Monday, July 17, 2017

Davis Branch

So, last weekend I was at Pinelog, ran into Curtis Glass, and he mentioned a trail along Davis Branch. I'd never even looked for one there before, though last winter, from the road, I'd seen a birdhouse on it.

Anyway, there are a small handful of trails up there that for one reason or other I hadn't yet explored, including that one, so I went up yesterday morning to knock them out.

It wasn't much of a ride. I just used the bike to get to places, and then walked. In retrospect, I could actually have driven to the head of each trail. That probably would have saved time, but I guess I got a little exercise using the bike.

The other trails turned out to be logging skids.

The upper section of the Davis Branch trail was more of a somebody-goes-this-way-sometimes than a proper trail. The experienced eye can discern the route, but there are several sections that are indistinct, and twice I thought I'd hit the end, and walked in a big circle until I found the trail again. Also, it seemed like someone was actively trying to obscure the trail by moving branches across it. I guess to some people it might look like they'd just fallen there, but to me it pointed out exactly where to look for the trail.

There was an elaborate campsite back in there.

Elaborate Campsite 1

I'd seen another such campsite along Stamp Creek above the second ford. Somebody's been watching too much Naked and Afraid.

At the very north/east end of the trail, it kind of petered out, but across a little clearing I could see a road that I'd found a while back. It gave me that "Hey! I know where I am!" feeling, which is always fun.

I followed the trail on the other side of the main road too, where it was marginally more distinct. Though, it had at least 1 complete break in it, and at the very southwest end, ends well before teeing into the trail along Stamp Creek.

There were 2 more elaborate campsites down there.

One had a teepee over the fire, presumably to hold a pot.

Elaborate Campsite 2

The other featured several fireside works...

Elaborate Campsite 3

...and the most elaborate shelter structure I've seen to date.

More of Elaborate Campsite 3

I'd once seen a similarly impressive campsite on the Upper Chattahoochee, and it struck me that maybe the same people were responsible for all of these. Later, I wondered if the Civil Air Patrol might have built them. They do training operations in Pinelog, and all over the NF.


There was also a long ditch out there. I'd actually encountered it before, along Stamp Creek, and thought it was a sunken roadbed. It's much more clearly a ditch where it runs along Davis Branch though.

Davis Branch Ditch

Of course, it looks like nothing in the photo, because... hole in the ground... in summer.

I have no idea what its purpose was. I'll have to get back up there at some point, and follow it end-to-end. Maybe that'll shed some light.

So, that was about it for that day. Long on discovery. Short on exercise. I need to get in some good miles. These days I pray that it doesn't rain.

Maybe I'll get lucky today.

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