Hiking the Obed/Emory section of the Cumberland Trail.

Hiking the Obed/Emory section of the Cumberland Trail.

What was it Styx sang oh so long ago–Nothing ever goes as planned, it’s a hell of a notion. Even pharaohs turn to sand . . .

The intention today was to hike three trails despite the fact that each of them was a generous distance apart, and despite the fact we were starting out the day already tired. We arrived at the first Cumberland Trail section ready to go, and immediately headed in the wrong direction. Fortunately, that was remedied pretty quickly and we were soon crossing an old bridge over the Obed River and on our way to a nice overlook above the confluence of the Emory and Obed Rivers. The overlook was created when the railroad blasted away part of the plateau to make room for train tracks, and we were actually fortunate enough to have a train race past just below us while on the overlook. One trail down, two to go.

Overlooking the confluence.

Overlooking the confluence.

Another longish drive took us to the second section we intended to hike. But, at the trailhead we discovered that not only was the 50-foot footbridge that would take us to our destination “out”. Not sure why but it was unavailable to be crossed. But also, our destination, a 150-foot bridge over the river, is now home to some aggressive hornets. Neither could we hike the side trails to either of the falls as both were on the opposite side of the 50-foot bridge. Oh well. Strike that hike.

Yet another drive took us to Trail #3 in the Cherokee National Forest. That worked out just fine, thank goodness. It was an easy hike along Rock Creek up to a falls and involved two stream crossings, but by the time we were back at the trailhead, it was much too late to attempt a third hike in the Cherokee National Forest. So, that hike, and a final hike in the Smokies, remain for tomorrow. And then I’ll be through hiking for awhile, as in finished.

Rock Creek crossing. By Frank.

Rock Creek crossing. By Frank.

It was tough to get a photo of the falls, which looked better in person.

It was tough to get a photo of the falls, which looked better in person.

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