Cataloochee Wild Women Weekend Part 2 – 5/22/11 – Little Cataloochee Trail/Pretty Hollow Divide Trail – 6 miles
I missed the trailhead and we continued to creep around the curves. At last we reached a parking area that I recognized as Mount Sterling, far beyond where we wanted to be. Hiking from there was not an option as it is an unsafe place to leave cars, so we turned back to look for Little Cataloochee Trail again. Time was ticking away.
Joan’s car began to make an unnatural sound and Lisa began honking behind us. What now? Well, we had ourselves a flat tire…a REALLY flat tire. Eight women, miles from nowhere, no cell coverage, no AAA, nobody likely to drive by. Then Suzi spoke up: “Well, I know how to change a tire.”
With remarkable teamwork (Suzi and Lynn working, Joan finding and releasing the spare from underneath the car, and the rest of us nodding and taking photos), the flat was removed and the spare put on. These are some wonderful wild women! And now back to our regularly scheduled hiking.
Up to this point the trail is gentle but then we began a long uphill climb to Little Cataloochee Church. Along the way we met hikers who told tales of bear sightings – some wild women wanted to hear that and some did not.
Fun stuff on the trail included:
From this point the trail shrank from a wide rocky roadbed to a narrow path. Following switchbacks up the mountainside, we passed several extensive rock walls, some marking the location of the Messer farm. The apple house that is now part of the Mountain Farm Museum at Oconaluftee and the Messer Barn located beside the Cataloochee Ranger Station were moved and restored from this site.
Trail maintainers used the fallen tree to make steps across the creek
Little Cataloochee Trail intersects with Pretty Hollow Trail and the trail again becomes a wide road bed. This is Palmer Creek.
Back at camp, we compared notes and everyone seemed happy with the way their day turned out. The flat tire saga just increased the epicness factor. Chilled feet in the creek and chilled beverages in our hands were like a spa treatment.
Next up – dinner the Girl Scout way! Deserves its own blog entry…
You must do the things you think you cannot do. ~Eleanor Roosevelt