Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Frank's Flume

Down in Lost Cane.. one of the places we looked for a 2nd time, but it ain't here!

Frank's Flume 

Saturday Sept. 12, 2015

Dana & Kenny KooglerSharon McGee & John Ungerer

Ricky Roysden

Cliff & Joshua Miller (father & son)

Pictures are here beginning with frame 134

   The original plan was  to go visit John & Sharon in Jamestown.  We would celebrate their having moved to Tennessee. We would eat. We'd explore.  Today was going to be the hunt for
Frank's Flume and we were going to find it.     Lathern Hull had been a lot of help and gone out of his way to help me in the search for it.  He sent us waypoints and directions.   The second part of the plan was to finally visit the East Fork Obey Falls. Jeff Moore had been real helpful
in finding an approach to that.  I got up early and put a roast beef on in the crockpot.   We took all that with us and the RZR and down the road we went.  Very excited at the prospect of a fun day with friends.  We had no idea how this was going to turn out.

              We got to John & Sharon's place at Maple Hill where Betty & Klaas DeJong have rented them a cabin.   We all visited and hugged and laughed.   I finally got to meet their cat, Coon.  He is a Maine Coon cat.   He is beautiful.   We plugged up the crockpot on the table outside.  We got going and headed over to their place at the Shabin.    We left on the four wheelers and went up Skinner Mountain.    It was a clear, cool perfect day.  They lent us jackets since we didn't bring anything except rain gear.   

         We had never been down into Lost Cane during the Summer and it is officially still Summer.    We did end up having to clear trail of trees and brush, but not too bad.   
We laid in the way points and headed in that direction.  Lost Cane is always pretty, but I will say that it is foreboding in Summer.   I would not have felt as comfortable had it been warmer. 
It is a snakey place of weeds higher than your head in many areas.   We stopped so John could see Lobster Man.  Kenny went ahead checking the trail for more blow downs while we did that.

        We stopped in certain places along the way to point out where waterfalls usually run
when we have had enough rain.  They dry up to nothing in Summer.   Even the two that I thought flowed year round do not flow in Summer. They were a mere trickle.    We got down
to the bottom and the weeds were unreal.   
This is actually pretty good right here!  The weeds are beginning to die back some.

    The waypoints were off by a lot. I have a feeling it is because I had to convert them for our
GPS to use them.   We checked and hunted. Finally we checked an area we'd already visited and looked before in desperation.   I've been down the disappointment road before and so have John and Sharon.  So has Kenny.  We were let down, but not devastated.  We might have to 
wait to see this thing.   

Here is a view of the area we checked a 2nd time.  

    It was getting on toward lunch time so we sat there and ate a little something.  I heard something to my left.    They disputed me at first.  I kept listening.  It was a four-wheeler. 
Lost Cane is not a place we've ever run into a soul before!   They were looking for something.
They were stopping and starting.  John asked me what I thought they were looking for?
I told him "Probably the same damn thing I'm looking for!"  So when they got down in there near us and stopped.. I couldn't see them but I could hear them. I hollered..... "Woo hoo!? Come over hyere and talk to me?!"  Kenny and then the rest of us headed over there.
We met up with three fellows. Ricky Roysden. Cliff Miller and his son Joshua.   We introduced 
ourselves and they were indeed heading to Frank's Flume. Ricky knows that area extremely well.    They invited us to accompany them with the explanation it would be rough.
We of course did not care and so off we all went.    I had been praying for the Lord to help this work out like it was supposed to and He never fails me!    He sends blessings and help in some unusual and fun ways.

             We had missed a turn by about 1/2 mile. Honestly, were it not for Ricky
we'd never have seen it.  The weeds and the fact that in all the exploring the floor of Lost Cane we had NEVER seen this turn. It is an old trail that gets even less use than the rest of it.
We followed them plowing through weeds and brambles.   We continued past an old wooden
shack that looks like it was used as a livestock shelter on our left.   We were seeing dry creeks
at first then we began seeing water.   We finally just pulled over and stopped.  It was about a mile back in to where Frank's Flume lies.  We walked .25 miles or so one way.
It is a pretty, rugged place.    More trees down and more trail clearing.    Big rocks and small rocks of odd shapes!    I asked Ricky if this was the old Blue Banks Road. He told me no that was further out off Manson Road.  Yet this area is the start of Blue Banks geologically.
There is blue clay in the hillsides here.   

             Starting to see water again!  

 Chunks of drying blue clay

Blue clay layers in the hillside

Closeup of beech drops.   They are parasitic on the roots of beech trees.

Pretty back in this holler

John along side Franks Flume for perspective.  
It is not a real high water feature, but it is pretty and unusual.
We hadn't gone too far on that rocky slick creek bed when someone sang out Here it is!

Franks Flume at last.   It is like a round keyhole in the bluff with water pouring out.
It runs all the time while the rest goes dry.  Minnows swam in the creeks back here!

  Sharon and I had to hoot and holler a big ole WOooooo Hooooo!  In jubilation and gratitude at having found it at last!  Like finding treasure! And getting new friends as part of that treasure!   Told you it was a good and unexpected day.   :-)  Ricky showed us another hole in the bluff that he says water shoots out of during times of high water.   It was dry today.  This feature flows constantly, but it varies with rainfall amounts.  There is an abandoned gas pipe that goes all the way back there and beyond!    

Below is a video of the flume that shows how neat it is compared to the photo.

  We went our ways, but met up again later.  A tree had fallen over the path on the way back!
In just that short time another one down!   We met Ricky, Cliff and Joshua again up top. We rode with them a bit more and they showed us yet another loop on the mountain.   I had that feeling
going through the depths of the next mountain holler through dark woods and pines..... I can't believe this is real.  Yet it is! It was a great day.

             We finally tore ourselves away. They had a gathering at Mr. Fleurs house (Flowers)
they invited us to. We declined for this time though it was mighty tempting.   We went back to the shabin and put stuff away.  Then we headed back to Maple Hill for a nice supper.
Today was a dream.  Sitting eating roast beef and taters and carrots outdoors on a cool evening.
A meadow of gorgeous late Summer wildflowers behind us.    Life is sweet and we are blessed indeed!

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