Grainger County High Point Trip Report

Clinch Mtn

Date: August 30, 2003
Author: Ken Oeser

We used the left side of the large creek ravine, and followed it to the ridge. There is a flat, rocky section at about 2000 feet that I took to be a possible dwelling on my first trip. There is a decent view south from this rock section, and the only view on the trip. Although the hike is mostly in open woods, there are 2 sections of briars to negotiate. The pink-flagged tree is no longer at the top. There are 2 candidate areas on the elongated contour, and a faint ATV trail can be followed to the top from the saddle at the top of the creek ravine. The first area is 15 feet left of the ATV trail where it first levels out, and it is an open wooded area. The trail then goes down and back up in about 200 feet, and there is a large rock on top of the ridge. This rock seems to be about the same elevation as the wooded area. We hiked farther down the ridge, but everything else kept getting lower. The ATV trail makes the short ridge trip easier, and we marked our 'hike down' point with a tree limb.

On the way down we all earned our stripes, or spots I should say. While following a deer path through the higher briar area, just above the open rock section, I was stung on the ankle by a yellow jacket, and yes, it hurt. We stopped so we could look for a nest, but no activity was noted, so we headed down, and immediately Annette was stung on her ankle, so they quickly headed down the deer trail. I headed back up and noted a busy nest hole about 1 foot from the deer trail, next to a briar that we possibly moved passing by. About 50 feet lower, as we were still negotiating the briars, Alexandra cried out, and Annette killed a yellow jacket on her sock. Just after this Annette was stung on her other ankle, so she killed that one, and noticed another attacking the knot on her boot strings. We quickly headed on and soon found ourselves at the rock opening.

We all had a little swelling, and Alexandra cried about it, but now she knows that stings don't kill people, although we are thinking about adding something to our packs in case of an allergic reaction. It had been so long since I was stung that I didn't know that it could still hurt an hour later.