August 6, 2017

Kingsport Greenbelt Trail

  • 7.34 miles
  • 2:39 duration
  • 7 geocaches found
  • 128 feet elevation gain
  • 15,849 mosquito bites

Needing some exercise on this beautiful Sunday afternoon, I decided to load up the BAT bike and head for Kingsport. I have found many caches along the Greenbelt Trail, including most of the ones on the eastern end, but there were several along the riverfront on the western end that I had not yet found. I’ve passed by many of them as I’ve driven back and forth or paddled down the South Holston. Today was my day to look for a few.

I started my quest at the parking lot near the confluence of the North and South Forks of the Holston. Before climbing aboard my bike, I looked briefly for a cache hidden nearby, but didn’t want to waste much time on it. There were many more to find along the trail, and this one had an extremely high terrain rating, making me think it was probably on the steep slope below the parking lot within the thicket of weeds.

I strapped Signal the Frog to the back of my bike, put on my helmet (safety first!) and hit the trail. I found four caches along the riverfront, the third being a tricky hide by my good friends Cache Cracker Jacks, and the fourth an excellent cache hidden by my paddling and hiking companion LakeBum. I passed a cache by that was near a business that was due to open in a few minutes. There was a crowd of people out front, so there was no way I could grab the cache without being seen. I rode on by, planning to stop on the way back.

The trail then leaves the river, and begins to follow along Reedy Creek. It passes under a double arched railroad bridge that is very scenic. Just past this bridge, I stopped for a special cache named for Obi-Wan the Great, a special boxer friend who passed over the rainbow bridge earlier this year. While I was down by the creek searching for it, I encountered the first poison ivy of the day, as well as numerous spider webs that threatened to entangle and strangle me. It took me a bit to find this cache, but I was determined to honor Obi’s memory by making the find. My persistence finally paid off, and I was able to sign my name to the log sheet.

While I was searching for it, a train that was parked on the tracks crossing the bridge above me lurched into motion. The noise of the cars rumbling to life gave me a bit of a start. Within moments it shuddered to a stop again, with even more noise than its start. I wasn’t sure if it was going to stay on the tracks or not, but thankfully it did.

My next stop was at the skate park where my buddy Ang has a hide. There was only one lonely skater present. He was more interested in his phone than skating, so I didn’t get a show, but I did get the smiley.

I moved on up the trail and spent some time searching for a tough cache. This area was also infested with poison ivy, and it was here I first started to notice mosquitoes biting me.  I finally had to phone a friend for help, and was happy to sign my name to the log and move on.

I went looking for one last cache a little further along the trail. I once again had to wade through poison ivy to reach the cache site, and then was searching through more of the nasty stuff hoping to find the cache. After about 20 minutes of unsuccessful searching, I looked down to notice my legs were covered with about 20 mosquitoes. I hastily slapped them dead, and gave up the hunt.

I decided that since the day was getting warmer and I was tired of being bitten, I would be content with the seven caches found and head home. The ride back to the trail head was much quicker, and soon I was in the truck and driving for home.

 

 

2 thoughts on “August 6, 2017

  1. I scrubbed really well, so hopefully I won’t. I did count 33 mosquito bites on my left leg this morning. And those were just the parts of my leg I could see since I’m not as young and flexible as I used to be.

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