Thursday, January 5, 2012

Little River Trail with the Bucket Brigade 1.4.12

Little River Trail on a cold January afternoon
Yesterday, with temps in the mid forties, six ladies hiked up Little River Trail which leaves out from Elkmont Campground.  It was an absolutely beautiful, although nippy, afternoon, and we planned the hike for the very warmest part of the day.  We left my house about 1:00, picked up a friend who lives in Maryville along the way, and made our way to the trail head.  We were hiking by 2:30.  We bundled up well--lots of layers and precautions taken in case we were caught out in an emergency and trapped to spend the night in very cold temps.  Between us we had extra jackets, matches with which we could have started a fire, two of those shiny emergency blankets, extra sweaters and extra socks.  Thankfully we needed none of that, but it was a concern of mine since we began the hike so late in the day.

The trail was flat and really was an old road bed, but it was 2.4 miles from the trailhead to the intersection of Cucumber Gap Trail and then 2.4 miles back out, so it was a nice distance.  We picked a flat hike because one of the Bucket Brigade members was nursing an injured calf, and we were afraid a major elevation change would be too tough for her on this day.  The scenery was quite beautiful.  There was just enough snow and ice on and along the trail to keep things pretty and occasionally, treacherous.  In fact, on the way back out, one of our hiking group took a pretty bad spill, going face first into a patch of ice.  Thankfully, she was not hurt and we did not need all of those emergency supplies we had brought, but it sure could have been different.

The entire hike only took us 2.5 hours, but it was a wonderful way to spend one of our last days before we all go back to work.  Our break is over, but this day was a nice way to bring it to a close.

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