Sat, Aug 3 2013 - Cohutta Wilderness backpacking - Rice Camp Trail (View Original Event Details)

Trip Leader(s): Kristi
Participants:Kristi, Sarah Y, Ramzi, Mike Pawloski, Ella Yates, Todd M, Laura H, Stefan

Write Up:


Fun trip that was over too quickly but so worth the effort to get out and enjoy the wilderness with a great group of people and a couple canine friends.  

After connecting up with Ella in Cisco and navigating the forest service roads with two stream crossings, we arrived at the Rice Camp trail head.   We started down towards the Jack's River...  the trail is in good shape; there is one section that was ravaged by storms some years ago that has not only recovered a lot of growth but then some... the trail needs some tidying up, but we made it through the jungle.  Dog Izzie and Ella managed to pick up some yellow jacket stings in that area unfortunately.   We reached the Jack's River around noon, and made camp on the peninsula.  It is lovely there, with rushing sounds of the river that are music to the ears.  There is a large (now clean thanks mostly to Ella) campfire ring with stone throne chairs surrounding it.  
We gathered a healthy supply of firewood; Todd picked a good-sized down tree which he and Mike sawed off. Thanks to Mike for packing a saw!
On our 1.5 mile trek to the Jack's River Falls, we were again challenged by a couple of yellow jacket nests; both dogs took the brunt of the stings.  I feel so badly for the innocent dogs.  Is there any good that yellow jackets bring?!   
The falls were roaring, water higher than I've seen it in the last ten years or so.  We swam in the upper falls for a bit, then picked up our stuff and went to the lower falls area (steep! climb down) and swam some more.   Mostly Mike and Cedar swam more.  The water was cool and the day over-cast so a lot of us who are not to used to cool water swimming, relaxed and chatted.    What an amazing falls this is.
Back at camp and dinner time - Some surprises for the birthday girl - wine and awesome goblet from Mike; delicious peach granola treats from Sarah for everyone; micro towel 'party favor' from Todd - made for a special time and I appreciate it very much.  :-)  Great birthday!
Fire time after dinner - good conversation, a few harmonica tunes provided by Todd.  After taps, we were all about ready for our respective tents/sleeping bags.  
After leisurely breakfast time we left camp around 10:30 while it was still cool.  It stayed cool for about two minutes - haha - since the climb out from the river is fairly steep ... the sweat didn't cease until reaching the cars a couple hours later.
This was the first backpacking trip for Stefan and dog Izzie.  Both did great and will return again.
I appreciate everyone for making the trek.  Good group! Existing friends and new friends - we're all closer for spending a weekend in the woods.  Happy Trails.  --Kristi, 8/5/13.