Session Five: Rattlesnake and Sunset from Rocky Top

Rocky Top to Russell Field Shelter

Crew Leader:  Amy Allamong
Assistant Crew Leader: Ben Royer

Session Overview:  Session 5 we completed the section from Rocky Top down to about a mile north of Russell. Most of this section is in very good condition. From Rocky Top to Spence the trail and all structures are holding up well. Everything from Spence to Russell looks pretty good although there are a few hazards. There are two turnpikes holding up very well but there are some steps that have multiple spikes protruding up from the logs. There is a boggy section forming about ¼ mile south from Spence that may need a turnpike in the future. But, all in all, this section looks great with no major erosion.

Specifications:  Again, this week we cut back the blackberry bushes and other perennial growth. We continued to focus on sapling removal from the corridor. This week we stuck closer to the 4ft defined corridor rather than trying to cut extra for sustainability in the coming years. We did however trim as high as we could for the horses. As we hiked through, we worked on the drains and tunrpikes that could be cleaned easily and efficiently. We did install one new log water bar. The crew practiced solid safety principles while working and hiking to the worksite.

Results and Measurable Accomplishments: 

·         Total Trail Mileage: about 3.6 miles
·         Water Bars Installed: 1 log

Day 1: We hiked in from Cades Cove via Anthony Creek Trail and Bote. The crew did great and we made it to Spence in great time.

Day 2: We hiked up to Rocky Top and began working our way down to Spence. We finished about 0.6 miles.

Above Left: Rattle snake on Rock Top. Above Right: Steps holding up well just south of Little Rocky Top

Day 3: We kept working south and made it another 0.7 miles. We found an old tool cash with two shovels and a fire rake that were now rotten. We hiked those out.

Day 4: We worked another 0.9 miles south of Spence Field.

Day 5: We continued on towards Russell. We ran in to Franklin LaFond and he updated us with what he has completed in his section. We should be able to move through his quickly to hit the unfinished parts next week. We finished about 0.6 miles today

Day 6: Hike out and breakdown at Soak Ash.

Week Summary: We had a great week of weather! It kept everyone in high spirits and we were able to work hard. Looking forward to next week! We will continue working south from where we left off.
GO S.W.E.A.T!!!