Tag: outdoors

  • Only Two Years?

    Only Two Years?

    COVID-19 was officially declared a pandemic two years ago today, give or take. Or so they say. It was a lifetime ago, from where I sit. So much has happened, I thought I’d catch you up. For me, the start of the pandemic will always be punctuated by my father’s death in February 2020. Just […]

  • Auld Lang Syne to the Good Times

    Auld Lang Syne to the Good Times

    In a few hours and with a flip of the calendar, it’ll be 2020. Just like that, we’re already closing the door on the first 20 years of the 21st century. And don’t look now, but here comes a leap year, an Olympics year and another election year. I won’t necessarily leap; I definitely won’t […]

  • Hiker College

    Hiker College

    Lookout Mountain. Signal Mountain. Raccoon Mountain. Chattanooga rests in the laps of multiple mountains, so why would hikers in Chattanooga go out of state looking for a mountain to climb? In the case of a hike Bill and I recently took with the Chattanooga Hiking Club, which has members living as far as 50 to […]

  • The Party With Purpose

    The Party With Purpose

    Over the 15 months since we moved to Chattanooga, Bill and I have steadily discovered more and more of what makes this area so highly acclaimed for its outdoor offerings. Mountains, valleys, lakes, rivers—calm and wild, it’s all here if you want to do it. And there are a whole lot of do-ers, like us. […]

  • Call It Work

    Call It Work

    “That’s why they call it work.” You’ve probably heard that expression, often used as a verbal shrug after summarizing something done not by choice but by job requirement. I have to plenty to do by job that’s not by choice, but every once in a while, my job offers a really choice assignment. A recent […]

  • Stump Jumpin’: A Lesson in Limits

    Stump Jumpin’: A Lesson in Limits

    Some hikers have no trouble deciding, from the trail, that it’s not the day or the time or the right conditions to finish. I’m not one of those hikers. I tend to press ahead under almost any circumstances. I’m there, I can do it. I’ll push myself, if that’s what it takes. Last Saturday, I […]

  • The Cable Trail: A Humbling Tale

    The Cable Trail: A Humbling Tale

    I grew up about 45 minutes away from the most-visited of Tennessee’s 56 state parks, but I never got to experience it until a couple of days ago. We didn’t go to state parks except for the occasional family reunion when I was growing up. On Saturday, I went to Fall Creek Falls State Park–only […]

  • Face to Face with the Fiery Gizzard

    Face to Face with the Fiery Gizzard

    The name is colorful, the reputation is intimidating, and the location is way off the beaten path. And, as of Saturday, I can say I hiked the Fiery Gizzard Trail–and lived to tell the tale. The Fiery Gizzard is a 12.6-mile gash down the middle of the South Cumberland State Park. The park is made […]

  • Cold Mountain

    Cold Mountain

    “Cold Mountain is an extraordinary novel about a soldier’s perilous journey back to his beloved at the end of the Civil War. At once a magnificent love story and a harrowing account of one man’s long walk home…” That’s from a review of the 1997 book that was made into a popular movie with Nicole Kidman […]

  • Kicked by the North Chick

    Kicked by the North Chick

    North Chickamauga Creek State Natural Area is a wild patch of public land surrounding a deep gorge that dives down and across the boundary between Sequatchie and Hamilton counties. It features a rugged hike over about a 10-mile section of the Cumberland Trail, so named becuse it runs along the eastern escarpment of the Cumberland Plateau. The trail–a […]

  • Fire(works) on the Water

    Fire(works) on the Water

    Last week, we put our hiking boots aside and climbed into kayaks. Since I recently began offering short, 10-minute or so pieces on getting outside in Chattanooga via the local NPR station, WUTC-FM, I’ve had reason to look even more than I naturally would for fun, accessible outdoor activities here. In Chattanooga, there are almost […]

  • Silver Celebration

    Silver Celebration

    Twenty-five years of marriage isn’t just a milestone, it’s a cause for celebration. And on our 25th anniversary last month, we celebrated in the most perfect way possible–for us. Not a party. Not a cruise. Not expensive gifts or travel to an exotic location. You might say we went “ranching.” Over the last four or […]