By Stephen D. Bowling
My Sheltowee hikes for March were a tale of two differing weekends. I enjoyed my hike with Team Heron and Team Yahoo. Heron enjoyed a nice Saturday with sunshine and warm temperatures, but reports of impending rain on Sunday scared many hikers away. As forecasted, Sunday morning dawned with light but steady rain until about 7:30 a.m. The rest of the day was pleasant but overcast.
Team Yahoo found their Saturday morning to be cold and frosty. About 40 hikers left S-Tree Road and headed for Saturday night’s camp at Turkey Foot Campground. Thanks to firewood from the STA and hiker Marty Hayes, a friendly fire made camp more welcoming as hikers made it down the hill to camp. Team Sheltowee hikers ventured to their base at Resurgence Cave two miles away, where they camped Saturday night. Temperatures dropped into the teens with single-digit wind chills on Sunday morning. Light snow fell and covered the ground at times as large flakes landed all around us as daylight broke. Hikers left Turkey Foot and walked past Regugence Cave, up Alcorn Branch, through Arvel, and down Copperas Cave Creek to the intersection of Todds Road and Vigil Todd Road, where Steve Barbour shuttled them to their cars at Lago Linda Campground.
Team Heron- March 11 & 12, 2023
Teams Yahoo and Sheltowee- March 18 & 19, 2023
I had a great time hiking with my new friends on Team Heron and Team Yahoo, as well as many from Team Sheltowee. The big themes of the weekends were the loose rocks that littered the trail and the outstanding Sheltowee Trace Exercise Program (STEP). The health program teaches hikers to lift their legs, bend their knees, and stretch as they climb over, under, through, and around the many blow-downs that littered the trail following the recent wind storms. Trail maintenance volunteers have worked many hours with hand-held clippers and loppers have helped clear some of the limbs, but more serious firepower is needed to clear the trail completely.
In the coming months, I look forward to hiking more with each of you and especially an opportunity to meet and walk with members of Team Turtle. Until then, keep moving. Remember, all it takes is putting one foot in front of the other and, by December 2023, and you will be an “End to Ender.”
© 2023 Stephen D. Bowling