Up Pretty Hollow Gap Trail with Friends

Fall, 2014 in Cataloochee
Fall, 2014 in Cataloochee

Yesterday was the kind of day that poets wax, well, poetic about. The day started cool and a little foggy.

By the time I got to Pretty Hollow Gap Road in Cataloochee with Friends of the Smokies, the sun was out and I suggested to the group that maybe coats and jackets could be left in the car.

It was the end of the elk rut.

Friends of the Smokies Group - October 2014
Friends of the Smokies Group – October 2014

Yet a bull was in the woods, just off the trail as we started walking along Palmer Creek.

This hike made up for the rain-out that we had last Tuesday. Most of the conversation seemed to center on the beautiful day and how it was different from last week.

 

Maintenance Crew
Maintenance Crew

About half-way up, we met a group of Americorp members and a ranger. They were working on treating hemlock with chemicals to protect them from the hemlock wooly adelgid. It was a long way up to bring in all that equipment. Thanks, folks, for your hard work.

This hike didn’t have a destination.

We didn’t hike to a cabin, waterfall or view. We didn’t go as far as Pretty Hollow Gap; instead we stopped at a small watercrossing, had lunch and walked back.

Pretty Hollow Gap Trail in the fall
Pretty Hollow Gap Trail in the fall

Two guys scouted the area for good fishing spots and were impressed by the possibility of speckled trout in the creek. They will be back with their fishing gear.

Since the hike ended in the early afternoon, we walked over to the Beech School and Palmer Chapel. Definitely a better day than last week.

 

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