Sunday, April 12, 2009

March 2009: Sheltowee Trace Trail

Sections 33-28, Yamacraw Bridge to Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, near Whitley City, KY. Approximately 30 miles.
Trail notes: poorly marked, ambiguous, dead leaf covered trails
Weather: low 30's at night, 50-60 during the day. No rain, sunny most of the time
Advice: there may not be any mosquitos but there are ticks. A good map is a must if you want to walk this trail.
Day One: the adventure of getting a back-country camping permit. we hadn’t thought about the fact that it was Saturday and the Ranger Station might be closed. Oops. Thankfully, we had enough phone numbers and were able to find a place: the FastWay Marathon in Stearns.
Day Two: waking up this first morning to ice on the food bags. Spending lots of time puzzling out the trail as the markers were few and far between. A mixture of diamonds and turtles.
Day Three: As we broke camp, two stray pups came running out of the woods. A little later an older "trail hound" joined us near a trailhead. We nicknamed the older dog "Chubby P. McFatso" . They followed us all the way to the end of the trail. We took Chubby back to the trailhead where he joined us and took the pups back home with us.
Getting separated into two groups (Tim/Jess/Dave, Mike/Lynn), climbing to tops of hills to leave voice mail for each other. Figuring out that it would probably have been a good idea for each person to carry a map. Still being separated at days end. Good thing each group was self-sufficient except for a map!
Day Four: long trek through dry country. Coming out on a road and seeing smoke across the way. 20-30 DNR/volunteer fire vehicles passing us over the next hour as we (Mike/Lynn) trudged down the road looking for the next trail head. Spending an hour at the bridge by the river de-ticking. Getting a ranger to take Tim to where we left a vehicle since Mike/Lynn had all the keys to the one parked at trail end. Some of us never seeing Cumberland Falls after all. Too tired to walk down to them. Pizza, beer and a long drive home for the designated drivers.

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