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  1. #1
    Senior Member Eliteoomph's Avatar
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    Hanging in the Sipsey

    This past weekend my brother-in-law and I took off toward the Sipsey Wilderness for a 3 day 2 night hike n hang. This was his first time sleeping in a hammock and I was happy to be the one to get him off of the ground.

    It had been very, very dry leading up to the trip and I was worried about the falls being a disappointment but somehow we managed to get lucky and had rain all 3 days leading up to the last weekend including a MAJOR thunderstorm that hung around until about an hour before we arrived. So we went from drought conditions to oh **** it is going to be hard to find dry wood conditions.

    The first day was an easy hike of just about 2 miles. We hiked this day completely off trail through a creek.



    For those familiar with the area this is the path from the Randolph TH to Parker Falls. We camped at Parker Falls that night and luckily were able to get a fire going.


    (My bother-in-law and Parker Falls)

    I spotted some craw-fish in the nearby creek and hand caught a few and boiled them up. For some reason my brother-in-law had decided to bring a bottle of Louisiana Hot Sauce which was perfect for the small feast.



    The following morning we continued off trail in the creek toward the Sipsey River. The scenery in this area is among the most beautiful I have seen in Alabama. Clear running water surrounded by over 100ft high limestone canyon walls and rich luscious green forest.



    We spotted a few critters along the way including a few river otters, and a 3' Gar fish that had managed to make his way up stream and get trapped in a small pool once the water level had gone down a bit. He would have been very easy to catch but since it was still around 9am and we would not be cooking anything until that evening we thought it better to let him be.





    We continued past Parker Cascades and made our way toward the Sipsey River.



    After most of the morning walking through the creek we thought a change of scenery may be nice and decided instead of continuing down the slippery windy creek bed to change it up a bit and hike up a smaller branch and see if we could take a little shortcut to the trail. I know, I know... "Shortcuts don't always work out so well." We started up the small branch. With my junglas (large esee knife) in hand I clear a path up the steep slippery thick route that was our new path. With no signs of anyone venturing up this route in quite sometime I started to wonder if this "shortcut" would even be a possibility. After about 20 mins of hacking our way through we arrived at our next challenge, a 40ft high waterfall with limestone cliffs surrounding us on all sides. We quickly scanned the cliff edge for any accessible pass. We found one area that seemed doable a trudged off in that direction. Upon our arrival to our new test we faced a 90 degree vertical 10' wall that stood between us and a much easier and faster route to the trail. Not being experienced climbers and both having 30 lb packs on we took our time. There were some really good root holds that made making our way up not terribly difficult but still slightly dangerous. These types of circumstances I prefer to attack alone. I kept thinking if anything happened to my brother-in-law that I would never hear the end of it from my sister. I was sure to tell him this just before he made his accent and told him to make sure he took his time. We made it up without any issues and trotted off toward the trail and ultimately the Sipsey River. We had to swim across the river and luckily I had brought a 115ml dry bag that was large enough to fit my pack inside to insure none of our gear got wet. We hiked a few more miles and reached our final destination of the day.



    I spent the next couple hours fishing in the Sipsey River with my new Emmrod. This was my first time using this rod and I love it. Basically it is just a normal fishing pole condensed down into about a 1.5' of space and fits very easily into a backpack. I caught a few small fish and cooked them up that night.





    We hiked the last 6 miles out the next morning. This was the only time that we really felt the Alabama heat the whole trip while ascending out of the canyon. It was a great trip and beautiful place to visit in Alabama if you are ever near by. Here is my photo Album. Sorry I didn't take as many pictures this time as I normally do.

    https://picasaweb.google.com/Eliteoo...eat=directlink

    Here are some pics from my last Sipsey trip a couple months ago for more pics of the area...

    https://picasaweb.google.com/Eliteoo...eat=directlink

  2. #2
    Moderator raiffnuke's Avatar
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    Nice report, Great pictures. Thanks for sharing.

  3. #3
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raiffnuke View Post
    Nice report, Great pictures. Thanks for sharing.
    What he said! Got to love the Sipsey. Glad there was enough recent rain to give you some good water falls!
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  4. #4
    Senior Member Buffalo Skipper's Avatar
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    I have GOT to get to the Sipsey! Every time I start to plan, something pops up. High on my "gotta go there" list.

    Thanks!
    “Indian builds small fire and stays warm, white man builds big fire and stays warm collecting firewood”—unknown

    “The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea”—Karen Blixen

  5. #5
    aboyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buffalo Skipper View Post
    I have GOT to get to the Sipsey! Every time I start to plan, something pops up. High on my "gotta go there" list.

    Thanks!
    I'm with you Skipper, been wanting to plan a trip over there for a while, just not able to squeeze in an open time slot. Maybe we need to plan another Alabama hang in the fall and make that the spot!!!
    "I will study and get ready, and perhaps my chance will come." - Abraham Lincoln

  6. #6
    Senior Member Buffalo Skipper's Avatar
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    I'm for that!
    “Indian builds small fire and stays warm, white man builds big fire and stays warm collecting firewood”—unknown

    “The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea”—Karen Blixen

  7. #7
    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
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    Glad you had a good hang...thanks for sharing.

    I recognize many of the pics from having been there. Parker Canyon is a nice place to explore. But, you definitely chose the hard way in bushwhacking back toward the Sipsey River instead of following the creek.

    Another excellent route from there would have been to follow Parker Creek to its confluence with Hubbard Creek, and cross directly over. From there, it's just a couple of hundred yards to the beginning of Quillen Canyon, and nearby Riddle Canyon. Both of those are exceptionally beautiful to see as well.

    We've had several hangouts in the Sipsey before...great area. It's quite rugged for getting a large group through at times, though.
    “I think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It dont move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt salt.” - Cormac McCarthy

  8. #8
    Senior Member sswens's Avatar
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    Very Nice Tr And pictures to boot, Thank you for sharing i enjoyed it.

  9. #9
    New Member cwfen's Avatar
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    Nice trip report! My brother in law lives up in Huntsville, so Sipsey could be a go! We (my 2 brothers in law and I) have been sectioning the AT in Georgia, and are about done... Maybe some Sipsey hikes can carry us over until North Carolina AT begins!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Eliteoomph's Avatar
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    sorry to just now respond I have been swamped with work.

    @raiffnuke ty!

    @billybob58 Definitely happy it rained it sure helped!

    @buffalo skipper You will not me let down... It is a beautiful area!

    @aboyd I am down as well with a trip!

    @angrysparrow & sswens It was my pleasure

    @cwfen I would love to do some of the AT... been wanting to for a while...
    I hear it is kinda crowded at times... is that true?

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