Tuesday, May 18, 2021
We had a hard rain in the night that continued into the morning, which made us relax and take it easy. By noon it stopped and we were ready to get out. Brooke and Pam had recommended the Geological Hike, so we took it. Once hunting grounds for the Cherokee and Shawnee Indians, it has changed dramatically since Daniel Boone found this route through the mountains into Kentucky and Ohio in 1767. Once an inland sea before Russell Fork cut its way through the sediment, leaving immense rock formations.
In the fall, when water is released from Flannagan Reservoir, Russell Fork becomes a world-class white water river. Some expert kayakers have lost their lives here in the deepest canyon east of the Mississippi. It is strewn with huge boulders. I was going to say, this is a stream best reserved for experts until I read this article: https://www.blueridgeoutdoors.com/go-outside/five-reasons-russell-fork-bucket-list/. “Five reasons Why The Russell Fork Should be on Your Bucket List.”
Mountain Laurel, Magnolias and Rhododendrons line the trail. Interesting to read the Indians carved spoons and trowels from Mountain Laurel roots, thus the name spoonwood.
Imagine you were here when these massive walls split apart!
Back at the top, the view from “Tunnel View” was cool as fog and clouds drifted over the lush, green mountains.
Back at camp, a ranger was being interviewed about a bear frequenting the campground. Our campground host, Cindy, had told us the bear has gotten into a cooler and some drink cans, apparently preferring Pepsi while shunning Root Beer and Ginger Ale.