Friday–March 19, 2021
Location–Mulberry Gap Mountain Bike Get-A-Way
What a restful time at Angie and Rick’s fine Dennis Mill Cabins! I set a fire in the wood burning stove, then sat on the couch right there in front of it all evening working my journal entry.
Plans for today are to follow Angie to the trail crossing on Highway 52. Copperhead will leave his car there at overlook parking, then Angie will carry us back to her place. This plan works great and Angie has us back hiking from Rock Creek Bridge a little after eight.
This will be a long day on the trail, over 16 miles, lots of climbing (ups and downs in excess of 3,000 feet, final climb being Tatum Mountain), plus many creek crossings (Rock, Bearpen, and Baker, none of them rock-hoppers).
A young lady passes us going south shortly after twelve. She’s running (with hiking sticks) and wearing a small backpack. Find out it’s Katherine Baird. Katherine is out to capture the record for self-supported Pinhoti Trail FKT (fastest known time). Neither Copperhead nor I get a photo; she’s too fast. To you, Katherine–I wish you wide, safe passage, and great success!
Just before reaching Highway 52, a hiker comes toward us. It’s the fellow who greeted me on the sidewalk in Dalton the other day–Steve Zipper Davis. Back at overlook parking, come to find he’s brought an entire trunk full of hiker food! I accept some fruit and some energy bars for the next two days. Thanks so much Zipper–your thoughtful kindness is appreciated!
Someone’s played a prank (well, not really.). On the pavement next to Copperhead’s car, twigs have been arranged to spell out “HIKER TRASH.” Culprit–whoever you are, please fess up!
(Editor’s note: “Hiker Trash” is a term for long distance hikers that have immersed themselves in the culture of trail life. This is not a negative term for NN)
Evening now, Copperhead drives us the short distance down to Mulberry Gap Mountain Bike Get-A-Way. A cabin (plus supper & breakfast) have been arranged for us here–thanks Nathan!
I must make a comment or two about the trail that now exists just up from the trailhead at Dennis Mill: Twenty three years ago, even twenty-one, there was no trail there. It was a bushwhack for me back then. But now there’s great trail, on public land purchased by The Conservation Fund. If you’ll enlarge the photo of the stone marker, the names of those involved in the land purchase and trail construction are listed. They’re all known to me, Three are dear friends; Mike Leonard, Marty Dominy, and Rick Moon. They’ve all worked tirelessly for decades to make this great Pinhoti Trail what it is today. Thank you, dear friends!
…connections are made with the heart,
not the tongue.
(C. JoyBell C.)