Friday, October 17, 2014

The Big South Fork!

Our next camping trip is going to be an area we've never been on the Tennessee/Kentucky border. We'll be staying in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. Just looking at photos of the terrain and maps of the area, and reading about the territory, I think it's similar to places we've visited in the past on the vast limestone plateau in east Tennessee. But I won't know until we get there and explore the place.

I plan on doing a lot of hiking down into the gorge, and I've picked out one summit that I want to try to at least see, if not actually climb. This kind of terrain is not truly mountainous in the classic sense of the term. Instead, it's composed of a plateau that is deeply cut by numbers of rivers and streams. There's still a lot of vertical to be seen and conquered, but it's not actually mountains.

We're not sure if we'll see a lot of wildlife. The Forest Service did reintroduce black bears into the area some time back and there's supposed to be an expanding population of them now. But beyond that I haven't read much about the animals who inhabit that area.

Since we're going in cooler weather we're not taking our kayaks and from what I understand there's not a big demand this time of year for rafting trips down the main river through the Recreation Area. I am hoping that there will still be some Fall color to see and photograph.

We've also booked a night at the Charit Creek Lodge. It's one of the lodges that one must reach on foot or horseback. We've stayed at a couple of such lodges and always enjoy the experience.

Also, one of the attractions of the area are the natural arches that have formed. Here in the east coast you don't find a lot of arches (as you do in many western states), so I'll be picking out some of those to visit. And the countdown has begun. One week to go.

Down on the river in the gorge. (National Park photograph.)

We'll see this arch on the way to the Charit Creek Lodge. You have to pass by it along the trail. (Internet photo--not mine.)


Stumblers said...

You will have to give a report when you return. Sounds exciting. Enjoy!

James Robert Smith said...

I'm sure I'll take a couple thousand photos.

Vicki said...

Only a couple of thousand? :-)

I love that Charit Creek Lodge is not accessible by car.

The Big South Fork looks like magnificent country. Enjoy!

James Robert Smith said...

We've hiked to a couple of those walk-in only lodges. There aren't many here in the South--a number in the northeast of the USA. We enjoy the experience because it's very quiet and relaxing with no TV, radio, and such. But we get the luxury of beds and showers and great meals served by a staff.