Hiking Pow Wows and What I’ve been Up too


Sorry for the long delay between posts. I am finishing up my schooling in Forest/Rangeland Wildlife Management, Preparing for an Appalachian Trail Thru Hike in April of 2017 and working full time. My days are work, hike, schoolwork, sleep, and repeat lol. I have found some time for seeing Native American Dancers and Exploring beautiful hiking spots here in Tennessee here are some photographs from the last few months:

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Waterfall & Walking Trails


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Above is the Watauga River behind Wilson Dam. It was a perfect spot and scene that just says peaceful. It was taken in May near Elizabethton TN in the Wilson and Watauga Dam Recreation Areas. Nice picnic and fishing areas where the Appalachian Trail crosses Wilbur Dam Road. There is a unique little waterfall as Little Laurel Creek (not to be confused with Laurel Run Falls that I wrote about last week) pours into the lake.

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The scenery is beautiful and makes for a great day to take a short drive through the area on a pretty road that follows the river

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If your in the mood for a longer hike you can hop on the AT and walk as long as you want just keep an eye out for bears in the area (the sign was put up after a bear went into a occupied tent the occupant was fine the bear was removed it had some sort of illness injury)

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Laurel Run Falls Hike


This is a fun trail and a good training one you can connect into the Bays Mt trail and hike 15 miles on it but I didn’t do that today. I am proud because it is steep 1200′ elev gain in 1 mile, rocky, roots, and stream crossings so its good for people who want to gain more experience hiking and you get to see a couple of little waterfalls along the way. Laurel Run Park is very nice the staff are friendly and put a huge amount of effort into trail maintenance the past year and drainage, trail width and surface, and blaze and trail signage are awesome. It is like hiking a trail now in previous years it was wet enough to be like hiking up a creek lol.

Here is the little falls water levels were very low.

And my meditation spot at the end and the Holston R. where Lauren Run flows into. The park has picnic areas ballfields disc golf and fishing along the Holston.

 

Training for Appalachian Trail Hike


 

Here are a few photos from one my training hikes. Sorry I haven’t posted as much lately both because of the family needs I posted about earlier. Thanks to everyone for their prayers for my brother he is healing ahead of schedule and should be able to walk again in a couple of months and because drum roll I have begun training hikes to get in shape to do a thru hike of the Appalachian Trail. If you are not familiar with the trail it runs from Georgia to Maine 2180 miles. It takes most people 4-5 months to do. So hang with the blog and look for some great posts thru out this year and especially next year with posts from the trail. If any of you have hiked the trail or have experience with long distance back packing I would love to hear from you.

Cavalry Soldiers, Mermaids, Possums and Crafts


Today was an interesting day full of random and unexpected sights. I went outside on the porch to have a smoke and greet the sunrise and saw there was a dead possum on the lawn unexpected and not cool, then was buzzed by a drone someone was flying, unexpected but kind of cool. Came back in to check facebook and saw The Exchange Place in Kingsport TN which is a kind of living history pioneer village was having a spring fair so I decided to see that. It was an unexpected and pretty awesome pleasure. They had the following things and more:

Cavalry Soldiers:

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There were some really talented crafters and artists there. I loved the metal lawn decorations made from repurposed metal.

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I especially liked the detail on the metal rose blooms. I also liked the man who made chairs, tables, and hanging baskets from old wooden pallets, reduce reuse right.

Here is a pic of one of the many pioneer cabins on the property, a donkey who was not impressed by the goings on, an old outdoor brick oven, a mermaid in a chair and a cool piece of pottery from the pottery making lady.

The coolest name for an artist goes to the lady who made wind chimes her business was called harmonic journeys cool name.

So for a day with no plans I saw a possum (dead) a donkey (alive but uninspired) a drone flying, a mermaid, cavalry soldiers riding, pioneer buildings, a giant metal chicken, met some cool people and all that before 5pm. Well that was Saturday -Sunday has some big shoes to fill to top that.

Bay’s Mountain TN Fire Tower Trail


First of all let me apologize for the long delay in posting to my blog. My brother was injured severely with crush injuries to his lower legs and will be wheelchair bound for several more months so as primary care giver I haven’t been able to get ¬†out as much.

This was an amazing hike and it started with one of the most awesome things I have ever experienced. The park has a resident wolf pack which has the run of a section of the park. I always stop by and see them before hitting the trails. This morning the whole pack set up to howl as I was stopping by. If you have never been within 20 feet of an entire pack when they howl movies and nature shows do not come close it is so deep and loud the sound vibrates through your whole body you can feel it in your bones. It echoed all the way up the mountain as I was hiking and I could still here it when I reached the top 2.6 miles away no better music to hike too.

Here are some pics from the start of the trail:

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The little stream I followed and 2 of the 6 wild turkeys I saw. Below are some of the 5 deer I saw along the trail.

At the top is a fire tower which is 60 feet high at an elevation of 2300 feet and built in 1937 by the CCC. I had a picnic lunch at the top of the trail and was joined by this deer and her friend.

Here is the fire tower and some views from it of Kingsport TN and the Holston Army Ammunition Arsenal which owns the back half of the mountain and has tunnels running deep into it.

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And last one of my favorite spots it is near the end of the trail and is the perfect spot for rest after a hike or just some quiet meditation. One of things I enjoy about trail hiking is how polite people are with trail etiquette and how different is from passing someone on the sidewalk in a city where we tend to ignore strangers and stay in our little bubbles. Its natural to talk about the trail the weather or what wildlife you have seen and engage people in real conversation. When the vaneer of civilization is left behind the reality is pretty nice I think what scares people about being out in nature away from civilization is that somewhere deep inside the realize that is where they belong and this false society of cities we have built is fake.

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