We had about 5/8 inch rain on Friday, which mostly came in a heavy downpour. Last night, we had another 3/8 inch. So we’re a little better off than we have been lately. By the way, there’s a weather station at Mercier’s Orchards that’s reported at the following website www.georgiaweather.net. There’s also a lot of historical and technical information available on the site as well.
The Benton McKaye Trail Association is sponsoring a hike from Dyer Gap to the Jack’s River. Here’s the announcement: “HIKE! The Benton MacKaye Trail. Start Dyer Gap – Cohuttas, Fannin County FS 64. Hike: Section 9: BMT, section 9 with side trip to Shadow Falls on Saturday, July 30. This is an easy 4.5 mile hike beginning at Dyer Gap and traveling along the South Jacks River with a side trip on the South Fork Trail to Shadow Falls and back, terminating at FS Road 64. PLEASE CONTACT HIKE LEADER TO CONFIRM ATTENDANCE AND BE AWARE OF ANY LAST MINUTE CHANGES.
Contact Hike Leader Larry Dumas – email@example.com.” From Blue Ridge, you reach Dyer Gap by going out Old Hwy 2 to Forest Service 64. When you get to the crossroads at the top of the Watson Gap, you turn right on FS 64 and go about three miles to the trail head.
We signed up for a Georgia Forest Watch/Forest Service outing to the Conasauga River Snorkling Hole last Saturday. Unfortunately, they got the same downpour on the far side of the wilderness area that we got at home, and the river was too stained. So the event had to be cancelled on site. But it’s an interesting area. The confluence of the Jack’s and the Conasauga is just upstream, and the Jacks itself, after a long trip through the wilderness area, is just as pristine as the Conasauga. The bed of a narrow gauge railway, once used for logging, runs up the Jacks and down the Conasauga. You can walk about a mile up the Jacks to the first ford, or travel downstream on the Conasauga on the river trail. It’s a very beautiful area, with a lot of history. (I wouldn’t recommend the Jacks on the weekend, due to the density of people hanging out to beat the heat, but the Conasauga River Trail gets much less pressure.) There’s an amazing variety of colorful fish in the Conasauga, due to its clean water. It’s said that the Colorado River system is quite diverse at some 25 species. The Columbia River system has some 33. But the tiny Conasauga watershed has 76. Further north in the Cherokee National Forest, the small Citgo Creek watershed has 67. You can get some idea on the Forest Service website.