Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Fentress County Get Aways-- Part 2 March 22 Weekend

Bloodroot in bloom along the trail

Fentress County Get Aways Part 2--Do-Overs With a Twist

March 22, 2014

Dana & Kenny Koogler 
Sharon McGee & granddaughter Lydia

Pictures are here: Get Away Pix

      We had planned all along to meet up with Sharon & Lydia at Woo Hoo Holler.
We were both working Friday and had to be back at work Monday. It made for a short weekend.  Kenny had a late day Friday. The camper was still not home from the repair shop.  He begged off on making this the first camping trip of the season.  It makes the trip
more work for him.  We decided instead to drive over and spend the day. The Jordan Motel had no vacancies.  The Maple Hill RV Park had all their cabins rented out.
We got up early Saturday and headed to Jamestown.  

        We stopped by Duncan Donuts for a dozen to take to our friends.  They were rousing when we pulled in. We took time to look around and have a cup of coffee with them.   Lydia and I walked down to the river to check that out while Kenny and Sharon talked and got the machines ready to roll out.   Before long we hit the trail.  
We decided we'd first head out to Bill's Creek to see how the flowers were coming up.
Next stop would be to show them the natural bridge we'd located a year earlier.

    Bill's Creek was still drab and gray and not anywhere near the vibrant greens of Spring.
No wildflowers blooming at all yet.   Last year it was like the Garden of Eden.
We continued up the trail in the direction of the top which would get us to the Natural bridge.   We stopped long enough to show Lydia Stinging Nettle Falls since she had never seen it.  We also picked up a Plott hound gyp and thankfully she followed us. Rich knows
I have a soft spot for dogs in general. Hound dogs in particular.  She was a hog hunter's dog.   We wanted to get this nice girl home to her family.

Stinging Nettle Falls emerges from the ground and falls immediately into a cave.
Every time I'm here I try to get a different or better perspective on this falls, but
it never comes out any different.

Here is the lost dog. Very blurry shot because she was in constant motion.

   We encountered a hunter up on the dirt road with a dog box on his pickup.
He helped us out by putting this hot, tired, lost dog in his dog box. He called the phone number on her collar out to Kenny and we were able to leave her owner a message as to where she was, who had her and how to reach the man. He promised he'd make certain she got back home.  We thanked him and headed on.

    Soon we arrived at the natural bridge.  It was cordoned off and something was going on here.  You just won't believe this mess.  Ya can't make it up.
Kenny and Sharon on the natural bridge. We found this spot a little more than a year earlier.   It was amazing and we wanted Sharon and Lydia to enjoy it.  Something was taking place here.  They had pulled the ladder to reach the bottom and put it at the base.
Look here.  this one goes in the WTH category! 
Someone has decided to build a house or hideout under this arch! They are ruining it!
During the course of the day we saw ANOTHER arch.. not on the database .. where
someone had begun building a concrete block foundation under it!   It was a slightly disappointing
start to our days adventures.  

      We headed over to Tay's store for a snack. I visited with some old timers there.
Everyone is very friendly.   We next decided to go to Hoodtown and see Xanadu Falls.  Sharon
had been to Xanadu Falls before, but there was not much water coming over it that day.  Lydia had never been and was keen to crawl into the underground portion to check that out too!

Xanadu Falls

We hiked above Xanadu Falls. This is a shot of what that area looks like.

Dutchmans Breeches were in bloom along the sink floor.  We stopped to check them out as we
were leaving.

Rock with ladder at the swimming hole.  We headed back toward Woo Hoo from
Hoodtown.   We stopped by this spot to check it out.  Just below here the river was running so fast
it was tough to get across. The river level was really too high.  We hoped as we continued the levels would be OK.   It was not okay though. The next ford was just as bad.  We finally came to one that was just too much to cross. Long story short... we were going to have to come up with another way out of here or turn around and go back the way we came.  Taking the Looonng way around.

    Kenny left us gals sitting by the river bank chatting and snacking. He went to check out the situation on a side trail that might find us a way out more safely and comfortably.  It was not long until he returned with great news. He had not only found a better way out with no river crossings.. but it was a trail we had not checked out before! It was a short cut to the mountain top. It also brought us up Panther Branch proving my theory first hand that the reason we'd never noticed where it came out to join the river was that it went underground before it got there!  It was a pretty part of the ride.
Proud of Kenny for figuring out a better way.

        We went back to Woo Hoo Holler and got cleaned up just a tad.  We all piled in the truck
and went to KFC to eat dinner. The restaurant selection in Jamestown is rather limited.
We were too dirty to go out to eat at Bacarras.   After dinner we took a notion to stay the night.
We were unprepared.  Sharon recommended the Overton Motel.  We called them and they had some vacancies!  We booked a room. It is only 16 miles further west  from Woo Hoo.  We took Lydia's advice and shopped for "an entire new wardrobe" from Wal-Mart.  We shared a toothbrush & deodorant. We bought a change of clothes.   We slept on more hard lumpy beds in a different hotel!
But it meant we could come back to see our friends again on Sunday!

      Sunday we headed out to Buffalo Cove and Deer Gap Falls.  I will not go into some of what we did to approach Deer Gap Falls here.  It would be....evidence. I will say we found a different way to visit it and tie the terrain together in a way we'd been wanting to for a number of years.

Deer Gap Falls from below the 5th and final drop.  Sharon and Lydia really liked it.
I enjoyed it more today too since I was better than I'd been a week before!
It was fun seeing that our friends were impressed with the beauty and scope of the falls.
It was fun today because we roped up and climbed to see this.  It worked out perfectly.

   We climbed around through the rocks.  We got wet going behind the falls.
Kenny helped us all climb up to see the 3rd drop of the falls.  It was awesome! 

Third drop of Deer Gap Falls. Finally an unobstructed view up close!

We ate some lunch on the rocks.  Sharon thoughtfully packed us ham sammidges.
Yummy!  We headed up to the top to check out the view. 

Lydia talking to her folks about her adventures! Buffalo Cove far below us.
We enjoyed the view for awhile then went to show them the fat mans squeeze through the rocks.
Lydia discovered a garter snake trying to get up the stone steps to sun himself.
He was harmless, but she was not a fan of snakes.  We had a grand time. Already looking forward to the next Ed-Venture!

Garter snake


  1. Nice place to explore, and some nice wTerfalls there.

    1. sure is. I am almost caught up on trip reports. I have three left to write... I think that gets it.


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