The serviceberry is in full bloom, the blackberries greening up.
Descending Taylor Ridge, we have a pleasant walk along rural Narrows Road–to Copperhead’s car parked early this morning at West Armuchee Road.
Heading back to the Tate home in Ringgold, we make a couple stops. One at the infamous Dollar General near Summerville where Dixie almost got arrested, then to everybody’s favorite place In Summerville, Burger Shack!
The vast longleaf pine forests of prehistoric North America will not return, but …conservationists hope that the current acreage can be maintained and possibly increased in the future.
(Robert Carter, Jacksonville State University)