Sat, Mar 14 2020 - Dockery Lake to Woody Gap and Back( group hike) (View Original Event Details)

Trip Leader(s): Chuck R
Participants:Chuck R, Suzanne, Dave G, Bob J, Mary T, Pavan, Fay

Write Up:
Military assault... Sleet and rain, everyone run for the mountains! Wait a minute: we are in the mountains? Starting out the morning with fist pumps and namaste hand pray we calmly walked into a sorrel hemlock forest filled with forest green moss and plenty of stream crossings. Passing a peaceful lake, teeming with fish... you could skip a rock for a number of distance! Views from the east and a water fall added to this amazing landscape. Soon as we came upon the A.T. the winds picked up as we climbed Big Cedar Mountain. Temps go down / elevation went up... hopefully our reprieve was Woody Gap - I'm changing the name to Windy Gap. We hunkered down to the nearest shelter (a kiosk) and took lunch ( really had a good sandwich). So much for the preaching rock gathering - the sleet came in sideways and the winds were gusting upwards. We picked the pace up scampering onto a sloppy trail ( down hill). We got to the west side that blocked the winds and then we were greeted by the military! Yes folks -.the 5th Army Rangers Battalion -yippee! As I turned the next switchback, I saw the group all standing in a amazing stare and looking off trail calling my name. I finally proceeded too a nervous walk to see why this hike came to a standstill ( yes the TL was in the rear ). It was a 30 foot tree bearing the sign of a cross. The horizontal tree trunk broke off from above and collected onto the standing tree. Pavan took a photo, hopefully he will post it. Spirits were lifted! We were all giving ourselves a trail name while Dave took point and monitored the pace while Pavan did some scouting ahead. I was pre-occupied looking for a new camp spot for the future. It was good to be out in fresh air (LIFE IS GOOD)!!! It was nice to have Mary T with us and Fay taking the wheel,