Sat, May 14 2011 - Cohutta Wilderness Panther Creek Falls (View Original Event Details)

Trip Leader(s): Kristi, Grant Brown
Participants:Grant Brown, Kristi, Scott Kozlowski, Martin, Nikita, Tim OK

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Write Up:
Great trip. The weather seemed to scare some away, but we decided to head on up anyway. We were blessed with awesome weather for the most part. Headed out with a group of six. Stopped in Blue Ridge for a Subway on the way in. Drive was nice.  It was overcast and we got a beautiful fog as we gained altitude on the Forest Service roads. Arrived at trail head to a large group of Boy Scouts from Woodcock. Were worried they too were headed to panther creek, but instead they were going all the way up to Jacks River. "Whew!",  we said. There were about 30 of them. So much for Forest Service trail limits of 12! The six of us headed out down the trail in the beautiful misty woods. No rain, just fog. Very pretty to look through the trees as the fog hung around [see photo album]. Only took 1 hr 40 minutes to hike in.  Set up camp in a really nice spot on Panther Creek above the falls. Ate lunch in camp, then went down to the falls to join about 8 other hikers also visiting this special place. Ran into more Boy Scouts on the trail who were coming through on a day hike from their Bray Field base camp on the Conasauga River.  Top of falls had an incredible view with the sky clearing and the sun coming out. We sat for a while then climbed down to the bottom for another perspective. Came back and napped a while on the rocks in the sun.  Went back and raided vacant campsites for fire wood. Scott dug out the pit. Great method. Did away with a lot of plastic trash left behind from the years. Unfortunately,  uncovered the winter bed of a few ring neck snakes, but I found them a new home. They seemed to be fine. They wanted to hang onto my hand for a bit of warmblooded heat.  Cooked dinner. Three folks ate Mountain House delights.  Martin had some dehydrated ice cream. Kristi had delicious noodles and dehydrated vegetables. Scott made a great meal of chicken sausage and roasted red peppers all cooked on the open fire.  After dinner had a good time hanging and talking by the fire. Very relaxing. Two new hikers showed up named Evan Williams and George Dickel and joined in the festivities. They were smooth fellows and did their jobs well. Scott brought in a game of  Washers. He dug out a few holes and place PCV pipes in the ground. We then took turns tossing 2" metal washers in a horseshoe style game of first one to eleven. Scott beat us all, but I discovered my new found calling as First Runner up in our tournament. Good times! I received a fair amount of ribbing for my new bivy sack!  I've been going ultra light and decided to start using a bivy at one pound versus my four and a half pound tent. It was awesome being able to see out all night. I kept waking up to different amounts of light as the sun started rising. It was a really cool experience watching the woods wake up. The trees were really pretty and green. We got a tiny amount of rain in the morning. Had to roll the bivy over as I hadn't brought my tarp not expecting any Sunday morning rain.  We had a lazy morning and didn't hit the trail until eleven. Took two hours to hike out. I'm not a fast hiker and gladly brought up the rear. Got to the cars where we enjoyed some cokes and beer and cheesy puffs which were awesome.  Headed down to Blue Ridge and ate at Harvest On Main restaurant. I've been there many different times and they never disappoint. Good fresh ingredients. After lunch Martin and I headed over to the fudge factory and got a few wedges for the ride home.  For the drive back I kept Kristi awake by quizzing her over general World Geography curriclulum as I was preparing for final exams week for my students. She made an A! It was a great trip had by all. Good people!  Hope to see them again soon! Thanks, Grant