Waterfalls Old Homesteads and Fun Stuff

Here are a variety of pics from some exploring the few days enjoy!


Urban Hiking can produce some cool shots–under the Nrtherland Inn rd bridge Kingsport TN


The way the rocks are naturally stacked and the water falling made a perfect zen moment


Me at one of the settler buildings brought to the park–Laurel Run Park Church Hill TN


Cooling off and enjoying the waterfall


Mountain Laurel after which the park and stream are named–can you spot the butterfly?


Close up of the Laurel Run Falls


This tree was so huge and cool you can also see an old homestead behind it.



this would have been nice in its day a porch and 2 fireplaces


trail friend



Quarter Way Inn and Northward

So I started and ended my next two days of hiking at the Quarter Way Inn in Virginia. This place is amazing. Tina (thru hiker class 2009) is the a super host and staying in a house built in 1910 was so cool. They also have the most amazing breakfast you will ever eat and for some reason I forgot to take a picture of it but here are some pictures of the hostel and grounds.


the house was built in 1910 the land grant goes back to 1799


This planter cracked me up it looks like how hiker feet feel.


The cemetary across the road has graves dating back to 1802


crepe myrtle in purple beneath the shadow of a huge sycamore hard to see in the pic but it is huge



view from the back deck is amazing in the back ground the blue ridge is chestnut knob where the trail runs


The hike out was one of the prettiest on the trail with views of farmland and rolling waves of mountains and a river crossing by an old mill.


start of the trail up and over the fence style and up the hill


trail across the meadow


pretty and open views



trail marks across open ground 



old mill north fork of the holston river in virginia



knot maul shelter

100+ miles of the Appalachian and Virginia Creeper Trails

So I started my Hiking season this year with plan to do a section of the Appalachian Trail and nearby connecting trails starting in Tennessee and heading up thru Virginia. Its been a wonderful experience so far I have enjoyed the beauty of the trail, hearing coyotes and screech owls, and seeing deer, and the wild ponies in Grayson Highlands State Park. I have enjoyed overcoming the physical and mental challenges of the trail and finding that I could accomplish and push myself far more than I ever thought. I have really been thrilled by how close knit the hiking community is and how we all look after and encourage each other and meeting people from all over the USA as well as Germany, France, England, Scotland, and Canada. Below are some photos from the first hundred miles. First is overlooking Watagua lake from the AT one of the prettiest views I had on the trail was sunrise from high above the lake. Fog completely covered the lake below but along the shore you could see the lights from the marinas along the shore it was a magical moment.


Watagua lake seen from the AT

Next is Damascus Virginia and shots from along the Virginia Creeper Rails to Trails Hiking Path (the virginia creeper is a flowering vine but the trail takes its name from the railroad because it took so long for the train to creep over the mountains from North Carolina it was named the virginia creeper) The trail runs 34 miles from Abingdon to Mt Rogers Station in Virginia. I hiked mostly between Damascus and Mt Rogers Station. The trail is amazingly beautiful running alongside Laurel Creek and crossing it numerous times on the old railroad trestles. It is wooded at first then gives way to more open farmland and has some historic stations one is converted to a great cafe and the other at Green Cove Station is a museum.



The next few scenes are from the hike up and over White Top Mountain which I did on a windy cold and foggy day it was surreal and an amazing experience camping at the top at over 5000 feet and waking to a clear sunrise after hearing the coyotes howling in the night:



Greeting the sun outside my wenzel tent

The next section covers from Grayson Highlands State Park to Atkins Virginia


started out cold at Grayson Highlands State Park



view makes you feel as if you are hiking on the roof of the world or at least virginia


thank you fellow hiker “sunrise” for taking this photo



wild ponies in the park



highest mt in the background is whitetop where i camped days before



comers creek falls virginia

had to get off trail for a few days to nurse an injured ankle following are pics from Laurel Run Park in Churchhill tennessee where i did a test hike to make sure am ready to get back on trail beautiful park with views waterfalls




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.

Phipps Bend Wildlife Area–by never completed TVA nuclear plant.

Located along the Holston River near Rogersville TN Phipps bend is a small refuge with a gravel  hiking trail with interesting wildlife, scenery, and eerie ruins of an abandoned nuclear plant. Here is the start of the trail.

DSCN0499 DSCN0500 DSCN0502 Next is a pond whether it is entirely natural or was dug or enhanced to be part of a cooling pond for the nuclear plant is unclear.

DSCN0503 either way it is a pretty spot.

Here rising like some modern age Stonehenge is the ruins of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) nuclear plant construction was halted in 1984.

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The deer don’t seem to care though I saw 8 white tail on a 4 mile hike so 2 deer a mile isn’t bad.

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and it provided for some interesting shots along the way.

DSCN0508 DSCN0514 looking up at the high tension lines the framework of the towers looks like a star shape.


Walking With Wolves and Other Wild Things

A walk along a trail in the early morning  woods on a fine fall like day deep in the Tennessee Mountains. With some amazing companions.

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Snoozing in the sunshine seemed to be the rule of the day. For both the wolves and the bobcat by an old fence line.

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Scenes from along the trail.

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