706 m
38 m
48,28 km

265 kere bakıldı , 3 kere indirildi

yer Elder (historical), Alabama (United States)

My spring walkabout looked great. The weather was expected to be awesome and it didn’t disappoint. The early five hour drive up was uneventful. Fueled up the body on chicken biscuit and OJ at the Chic-fil-a in Oxford, AL then headed down to the Cheaha Trailhead. As expected, the lot was nearly full and hikers abounded like ants in all stages of coming and going.

Shouldering my pack, ignoring the dozen scouts and others about the parking lot (I’m pretty good at that), I struck out south on the Pinhoti Trail. It was exhilarating just to be on the trail again. A brisk pace took me to the top of Hernandez Peak where I grabbed a mid morning snack and enjoyed the view. The trail skirts around McDill Point and no hike should be without visiting the Piper Cherokee Arrow (Crashed 1991) and walking all the way out to the rocky point, which of course I did. After looping around McDill the trail heads back south down the southern center spur of Hernandez Peak. I stopped for lunch where I could look across the draw at the rocky point of McDill. At the trail intersection (Pinhoti - Odum Scout - Chinnabee Silent) met a small group, that passed me earlier, heading to High Falls on a day hike. Also a large group was poking around the rocks to the west. Trudging along to the south I reach Odum Point in the very early afternoon and to my joy there was no one there. It was early but I could still hope. As the afternoon progressed there were a few pass-by’s but no takers, I had the sunset to myself.

The evening sunset made the wind howling in the night passable. The morning brought near freezing temperatures. A near full moon had me rolling out before true daylight and finding myself on a rocky outcropping near the Pearly Gates as the sun rose. To be there beneath a brilliant blue sky looking over the expanse before me toward McDill Point 2 1/2 miles away was breath taking, so was the the cold. I warmed up by stumbling down through the rock garden called the Stairway To Heaven. Adam’s Gap Trailhead passed and lunch found me at Barbaree Creek. This is my favorite campsite on the Skyway Trail. Fond memories of scouting come from this split-level campsite on the edge of the creek. Traveling light on water I stopped at Hubbard Creek to refill. Tired legs required that I pull off the boots and wade across. No rock hopping here. Reaching the end of the Skyway Trail, I crossed Chinnabee Creek. As I put my boots on again (still haven’t taken the time to find a good crossing) realization struck me “I was tired”. Just a couple of miles to go. Devil’s Den Falls and the associated trail was full of weekend day-trippers. With a quick glance at the falls and dodging day-hikers, I kept heading upstream. The trail follows the creek for the next quarter mile and is one of the most pleasant portions of the Chinnabee Silent Trail. Later, nothing was ever so pleasing as topping out at the Cheaha Shelter looking across the valley to Odum Point where I started my day. Easing down to Cheaha Falls and finding a spot near the roar of the falls, I hung my hammock as the sun went down.

Pattering of rain on my tarp brought me awake at sunrise. Packed my gear and headed for Turnipseed Trailhead with heavy skies overhead and a continued threat of rain. From Turnipseed to the Pinhoti Trail junction is 900 feet of up, the best climb of the hike. Lungs like a bellows and legs on fire, I stood at the junction and held the signpost so it wouldn’t fall over. Fortunately my breathing had returned to near normal and the signpost wasn’t going to fall down anymore when I met another hiker. He had hiked 19 miles the previous day and planned on reaching the Georgia border later in the week. More power to him! Leaving our conversation, I took the Odum Scout Trail to the Nubbin Creek Trail and turned north. Watered up at the head of Mill Shoal Creek. I had intended on spending a last night near junction of Cave Creek Trail but because of the imminent threat of rain, I laced up my big boy boots and headed for the Cheaha TH. What a pleasure Cave Creek Trail is. The last time I hiked this portion was several years ago during drought. Now at nearly every draw a spring chuckled across the trail, these last four miles passed agreeably and I arrived at the trailhead in the early afternoon. A nonstop drive of five hours brought me home to family and barbecue chicken sandwiches. Life is good!


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