Cherokee National Forest

Explored another 80 miles of dirt roads over the weekend. The blue signify trails/roads already explored.  The yellow were new ones!!
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We camped Friday night at Hickey Gap in the Cohutta Wilderness Area and then Saturday we headed north into the Cherokee National Forest.
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We made our way across Baker Creek Road, then towards Lake Ocoee and north on Oswald Road/FSR 195.  Oswald Road has some awesome overlooks of the lake and surrounding areas.  I want to plan another trip back to shoot some timelapse and astrophotography there.
Lake Ocoee Dam
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Sugarloaf and Lake Ocoee Marina Overlook on Oswald Road

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Lake Ocoee Marina Overlook on Oswald Roadimg_9266img_9267
Gazebo Overlookimg_9268img_9269
We then traveled on Oswald Road, and then towards State Route 30 and then up to Reliance, TN. At Reliance, we checked out the Hiwassee Union Baptist Church, Hiwassee River, and Webb Brothers Float Service/Texaco.
 
Hiwassee River

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Hiwassee Union Baptist Churchimg_9273img_9274img_9272
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From Reliance, we backtracked to Lost Creek Road.  There we stopped for the night to setup camp at Lost Creek CG.  There were only three other campers in there, and we were able to get a prime site right on the creek.
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Sunday Morning we were up bright and early.  After some eggs and bacon, we broke camp and started out again on Lost Creek Road.  After several miles, Lost Creek ended and turned in FSR 236. When we hit the intersection of McFarland Road, we turned south which would take us to Kimsey Mountain Hwy (which is not a paved Hwy)!!
At Kimsey Mountain Hwy, we started to head west and decided to take Smith Mountain Road/FSR 80 as it made a large loop and was less traveled and would hopefully provide some challenges.  Looking at the map, I also knew it would eventually bring us back to Kimsey Mountain.
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As luck would have it, we got all the way to the end of Smith Mountain Road/FSR 80 and there was a large tree across the road.  Most vehicles could have made it under it fairly easy with room to clear, but not the Jeep.  That lowest branch was right at the Gobi Rack. With really no options to turn around and back track, I busted out the axe!!
Before:
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After:img_6737

Once the branches were cut the Jeep cleared it with ease. But due to the angle we entered, the trailer was going to hit.  Luckily, Michelle was able to give it just enough boost to raise the tree just the inch we needed.  I should have had her swinging the axe 🙂

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With the tree clear we were on our way.  Once on Kimsey Mountain Hwy, it was smooth sailing (still dirt road though) back to State Route 30.  From there we headed south towards home.

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