Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Alum Gap, South Cumberland State Park

Quick overnight to Alum Gap to hike down to see Ranger Falls, the last spot in the park I had yet to visit!

It was SO cold, I only had shorts, so I hiked out the next day in my fleece sleep pants!  They are too short, but I thought I was just going to be sleeping in them, hahaha

The trail to Alum Gap is fairly flat, but dropping off the rim into the gulf, it gets steep and goes downhill about a mile before leveling off (somewhat) and then Ranger Falls is a climb back up a side valley on a blue blazed trail.

The creek disappears right at this point, it flows under a rock and it's gone.

I took lots of photos of the falls.
It was after 6, the sun was behind the ridge and the light was hard to work with!

We had to trot to get back to camp before it started getting dark!

We made it!  Karen and Michael had gotten a fire going and Matt pitched in to help find more wood.


See my short pants? hehe!
We all bought our packs at the same time/place without knowing it.  They match! 

We had hiked in the 3 mile Laurel Trail to camp and then the 5 miles RT to Ranger Falls from there.
Monday, we hiked out on the 4 mile long Big Creek Rim Trail and stopped at Stone Door for a rest!

Laurel is starting to bloom!

We had lunch together and they headed home, I wanted Matt to see Suter Falls!

The undercliff bowl is a little less dramatic with the green softening it!

And, Suter Falls!

We headed home after this short hike, leaving Horsepound Falls for another visit.  My knee wasn't up for any more downhill hiking.  First time that has happened!

It was a really nice, very low stress trip.  Sunday night was chilly, 42 for the low which is at my personal comfort limit, but it wasn't windy, which helps!  We slept in our down jackets in the hammocks, which added to the snug factor.

Karen and Michael are so easy going (unless Karen needs cheeseburger and I am dawdling!) and it was such fun to get to hang out!