January 14, 2017

South Holston Spillway

  • 6.72 miles
  • 4:39 duration
  • 262 foot elevation gain
  • 3 caches found
  • 9 caches visited (previously found)

The stick and I were joined by several other sticks, geocachers, and muggles in hiking the Spillway Trail at South Holston Lake in Sullivan County, TN. This was my second time hiking this trail. The first was nearly four years and sixty pounds ago, and I wasn’t sure I would finish that hike.

This time around, I was able to reach places I had missed previously, including hiking up to the top of a ridge to log a geocache. On my previous trip, I had hiked halfway up to it, and realizing that I still had several more miles to go to reach the spillway and then to get back to the car, I decided to take a rest break while the rest of the group continued without me. To the amusement of Pork ‘n Beans (Jane) the owner of that cache, I refused to log it that day since I was not able to reach it.

When I reached the top of the ridge on this hike, I just had to celebrate by recording a “live update” video to share with my geocaching friends. I also gladly signed my name to the logsheet for the cache, and had a chuckle with Jane (who was also on this hike) about my reluctance to log it previously.

The highlight of this hike was visiting the final location of an epic puzzle cache,  Echolocation. I had solved the puzzle prior to the previous hike, and had hiked to within several hundred yards of it, but once again held back from going the extra distance to reach the final coordinates.

When we reached to spillway on today’s hike, we took some time to contemplate our route to the final location. There are two options. The first requires you to go down the face of the spillway and make a water crossing both coming and going, then back up the steep face of the spillway. The other is a treacherous bushwhack on the steep hillside around the end of the spillway. LakeBum (Rob) had brought along rope to help us with whichever route we took. Three of us (Rob, Jane and myself) opted for the dry route, while G.I. Geo (Kevin) took the wet route. His wife and two kids wisely stayed behind on the spillway.

I was thrilled to finally view the cache container in person, and even more thrilled that we all survived the journey.

After finishing the hike, we stopped off to use the restrooms at the nearby weir dam, where I made an amazing discovery. My Range Rover apparently has a younger sibling that lives in the area – the only other yellow model that I have ever seen in person. Land Rover only produced between 100 and 150 of the 1997 Vitesse edition Range Rovers in AA Yellow. This is the model that I own. According to rangerovers.net: Land Rover sold very few yellow Range Rovers and other than the 1997 Vitesse the only other yellow P38 Range Rovers were a small number of non-Vitesse AA yellow Range Rovers in 1997, the special TReK competition models and the Borego Edition in 2002.” The other yellow Range Rover we saw today is one of those 2002 Borego Editions. I wish that I had been able to meet the owner, but they were no where in sight.

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