The Unicoi Crest above Tellico Plains


Cherokee Hiking Club
198 Crews Drive, Benton, TN 373




Big Frog Mountain Dayhike
Saturday, December 4, 2010


Brief Description:   This is an advance notice of a hike that is coming up early in December.  This hike will also be announced in the December newsletter. The hike will be about a 11-12 mile roundtrip to the top of Big Frog Mountain, depending upon what trail we take.  We will probably take one of the lesser hiked trails.  It will be strenuous and will include over 2,000 feet of elevation change.  With the leaves off by then we should have some great views. 

Length:  11-12 miles

Difficulty Rating: Strenuous

Elevation Gain: maybe 500 feet on the return trip to the car

Hike LeaderJames Anderson.  Anyone interested in going should call James Anderson at 715-8824 by 8:00 pm of that Friday evening for specifics of when and where to meet.

Post Trip Report:   Although the weather in the area was cold and rainy down below, two intrepid hikers set out to conquer "The Frog."  James Anderson, the hike leader, and that undaunted former club president known simply in some circles as El Presidente; whose friends and acquaintances call “Randy Morris”, set out for the top around 10 a.m. that fateful Saturday morning.  Who could ever have guessed what adventures lay ahead for these two unsuspecting, yet undeterred souls?

Yes, I'm sure many of you looked out your windows that morning and saw that it was cold and rainy.  So no, you fair weather hikers couldn't get out of your warm cozy bed or put down that steaming hot mug of joe to go out and experience the wonders of nature.  But I'm here to tell you that you missed it that day! 

Did you know that some mountains are big enough that they can even create their own weather?  The Frog is big.  Anyone who knows anything about big frogs knows that they can, and do, create their own weather.  So without warning, as Randy and I were slogging and slushing through the cold and wind, we both suddenly felt a warm breeze brush across our faces.  Perplexed, we hiked on through the dense fog.  Turn after turn, across slippery rocks and through the briars and brambles, till at last we saw a faint orange-ish glow.  What could it be, we asked ourselves?  Excitedly we pressed on, not knowing what situation lay ahead.  And here we were, nearly at the top, just below the spring that many of you know lies near the summit, when we heard it.  What in the world is that, I asked Randy?  He didn't know either, but as we hiked closer and closer we could hear it a little more plainly.  With puzzled grins we both looked at each other and simultaneously said, it sounds a bit like cheers.   

With just a few more steps we broke through the clouds.  The sun was shining so brightly I had to quickly put my clip-on shades over my glasses.  It was so warm that the thermometer on my pack was reading a balmy 82.3 degrees, and to our amazement, there was the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders in the clearing practicing some of their cheering routines.  Obviously we wanted to be social as all real hikers are supposed to be, so we offered to share our cheese sandwiches, gorp, and water, as those scrawny young ladies looked like they needed some nourishment.  They, being Southern ladies and all, accepted our hospitality and told us they were working on some top secret new dance moves for their appearance next year on Dancing with the Stars.  They needed a really top secret location to perfect their moves, so that was why they happened to be on the Big Frog that day. 

As you might imagine, Randy and I really agonized over whether we should share this Big Frog Adventure hike report or not.  We considered that it might need to be in the spirit of Las Vegas, following the dictum of “whatever happens on the Frog stays on the Frog”.  But in the spirit of trying to encourage people to get out, hike and experience the many wonders of nature, we decided that even considering the personal risk and possible damage to our reputations, we had to go ahead and share our story as it was.  Just remember, we only are doing it for the club, even if it damages our credibility. 

Well, we couldn't stay at the summit in that rarified air for ever, so eventually we headed back down.  And believe it or not, for you lady hikers, on the way down we passed a muscled up group of guys, kinda reminding us a lot of me and Randy.  They called themselves something like the Chipmunk Dancers or Chippendale, or something like that.  They too said they were on the way up to work on their new routine.  What a day!  Seems like Big Frog was a popular place that day. 

So that is OUR story and we are sticking to it.  Don't you wish you had been there that day? 


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