9.07.2010

The Cumberland Trail

Many avid hikers take on the task of hiking the Appalachian Trail, which spans from Georgia all the way to Maine.  My husband and I have decided to take on a local challenge of a smaller scale: the Cumberland Trail. The Cumberland Trail spans from the southern border to the northern border of Tennessee.  According to cumberlandtrail.org, 126 miles of trails are currently open, but when the trails are completed, it will span 264 miles. So far, we've completed 4 out of the 14 segments that make up the trail.
For Labor Day weekend, Lucas, Rizzo, and I set out to do a ten mile hike near our house: The Possum Creek Segment of the Three Gorges Section.  This hike starts on Bakewell Mtn and ends on Flat TopMtn.  Let me just say that 10 miles is a whole lot farther than it sounds.  My husband and I normally do about one good hike in the spring and one in the fall.  On this trip, we decided that was just long enough to forget how exhausting and painful it is.  It's always worth it in the end, though. Unfortunately, for this hike all the creeks and even Imodium Falls were dried up.  There weren't any spectacular views either.  That's ok though, I love to spend the time in the woods. Alone with my husband, my puppy, my thoughts, and the creatures that await to attack me. 
On this particular trip, only 2 species of creatures wanted to attack us.  We started the hike with Rizzo in the lead, since that little bundle of energy wanted to run the whole way.  About 4 miles in, I found myself face to face with a black snake. I could've swore it was fake.  It was sitting still so lifelessly.  I screamed, Rizzo ran back toward me. I screamed some more and yanked her leash so she was forced to run by the snake at lightning speed. Lucas of course had already jumped in front of me. He made the snake go away.   We then proceeded to change order and I made Lucas go first, then Rizzo, then me. 
After my heart stopped pounding 90 miles an hour, and the pain from the uphill climb settled back in, we decided to stop and rest at a campsite.  As we rested, I noticed a battalion of seed ticks charging toward my knees.  Those little buggers are awful hard to remove, they're just too darn small! We discerned as many moles from ticks as possible and removed them (the ticks not the moles), then continued on our journey.  Apparently we mistook some ticks for moles, because come 2 o'clock this morning I woke myself up scratching like crazy!  I now have at least 50 bites going up my legs. Lucas and Rizzo don't have a one. Of course.
10 miles later, exhausted, light-headed, and red-faced we made it to the trail head.  Lucas claimed to be as exhausted as I was, but he never shows it. Even Rizzo started to slow down toward the end, though.  4 sections down, 10 to go. Maybe then we can start on the Appalachian Trail.



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