Sunday, April 10, 2011

Photos from the Cane Creek Canyon Preserve Trip

I'm sure a full trip report is in the works, but until then, here's a few photos that I made:

Thanks to Dr. Jim Lacefield for hosting our group's April outing.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

February Trail Maintenance

Today Larry and I met Foster, Gary
and Bart for breakfast at Chef Troy’s, where we caught up on Foster’s rigorous chemo treatments and found that he is much improved and feeling good again. The rest of us went off to trail 210, our very own Mitchell Ridge and worked non stop til 1 pm.

The graupel fell all day but it was light and we were able to work through it although it was very cold. We raked all the leaves off the steps and then began to haul up and fit large stepping stones into the earth to refurbish the parts of the trail that had eroded away way with time and many footfalls.

Our tools of choice were carefully considered since there were only the four of us and we had to carry them along with our packs. The heavier stones were hoisted and pushed up to the trail from a small waterfall.
We utilized Bart’s flat head shovel with Gary’s strap wrapped around its head as a pulling tool which several of us could pull while Gary hoisted the stone from underneath. The Pulaski worked well as a hoe to loosen the dirt in the trail bed in order to fit the stones in place.

We still have work to do but this slope is not near as slippery as it was. Next month we’ll work toward our Desired Future Condition. HaHaHa.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Day Hike in Sipsey Wilderness along Trails 202, 209, and 200.

The Sipsey Wilderness Hiking Club will be meeting for a day hike along trails 202, 209, and 200 in the Sipsey Wilderness on Saturday, January 15. Backpacking and overnight camping are also possible; contact the club.

Meet for the hike at the Randolph Trailhead at 8:00 AM. Arrangements have been made to have vehicles spotted at the ending point.

The hike begins by following trail 202 - Randolph all the way to where it meets the Sipsey. We cross the river and continue east on trail 209 - Sipsey River to its terminus at Borden Creek. We will not cross Borden however but rather hike up the West Borden Creek Trail (the western parallel of trail 200), finishing at the Borden Trailhead.

This is about an eight mile hike. Trail 202 starts wide and flat and ends with a somewhat steep downhill to the river. Once across, 209 is also more or less level but with a few small feeder streams (and their possibly muddy banks) to negotiate. The west side of 200 is similar but there may be more fallen trees to get around.

The only serious difficulty may be crossing the river. The depth will of course depend on the amount and timing of rainfall. So be prepared to take off your shoes and roll up your pants or whatever strategy you favor to ford streams that are too deep to just splash through.

Note that if conditions are such that it is simply too dangerous to cross the Sipsey, we will not attempt it. In such case, we have some other options besides just retracing our steps. So not to worry.

Bring your lunch, plenty of water, and maybe a small towel to dry your feet after crossing the river. A walking stick is generally helpful along these trails.

Friday, December 10, 2010

SWHC Receives Certificate of Appreciation from U. S. Department of Agriculture

The Sipsey Wilderness Hiking Club received a certificate of appreciation from the U. S. Department of Agriculture on December 10th, at the U. S. Forest Service Christmas Dinner. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Trail Work on the 210 Trail

Saturday, November 13th 2010 dawned cool and clear. It was a good day for working outdoors. We started on the South end of the trail and stopped for a break after we reached the top of the ridge.

Bart slowly and carefully sharpens the double bit ax.

Heartwood or Duramen is the older, nonliving central wood of a tree, usually darker and harder than the younger sapwood, clearly shown in this photo.

After lunch Mike takes a nap cradling his bow saw.

Gary with a little help from Larry uses the bow saw effectively, pulling and pushing to achieve the goal.
Gary's tool of choice today was his Surveyor bush hook. They are ideal for cutting brush. The blade cuts easily on the "pull" stroke, but it does take some practice.

Fungi are neither plant nor animal but have some characteristics of each. They cannot move about like an animal, but do consume organic matter - yum, like us. They reproduce by spores and in this case with the help of Mike. Can you see the greenish "smoke?"
We managed about 9 miles total, enjoyed the peacefulness of the forest, and can report the trail to be in very good shape up to the halfway point.

December 11th is our next Trail Maintenance day on The Mitchell Ridge.
(Photos and Video by Mike, Larry, and Mimi.  Narrative by Mimi.)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

SWHC Member Takes Part in Mississippi Highpoint Dedication

Gary White with Woodall Mountain monument.
Gary White, a Sipsey Wilderness Hiking Club member and a Highpointers Club member, recently helped dedicate a monument at Mississippi's highest point during the recent national Highpointers Convention.  This highpoint is the 806 foot Woodall Mountain near Iuka.  The highpoint is on private property owned by the Brown family, but permission was granted to move a 8,200 pound rock to the top of the mountain to mark the exact location.  The rock has a permanently mounted bronze plaque that gives the elevation of the highpoint and some history about the mountain.  Gary acquired the rock, transported it to Woodall Mountain, and helped prepare it for the dedication.

The Daily Corinthian newspaper published an article about the monument dedication and the Highpointers Club.

A video about the dedication of the monument is at this link on the Highpointers Club website.

The monument was made possible in part by the Highpointers Foundation.  This foundation works with landowners to obtain access to state highpoints and to fund necessary improvements such as signage and monuments.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

October Trail Maintenance

The club began its eleventh season (October to April) of trail maintenance on the Mitchell Ridge Trail on Saturday, October 9.

The day began with breakfast at Chef Troy’s Talk of the Town Restaurant in Houston, a new club benefit for trail maintenance volunteers. Five showed up – Foster, Charlie, Owen, Mimi, and Larry – on what promised to be a warm day.

Starting from the northern end, we managed to cover maybe a third of the trail, at least two miles anyway, before the heat did us in.

The trail appears to be in very good shape. We had to saw half a dozen small trees and push some others out of the way but cutting back the numerous oak saplings sprouting out everywhere required more time and effort. Since we did not have the crosscut saw with us, we had to leave one larger Chestnut Oak until another occasion.