I got away early this week for my annual fall see the leaves backpacking trip to Savage Gulf, Tennessee. Savage Gulf is part of the South Cumberland Recreation Area located on the southern end of the Cumberland Plateau in TN. The rocks of the Cumberland Plateau were laid down 250 to 325 million years ago. Elevation averages 1800 feet along the Rim and 1100 feet in the Gulf. Trails within the Savage Gulf area range from easy dirt trails across the wooded plateau, steep boulder covered switchbacks descending into the Gulf, old logging roads and dry rocky river beds.
This year Mother Nature got up early and pulled out her finest watercolors…the set with the most brilliant colors.
Glad I saw this before setting up camp, some kind of critter had been digging up yellow jacket nests, this was the second nest I saw within 100 yards and both were still active. Pretty sure I know what critter…it lumbered by camp just before dark…black bear. I heard it long before I saw it, sniffing and scratching around looking for grubs and yellow jacket larva. The bear was a nuisance for a couple of hours, whenever I clapped my hands or yelled it would bolt away, then I would hear it sniffing and scratching again, never once did it come in my camp or around where the food bag was hanging…at least not that I’m aware of…maybe as I slept.