Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Indian Boundary Camping Trip

Dragonfly along the road.

Indian Boundary Camping Trip

Dana & Kenny Koogler
Friday July 27- Sunday July 29, 2012

Pictures are here:

Indian Boundary Camping Trip Pictures

**This is a repaired blog entry with one photo missing
and  the video added at the bottom**

      I  had wanted to get down to Indian Boundary to camp again and I had no trouble talking Kenny into it. It is such a beautiful place to camp, but it is very popular. I managed to get us reservations for the weekend we wanted. Kenny lucked out and got done with work at half day on Friday so we were able to get our trip started sooner.  We were able to set up camp and fix dinner very leisurely. We had time to get out and take a nice walk with the dog around the lake.  It was cooling down in the evening and the sun was setting. 
Our camp site was very neat and shady.  I found lots of orchids blooming around the lake!  It was beautiful and an unexpected find so that made it special.

     We slept well and go our day going on Saturday.  We had lots of waterfalls we wanted to hunt up.   The first one bombed out seeing as how it turned out to be on private property.
We did get to see the Tellico Round House which was very cool.  Doc Rogers tried to turn this into a hotel, but the fire marshal shut him down.  He and his wife lived in it for the last six years of his life.

Tellico Round House 
tellico roundhouse

Day lily along dirt road near Tellico Round House.

  daylily tellico plains
The second batch  of three waterfalls also flopped since they are across the big river.  They would need  a lot of rain to be worth seeing and this was not the case today.  We'll work on those another time after plenty of rain.   I think I have found a way to reach the first of them by land and if there is a way to creep up the river bank to the next ones further up stream then we can see all of those.  I still say I need a harpoon gun to shoot an arrow across rivers into a tree to make a Tyrolean traverse possible. :-D

     We opted to explore North River which was perfect.   It has lots of peaceful pools, cascades and small falls along it.  It was something we'd always wanted to do and finally had the chance today.   I jumped in at one particularly good falls where there was a deep pool and went skinny dipping. I did not plan on it, but I did not bring a change of clothes and I did not want to get Kenny's beautiful new truck wet.
The falls was mossy and green and the water was cool and refreshing.  The water was deep enough here to actually swim around and not touch bottom. I swam all around.  Obey got in and went swimming also.   I could swim toward the falls and the current kept me pushed back.  I took my time and stayed in long as I wanted. I got out and Kenny had sweetly brought me a towel to dry off.  It was very relaxing.
unnamed falls north river
Small Waterfall on North River with a great swimming hole. It's also good for skinny dipping, but it is right by the road so don't do it if you're shy! 

     We continued up the road to the next falls which was known.  We had directions in the guidebook and Tom's Tennessee Land forms GPS coordinates.   We found it and it was a pretty nine foot waterfall.  No good swimming hole here though.  We checked it out and since it was nearly one in the afternoon we ate lunch here on the tail gate of the truck.
It was exactly what I had wanted. I love dirt roads, quiet places and exploring them with Kenny.   I've been dragging around on old dirt roads for my whole life. I grew up with one paved road and one dirt road by my house. I have dirt road withdrawals if I stay away too long.    The forest here was quiet and beautiful.   Cardinal flower bloomed with its red spikes showing here and there.  Spotted jewelweed was along the road and creeks in many places.  Pale jewelweed was another common flower.

     We followed the road upward.  Just wanting to see where it came out. We knew we'd want to go by Whigg Meadow up near the top and this road should take us in that direction.    I looked down over the bank and saw a silvery white ribbon in the forest below. The cry of "Waterfall!" went up and we backed the truck to a stopping place and quickly gathered our stuff to go check it out.   We got down there and it was a nice 25 foot waterfall with an amazing amount of water for a headwaters stream!   Above it was a series of ledge cascades and a nice 8 foot waterfall capping it off.   We explored the woods and the stream and hugged and kissed and cheered at our discovery!   It was not listed in any guidebook. It was not on Tennessee Landforms! New to us!  New to add to the collection!
Obey was so excited he did the bear dance. He races around in the woods and barked and growled and bowed his tail up and set his hackles.  He is funny!  We both want to come back to see this falls during a time of significant rain fall.  It is gushing in a dry time!



Nice 25 footer gushing on North River

Meadow Branch Falls sycamore creek area
      We climbed back up the bank and got something cold to drink.  Obey had been drinking creek water and swimming again so he was ready for a nap. He piled in the back of the truck and in no time he was snoring.   We continued up the road seeing beautiful forests and Summer wildflowers.  We saw very few people or vehicles.   The folks we did encounter were all peaceful and in good spirits. 
Lots of crimson bee balm, purple phlox and greenheaded cone flowers in bloom.
Driving up further and further toward Whigg Meadow one may notice a strange phenomenon.   I got the sense of being squashed from a visual perspective.  The trees at high elevations often get stunted and it is really noticeable when driving. I notice it when hiking, but today it was pronounced and very odd!  All the trees suddenly became squat and lowered.   The vegetation and fo
rest type changes to mostly beech and birch.   

       We arrived at the trail head for Whigg Meadow.   We have hiked here before via Mud Gap.   It is a pretty hike from any direction or you may drive up here and hike across.  

Whigg Meadow is an open, grassy bald.  It is kept that way through man's intervention.  Grandstand views from up here!
view whigg meadow

Path of Thorns.... The way down to the beautiful spring fed pond just below Whigg Meadow. I did not think  Kenny was  going to walk down there with me, but he cowboy-ed up and did it. He doesn't know that he's married to ole Briar Rose herself! wall of thorns whigg meadow

Spring fed pond below the Whigg.  It is worth fighting the briars to get down here. If you're camping on the meadow it is your water source so you've gotta face the weeds and briars at some point! The spring is on the far side of the pond.
pond whigg meadow     Spring fed pond at Whigg Meadow. 

