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Crackers Neck/Callalantee Dec. 18th

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Joined: 17 Sep 2004
Location: Winston-Salem, NC

PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2004 5:54 pm    Post subject: Crackers Neck/Callalantee Dec. 18th Reply with quote

We took a trip up to Mountain City, TN today to run Crackers Neck and Callalantee. It was a bit brisk but otherwise beautiful. The sun was shining, there was snow on the ground, bits of ice in the streambeds, and the snowmelt was turning the trails to mud. Unfortunately I didn't take many pictures so this narrative will be mostly void of them.

Michael, Thomas, and I met Ian at Hardees in Mountain City and then proceeded to Callalantee. After paying for our trail pass we set out for Welder.

We had gone just a short way on Welder when Ian stopped us to show us The Waterfall. I experienced both sadness and joyfulness all in one instant. On the one hand, there was the waterfall that I had seen in others' pictures that I had wanted to find. On the other hand, what I had been told was the waterfall wasn't the case at all thus causing what I thought had been an achievement to vanish. Michael, Thomas and I were already past it so we watched Ian give it a try. As he crawled through the streambed he came up to the rock at the bottom and got high centered. After a few valiant attempts to better the rock, he rode his winch cable over it. After getting over the rock he started to crawl up the waterfall. As his front tires got to the top all 4 started spinning. After turning the steering wheel side to side his tires found traction, the lockers did their magic and he was up and over. I wish I had gotten pictures of it. We all agreed to come back later in the day and try it.

We continued on Welder and took a left at the tree with "The Loop" spraypainted on it. As we neared the top my tires started to spin and I began slipping backwards. The snowmelt had turned the trail to slick mud. I backed down to where Michael was behind me and gave it a few more attempts. I got within 20 or 30 feet of cresting it but it was too slick. I then backed down and off the trail to let Michael try in his Taco. He experienced the same thing and got out of the way for Thomas and his Rover. Thomas's Super Slicks had a hard time getting up to where Michael and I were pulled off the trail. He ended up winching himself off the trail so Ian could try. Ian also didn't have any luck. We then decided to turn around and go back to the waterfall to play. I was able to get turned around and Ian backed down the trail and turned around. But then Michael couldn't get back on the trail and was stuck. Ian drove back up and winched Michael out and Thomas was able to get back on the trail on his own.

When we got back to the waterfall Ian stayed up top to offer our vehicles a ride out if we got stuck. I went first and was a little nervous about that rock at the bottom since my TJ and Ian's are about the same height. After a couple of attempts I was able to make it over the rock unassisted. I was able to get onto the waterfall but was not able to make it up and over proving once again that locked is better than open. Ian winched me up and then it was Michael's turn. He faired no better than I making it over the rock unassisted only to not get over the waterfall. He too made it over courtesy of Ian's 9.5TI. Thomas was really close to making it over the rock several times but in the end winched himself over it. He also ended up being winched over the waterfall. Waterfall 3 Lockers 1 Open diffs 0 ended up being the final score.

After that we went over to Crackers Neck. As we were going in a guy driving a half CJ half tube buggy was coming out. He showed me what had once been one of his U joints that was missing 2 ears. We continued on our way and got on trail 3. All of us were able to make it through the little waterfall without any trouble. We then proceeded to the rock garden that goes up the mountain. The rocks were still covered in snow and didn't look nearly as menacing as it usually does. After asking for volunteers to try it and receiving none, we wound our way up the mountain to the access road. We then followed the access road to the cell tower at the top of the Stone Mountain and took a group picture.

By this time it was about 4pm and we decided to call it a day. We took the access road all the way down the mountain to 421. Michael, Thomas and I went right heading for Boone while Ian took a left back to Mountain City to get his tow rig and trailer.

I had a great time and enjoyed meeting Ian and Thomas and wheeling with Michael again. I wish I had taken more pictures, but the few that I did take are at if you wish to see more.
'00 TJ Sport
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