Saturday, April 30, 2011

April 30, 2011 – OMNOMNOM and the Tiring Hike

      We started off the day in our traditional Tellico Plains fashion- breakfast at Tellico Grains Bakery. Esther and I each had a bacon-cheddar biscuit, Chan had a spinach ricotta, Ben a cheese croissant and Jake a cinnamon roll as big as his head.

      We grabbed a herb flat-bread and a multi-grain loaf (sliced) to go and headed out to find a couple of new trails.

      The first was a short hike of about a mile down to Conasauga Falls. The trail was mostly even and where the sun filtered through the canopy it created warm wafts of cedar-scented air. At the falls we lounged around and/or wadded through the water. 

     I snapped a quick shot with my phone so that I could post it back at the cabin where we had Wi-Fi access. As I turned around to look up the trail I felt my foot slide a little and had just enough time to look down and see that was standing on wet rock before I slipped into the creek up to my knees. I had my phone in one hand and my camera bag in the other and held them both out of the water, hoping that my car keys and wallet would stay dry. I like to think Esther shouted some words of encouragement as I crawled back onto the rock, but the roar of the waterfall drowned her out. I did a quick check of the electronics and squished up the trail. Esther was waiting for me, doing that thing with her face where she's not exactly laughing but she's not really hiding the fact that she wants to be laughing. I've seen this face before- usually after I've injured myself by some comedic circumstances.

      The second trail to the Coker Creek Falls is described in the pamphlet Esther picked up as an, “easy 2.7 mile hike along the edge of Coker Creek.” This perfectly and accurately describes the parking area and first quarter mile of the hike. The rest of the trail was a series of climbs and descents up and down the steep hills that flank the creek and a quintuple-turn switchback thrown in for good measure.

     A good part of the walk was spent a hundred feet above the creek negotiating the narrow path. To be fair, it was a beautiful stretch of woods full of wildflowers and newly budding rhododendron, just barely flowering mountain laurel and a handful of others. Although the creek was sometimes hidden in by the thick pine groves it was always there roaring in the background.

     ...but after roughly 2.2 miles into the hike and after meeting our second tree fall, this one nearly impassable we stopped briefly and turned around before seeing Coker Creek Falls. We did see several lesser falls along the way and a multitude of millipedes a large deep-orange toad and a wild monkey dancing on a log.

     Many more pictures, including several flowers whose names I'll not remember, can be found here.

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