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Thread: TR 6/17/2015 - Men on a Mission

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Kingston, TN
    Posts
    288

    Default TR 6/17/2015 - Men on a Mission

    Some of you may know that my last name is Starkey, and I have a 19 year-old son named Sam. Ever since I learned that Sam's Creek has a tributary named Starkey Creek I have wanted to get a picture of Sam Starkey at the confluence of Sam's Creek and Starkey Creek. This week our schedules finally aligned so I took a day off from work and we set out on our mission.

    We got to the trailhead fairly early and, based on the spiderwebs we kept walking through, were the 1st ones on the trail that morning. While it was supposed to get blazingly hot later in the day, the hike in started off rather pleasantly.

    Obligatory pic of the creek on the trip in:


    Since we had all day to accomplish our goal we would hike a little then take a short fishing break every so often when we saw a particularly enticing hole.

    Obligatory pic of my 1st fish:


    Sam working a pool:


    Sam with fish:




    Things were progressing nicely, we were both catching fish, enjoying the day, and steadily progressing toward our goal. Then, a good ways above the 3rd Sam's crossing but still a quarter-mile or so below Starkey, we ran into a problem. We had hacked our way through a brier patch and into the open space beyond it when the trail just disappeared. After hunting around for a while and not finding the trail again, we headed to the creek to use it as our path.

    Then it happened. As I was climbing down the bank on a large sloping boulder, the moss covering the rock let go and I went down - hard. As I fell backwards, my wading staff/hiking stick folded over and snapped and my right leg got bent back underneath me. Fortunately, I didn't blow out my (previously surgically repaired) knee this time, but I did put a severe strain on my quadriceps muscle. Strained to the point that the hike back out was going to be interesting.

    Needless to say, we abandoned our quest for the coveted photo and started the journey back to the truck. It took a while, but we eventually made it out under our own power. I was certainly glad I had someone with me this time, if only for the moral support and the potential to send someone for help if I had to.

    On the plus side, we did catch fish in pretty much every place we fished, the brookies were mostly small but very aggressive, I got to spend a day in the park with my son, and I should be sufficiently recovered for our trip out west coming up in July.

    I do have one question, though, for those of you who have ventured up that high. Does the trail really just disappear like that, or does it pick back up again somewhere that we couldn't find?
    Fly fishing - it's cheaper than a bass boat!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee
    Posts
    1,570

    Talking

    Can't believe I missed this

    Nice to see you last night and I believe I already answered your question.

    With a boy of my own named Sam maybe I should take him up there catch a Brookie, cut a sliver of meat and serve it to him on a bagel. I'd call it Sam Locke eating Sam's loch's
    Call me if you want to go fishing, boating, hiking, or if you want to buy a foamie
    www.foamiefriends.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Maryville
    Posts
    1,140

    Default

    I somehow missed this also. I hope you're healing up good. That'll be cool to get a picture of you boy at the junction of the two streams. I hope you can get it done on the next trip.
    My posts are worthless without pictures

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Kingston, TN
    Posts
    288

    Default

    Thanks guys. Yeah, it was disappointing to be that close and not get what we came for, but that's how things go sometimes. Thankfully the leg is much better this week. I still feel a little twinge going up or down stairs from time to time, but not too bad. Should be fine by the time we head out west on the 10th.

    And James, I'll probably give you a shout before we try again. Maybe you can go with us to make sure we stay on the (not so) straight and (very) narrow. It may be later in the fall or next spring, though. Shortly after we get back from our Grand Rockies Adventureô Sam will be heading back to Tech to start his RA training for the coming semester.
    Fly fishing - it's cheaper than a bass boat!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Kingston, TN
    Posts
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    Well, it's been a few years, but we finally accomplished the mission! I now have photos of Sam Starkey standing in the confluence of Sam's Creek and Starkey Creek! We only lost the trail (temporarily) a couple of times this trip, but were successful in reconnecting with it fairly quickly this time. It's pretty well traveled up to the 3rd crossing, but the rhododendron and dog hobble gets pretty thick in places above that! Anyway, this trip went pretty much like the 1st one except for the part of sustaining significant injury. We found the confluence, took our pictures, caught some beautiful brookies, and even had a brief encounter with a rather surprised bear on the hike out. All in all it was a wonderful day spent with my son before he heads off to start a new chapter in his life.

    Pics

    Sam Starkey @ the confluence of Sam's Creek & Starkey Creek


    Fishing a pool on Starkey Creek


    Time for lunch!


    One last pool on the hike out
    Fly fishing - it's cheaper than a bass boat!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    97

    Default

    Good for you. Looks like a great day. Congratulations

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Crossville, TN
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    2,439

    Default

    Wow! I'm impressed your son is doing all that in Chacos! I've waded Smokies streams in sandals 2-3 times and every time I swear I'll never do it again. Looks like a great time!
    "Then He said to them, 'Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.'" Matthew 4:19

    Guided Fly Fishing with David Knapp
    The Trout Zone Blog
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    contact: TroutZoneAnglers at gmail dot com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Kingston, TN
    Posts
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    Yeah, I tried to convince him Chacos would be a bad idea, but he wouldn't listen. I think he learned that from his mother! But contrary to all expectations he actually managed pretty well. He never went down and I only saw him visibly slip a couple of times. But I'm sure it was only through extraordinary effort on his part. I won't personally forego felt soles in the park until they are forcibly removed from my cold dead feet (or a federally mandated ban is put in place). Let's just hope it doesn't come to that any time soon!
    Fly fishing - it's cheaper than a bass boat!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Kodak, TN
    Posts
    207

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    Back around 2001, I used to lead a group up Samís and Starkey Creeks to collect water samples and measure stream flows as part of the GSMNP Acid Deposition Project. The first trip, we did without anyone having been there before, and as you said there was NO path! Bob Hodge even joined us once to do a story for the Knoxville News-Sentinel. Bobís son was with him and it was springtime and the water was ROLLING, so they turned back.

    Glad you met your goal.

    Jim Parks

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    NC side of the Smokies
    Posts
    74

    Default

    That is cool.
    Specks: the other pink meat.

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