Monthly Archives: November 2018

“And that’s the wayyyyyy the news goes!”

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I guess there was a holiday or something, right? Dunno. They all look the same to me. However, holiday or not, the weather was nice enough to take the bike for a little spin.


Yeah, I kinda almost went boom there near the end of the video. It happens. I at least have some comfort in knowing that because I wear the Safety Gear™, if i do ever kiss the pavement, I’ll most likely just slide along. Until a truck runs over me, that is. There’s no amount of Kevlar jeans that will help with that. Hopefully, I’ll catch it on either my GoPro or my newfangled front/rear motorbike dashcam. I’m less afraid of dying than I am of dying and not getting it on film – that’s the world we live in.

And since we’re speaking of bikes, I’ve got a line on a bike I’m going to look at on Saturday. A BMW G650 GS. I’ve been wanting an “adventure bike” – that is, a bike that can be ridden legally on-road, but is designed to be ridden off-road. This one is only slightly smaller than my Phantom (650cc vs. 750cc), but smaller is good for bouncing around in the woods or whatever. BMW bikes are supposed to be about the best you can get for this kind of activity – I’ve watched enough motorcycling documentaries to know that there’s a reason people ride these bikes in particular on awesome cross-country adventures (if you have Prime, check out “The Ride: London to Beijing” – fantastic 6-part documentary). I’m not sure I’m actually going to get it, but I very well might, if I can make a decent deal (and, of course, if I like the looks of it). We’ll see.

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It does seem a little odd that a luxury car maker produces a capable off-road motorcycle, but hey, who am I to judge? Honda also makes lawn mowers, after all.

Big Soddy Creek Bridge - click for larger

Big Soddy Creek Bridge, June 2017 – click for larger

There was a little hiking, as well. I returned to the Possum Creek Gorge segment of the CT, and Imodium Falls. I’ve been to Imodium Falls before, on a 15-mile hike coming in from the south at the Heiss Mountain trailhead (where bears can be found). This time, it was 11.5 miles, coming in from the north at the Retro Hughes trailhead, which completed this segment. Next, on to the Rock Creek Gorge segment, but before that, I’ve discovered a newly-mapped trail that will lead to the Big Soddy Creek Bridge without the 10-mile hike from Heiss Mountain Road (and bears) to get there. This was the “locals only” trail that the kids I encountered had come in on; evidently, now it’s an official spur of the CT, and it basically goes from “town” right up the side of the mountain, so of course I’m going to do that. I’ve also read about some climbing walls in the area, so there’s that to check out, as well. Anyway, I’m gonna do that first, then Rock Creek, then maybe back to Sewanee to do Point Disappointment. Unless I buy a BMW motorbike this weekend – if that happens, all bets are off, but there will be some awesome new footage on my YouTube channel.

Sewanee, AKA The Domain.

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Over the past 6 weeks or so, I’ve been exploring the Domain of the University of the South, in Sewanee. I rode my mountain bike up here last year; just a short 18.5ish-mile ride on the Mountain Goat Trail and to a little coffee shop on the campus. For this year’s adventure(s), I started with a 125-mile motorbike ride (Movescount data), basically all over the mountain top and points beyond, including a return to the TGA; my first visit there since spring of 2017, which was in the boat. Just kinda wanted to get familiar with the area, for the adventures to come. It’s handy to know where hospitals and pie can be found, just in case. Since that ride, Mother Nature came on full force, and I haven’t been back on the bike. Maybe this week I can get out – it’ll be cold, but I’ve got the gear (including awesome new motorbike boots (of course)).


Then, hiking. About 75 miles worth, encompassing long trails, caves, waterfalls, topless coeds (noice), pie, injuries, and lots of adventure all over the 13000-acre Domain. More than I care to recap here – let’s just say that I learned a lot. I learned how to do some basic caving (and that my pack was woefully unprepared for such undertakings), I learned to never underestimate a trail, I learned that there’s potential danger around every bend – it goes on. But I’m still on two feet (mostly), and there’s still a little more to explore. You really think I can resist a cave called the “Horror Hole”? Yeah, not likely. There’s only one significant trail remaining that I want to explore, and it looks like it’ll be a tough one – I don’t think they’d call it “Point Disappointment” if it was going to be a walk in the park. We’ll see.

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There was also a significant adventure nearby, but away from the Domain, at Lost Cove Cave, AKA Buggytop Cave. A huge, spectacular, dangerous cave that was well worth the difficulty getting to it in the first place. After visiting it, I discovered you can actually travel through the cave and come out on top of the bluff that towers above; the cave is closed until May 1 (because bats), but as soon as it’s open, I’ll be back there connecting those dangerous dots. That gives me time to acquire some better gear – I discovered that the 2 flashlights I carry are nowhere near bright enough for a cave of this size.

just inside Buggytop Cave - click for larger

just inside Buggytop Cave – click for larger

Closer to home, there was Glen Falls, on the side of Lookout Mountain very near my old stomping grounds. Only I can turn an easy 1/2 mile trail into a 5-mile challenging hike up and down the side of a mountain.

I also discovered I’ve forgotten how to make my Suunto talk to my phone. Gotta figure it out before the next hike. The watch has all sorts of geotagging/photo stuff I’m not taking advantage of, so I really should re-learn all of that, considering how much I spent on the thing. And speaking of photos, there are lots, all linked below. Check ’em out. And if the Google brought you here and you have questions about the trails at Sewanee, just ask – I’ve compiled lots of maps and even more experience up there. Not sure what’ll be next, but I have a few things in mind.

Oh, crossed over 35000 miles on my Fitbit, the AppleWatch streak continues, blah, blah. Stuff you don’t care about. And, of course, the Master Activity Map has been dramatically updated to reflect the adventures.

Links:
Sewanee Perimeter Trail Photo Album on Facebook
Sewanee Solomon’s Temple, Natural Bridge & Buggytop Cave Photo Album on Facebook
Sewanee Beckwith’s Trail, Piney Point Photo Album on Facebook
Sewanee Bridal Veil Falls Photo Album on Facebook
Sewanee Armfield Bluff, Lake Dimmick Photo Album on Facebook
Sewanee Motorbike Ride Photo Album on Facebook