We hiked back up the hill and across the meadow.  Kenny showed me where a bear had dug up a bees nest.  The yellow jackets were still coming out of the ground so we adjusted course to avoid them.   Yellow jackets nests in the trail are something else to watch out for when hiking in Summer time.  I forgot to tell that on the way across the meadow my too big shorts were leaving me. I did not want to admit I had not thrown them out as I promised.  I put my bandana through the front two belt loops and tied it tight keeping my britches up.  It looked hellish though so I put  my shirt down over it.  Still looked bad, but we were almost ready to go back to camp.  I got tickled and had one of those really good fits of laughter that will near bout make ya pee yourself and always makes ya weak.  I was fighting through one of those fits when Kenny turned round and figured out what I'd done.  He got to laughing with me.  We're two well matched idiots. I DID throw the shorts out when I got back to the camper. I knew if I kept them I'd do it again.
Undisciplined as I am.   They fit fine when they came out of the dryer!

      We drove back to the camper and rested.  Kenny took a nap. I read and took a shower.  I prepared a nice dinner for us. Baked potatoes, grilled bacon wrapped filets,  green beans and sliced watermelon. Yummy!   We sat outside and relaxed.
We drove around to the  beach to watch the sun set. 

gloaming over indian boundary lake
The Gloaming at Indian Boundary.

      We watched Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and went to bed. I was very tired.   I still didn't rest well.  I woke up dreaming and upset numerous times.
Our son-in-law, Adam was deploying on Monday.  I could not get that off my mind.
It kept me up a good part of the night.  Morning came with a black cloud hanging over me.   A feeling I never did shake.  I was not handling it well. 

    We ate breakfast and headed out to Citico to try to hunt up another waterfall.
Turned out that Cold Springs Road is closed due to numerous downed trees. Frustrating, but funny.  We by-passed the road block and went on anyhow.
We managed to get under the first mass of trees across the road.   We saw where someone else had done the same and started sawing up logs and moving them.
Then just around the bend out of sight....... too many trees down across the road to count!  Ugh!   What a beotch!  Fek it. I ain't able to saw and move that many trees or logs!  We started laughing and said aw screw it and just turned around heading out of there.   

Lumber Jack Hell!**Photo lost of logs down over the road here**

     We headed back to Double Camp to see the cascades and hike Crowder Branch Trail.   We did stop to see the cascades and they were pretty.
We found Crowder Branch Trail head and hiked that.  I still was not in the proper frame of mind.   I was fighting it.  Kenny could tell something was wrong with me.
I was growing sadder.   I did not enjoy the hike.  I did see some pretty forest and found some club spur orchids.  That was nice.  Obey dug up a yellow jackets nest and had his first experience with bees.  A lesson learning time. I raked the yellow jackets off his butt and squashed them into the dirt.  We ran like crazy to get distance between us and the disturbed nest.  

         We got in the creek and soaked to cool off.   We drove back to camp.
Citico Creek was very pretty with lots of people fishing and swimming and camping. 

Crowder Branch Trail is beautiful.

Double Camp Cascade

     Back at camp I tried to eat lunch, but finally admitted to Kenny I was struggling emotionally and just wanted to go home.  I did not care about anything else.  I wanted to see Adam, Crystal and Michael.  I went to the bathroom to have my melt down. I finally pulled it together enough to eat lunch and pack to go home.
Kenny hugged on me and comforted me.  He told me he could see that coming.  I was trying to stay busy to deny it, but that never works. 

        We packed and headed home to see our kids and spend time with them.
I hate to say it, but I'll be glad when this is over.  All I can do is pray and trust.
That will have to be enough.

Hawk Soaring. I need the hawk's eye view of the current situation.
hawk soaring

“Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom, and stretch her wings toward the south? / Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high? / She dwelleth and abideth on the rock, upon the crag of the rock, and the strong place.” ~~Job 39: 26-28

Below is a video that is short clips of various waterfalls along North River.


  1. That's some gorgeous country Dana. Did you get to the campground by way of the Cherohala skyway? Still haven't done the whole skyway yet but want to do it the next time I'm in TN.

    1. Yes, the campground is accessible by the Cherohala Skyway and that's how we came in. It is also accessible from Vonore and the Citico Rd. Probably closer for us to go that way, but time wise it would be about the same.
      Kenny would not like towing the camper on that road much. The area is beautiful and I'm sure you'll enjoy it when you get the chance! :^D

  2. I've camped at Indian Boundary many times, and especially enjoy it off season. One night during hunting season was scary when a group of drunken hunters camped nearby kept firing rounds over our tents. How do you confront a drunk who's armed with a hunting rifle?

    1. The answer is you don't. :-) I can remember back in the day when camping at Citico was like one big river long drunk party. Folks put tents down there in the campsites or parked school buses and LIVED in them. Full time. Yes, lived in them. The forestry service changed things down that way and now it is far better in Citico and Indian Boundary. Law enforcement patrols there at least once each day. I can't say if Monroe Co. law enforcement's presence is better or worse. Crooked bunch that they are.

  3. Gorgeous area --but too bad about the downed-trees. It was probably the same storm which took out so many trees in the Smokies and Townsend... SAD!!!

    I thought when you talked about North River that you were talking about the one near Tellico... Great area over there...

    I'm sure that you all have hiked up behind Bald River ---but there are several gorgeous waterfalls up there...

  4. Betsy, It is indeed a gorgeous area. The downed trees were only on one road far as we could tell. It was the same storm.

    It IS the same North River near Tellico. We hiked the Upper Bald river gorge two Summers ago.

    Hugs, Dana Bee


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