Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Trail Report - Lead Cove to Rocky Top/Thunderhead

As copied/pasted from my original blog, the first (and only) time we successfully completed this trail:

Yes, the Rocky Top that the song was named after.  If you don't know which song I'm taking about your local University has obviously never played the University of Tennessee in any sort of sporting event.  Its the  most annoying song in the world song the band plays after every touch down at Vols games. 

No, I'm  not singing it.  I'll have it in my head all day.  If you wanna know about a moonshine still or a girl that's half bear the other half cat then you'll just have to google it.  Google is your friend.

Since then, my hiking buddies and I have unsuccessfully attempted to find our way back to Rocky Top on two different occasions (but I can only find the blog report for one). We decided to take another trail to start our journey off this time.

I stuffed my Flat Stanley into my backpack before we headed onto the trail. Unlike the Anthony's Creek path, this one got steep in the first 2 miles. Once we turned right onto the Bote Mountain Trail, the terrain flattened out and began our comfortable, gradual assent.

With each trail sign, we stopped to read the directions (saved on our fearless leader's phone as a picture), and calculate at what mile marker we should be anticipating another transition.

On the accent, we skipped Spence Field and headed straight for Rocky Top. While it was my no means an easy trek, my memories of a practically impassible trail weren't quite accurate. Its amazing what a difference a bit of iron in the bloodstream can do! 

The weather and visibility made it a perfect day for this hike. With temperatures starting at 30* and rising through the morning our snack perch was lovely. How can you beat PB&J sandwiches, good company, and stellar views?

Last time we completed this hike, my hiking buddies went on to Thunderhead while I rested. They told me it wasn't anything remarkable, but while we were there I wanted to go ahead and at least say I saw it.

They were right. It was so unimpressive I didn't even bother to snap a picture.

We decided to do our hot lunch at the Spence Field shelter. Since my companions have decided to get into backpacking, they had a flash-something-or-other cup which boils water. Maybe its a flash boil. Anywho. We made Ramen noodles and hot chocolate then just hung out around the shelter enjoying the day.

We all felt strong this hike, and were able to keep a great pace. This gave us plenty of time before having to head down and off the trail.

This hike was perfect in all ways - rate of difficulty, average pace, weather, and visibility. I only wish Jay would have been able to join us for the fun.


  1. Beautiful! I've still never been to the Smokies, alas. I really need to trek east!

  2. Such a pretty spot! However, I now have that Rocky Top song in my head. :)

  3. I love the Smoky Mountains. You are so lucky to live so close to the park. We really need to get back there sometime.

  4. At least Flat Stanley was able to join you! ;) Somehow I know the song you mentioned, and I don't live anywhere near your UT. One day I'll visit you and get to see some of these beautiful places where you hike!