Redcar 2000
The students again take a break to camp and hike in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area in Tennessee

For the second year in a row, students from Redcar & Cleveland College in the UK visited Cleveland State Community College in Tennessee. During the week of instruction and laboratory work on "Robotics", the weather kept improving. Our scheduled camping get-away into the Big South Fork was eagerly anticipated by those who could make the trip. The time was late-February (2000), and the weather was unusually mild. Clear skies. Warm sunlight. We were treated to a star spectacular in the dark of the night in those far-away mountains. Following are shots of the overnight camp/hike.
The assembled group and the
mandatory caution from the sign before
entering the area! The sign notes:
"Beware of Snakes, Stay on Trail"
We hiked down the mountainside
to the suspension bridge. Careful.
Don't overload that shaky bridge!
Charit Creek Hostel was nestled in its little valley. No electricity there, but plenty to do ... if you like to sit on the back porch and whittle.
Enough standing around.
Let's go find a Natural Arch or two!
After viewing the twin arches from below, we climbed atop them to hike along their shared ridgetop.
We returned before nightfall to fix a community
meal and sort out the bunks and gear. Then we
helped some visiting cowboys (who had ridden in
on horses, while we had hiked in) build the
evening bon-fire. 
A clear starry night was enjoyed, then
came the bright morning light while we packed
all our gear back out and moved to the Honey
Creek Trailhead.
We were ready to tackle this rugged 6 mile rock
scramble, ladder climb and bushwhack. After a
mile or two of dropping into the river gorge, we
climbed the steep rock bluffs on old wooden
ladders (some with steps missing), and we were
rewarded with access to a viewing platform atop 
the bluff overlooking the Big South Fork River.
Then back down into the gorge. Up and over the creekside boulders...even through the person-sized rock crevices.

And look close at what a helpful trail marker we came upon: "Follow Creek". No room for a trail down there!

And again, the British lads beat the Tennessee "leaders" out of the Big South Fork gorge by about an hour. But we enjoyed beautiful weather, and a great adventure in the Cumberlands of Tennessee.


To contact Redcar & Cleveland College, e-mail Neil Walker, who led the group to Tennessee this February. Neil and Bob Carrick were the instructors from England who were responsible for keeping this trip functioning smoothly. Here they are (Neil on left, Bob on right) on a side trip while hunting down the source of country music in Tennessee.


And just as they were leaving the US, Neil on the left and Bob on the right are shown discussing some in-depth theories concerning robotics and CAD drafting with Bob Lantz, center, the Cleveland State instructor for the robotics course.

Here is a link back to the Cleveland State (Tennessee) homepage.
And a link back to the Redcar & Cleveland College (UK) homepage.

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