Daily Archives: January 8, 2019

Never a Dull Moment.

I’ve kinda gone full-on adventure mode. Following the defeat on the Falling Water trail, I needed a win, so I went out and scored several recently (plus, y’know, I don’t care to think about the holidays and stuff, hashtag-single-problems). Anyway, there were wins and adventures, and I didn’t kill myself, so here we are.

First up, the final trip the University of the South, to complete the last major trail on the Domain. This was the Ridge Trail and Caldwell Rim at Point Disappointment, which turned out to be aptly named, as this was the least interesting hike I’ve had there. It was somewhat challenging, with a descent into the gorge, but no caves, massive waterfalls, panoramas or any of the other grandeur I’ve come to expect from Sewanee (including topless coeds). On top of that, clouds, drizzle, sleet – so, Point Disappointment lives up to its name, but I’m still glad I did it so I can move on to the next area. There’s still stuff to do up there as the Mountain Goat Trail construction continues, but next time, it’ll probably be on the bicycle.

Hiking trails at the University of the South Sewanee

click for larger, or see the Master Adventure Map

Link:
Sewanee Point Disappointment Photo Album on Facebook

Then, Rock City’s Enchanted Garden of Lights. It’s been a long time since I visited Rock City, and even longer since I visited during the holiday festivities (humbug). Still, I’m glad I did. Weather was nice, salted caramel hot chocolate was decadent, and I was clever enough to head up the mountain in the daylight, before the massive traffic jam to get into the park after dark. A pleasant way to spend a December evening.

Rock City Enchanted Garden of Lights

click for larger

Link:
Rock City Enchanted Garden of Lights Photo Album on Facebook

Obviously, that wasn’t everything, though. There was a two-hike day, with one challenging, and one relaxing. The first one was at Sitton’s Gulch in Cloudland Canyon. Like Sewanee, this was the last significant hike to do there, and dramatically different from other ones I’ve done there. In this case, instead of starting at the top of the mountain, I started at the bottom, and a much-lesser used trailhead, and worked my way to the top. Only about 7.5 miles r/t, and close to 900 feet in elevation, but an awesome hike, and well worth the drive to get there. There are a few more lesser trails at Cloudland I’ll do at some point, but I’ve accomplished the majority of what I wanted to do there. Well, with the exception of a motorbike ride – that’ll come in the spring.

Hemlock Falls at Cloudland Canyon from the Sitton's Gulch Trail

Hemlock Falls – click for larger

After Sitton’s Gulch, a first-ever trip to Reflection Riding, mostly to scout the kayak launch. As Murphy would have it, because of the incessant recent moist weather, the kayak launch along with parts of the arboretum were under water. Still, it was a nice 3.5 mile hike to finish up the day, and it did give me an idea for the next hike, which will be very challenging. Just what I need.

Link:
Sitton’s Gulch and Reflection Riding Photo Album on Facebook

Signal Mountain Big Fork BMW G650GS Motorcycle Ride

Big Fork – click for larger

No span of adventure would be complete without some time on the (new) motorbike, and I did that, several times. Just the BMW – I haven’t been out on the Phantom in a bit (maybe next weekend, though). Mostly, I’m just getting acquainted with the BMW, but I have gone on a couple of 40-mile dual-sport rides, as well as some pure woodland adventures. Because off-road motorcycling is new to me, I’m kinda easing into it, figuring out what the machine’s limitations are (as well as my own). But so far, so good – haven’t crashed, gotten stuck, killed, or anything else bad. Knock on wood. And, holy cow, have I been throwing money at it. Engine guards, bigger footpegs (Why are the stock pegs so friggin’ tiny? My size 11.5s aren’t having that.), headlight guard, tail bag, rack for tail bag (incoming), GoPro mount, skid plate, Battery Tender™, jacket/pants/helmet, probably some other stuff I’m forgetting.


Link:
Big Fork Grand Prix Photo Album on Facebook

Speaking of GoPros and mounts, I just ordered the new Hero7 Black – the newest, top-of-the-line GoPro. I started with a 4 Silver, then got a 6 Black with the Karma drone, but allegedly, the difference between the 6 and the 7 is like the difference between the 4 and the 6. Plus, the 7 can use all the pieces and parts I have for the 6 (including the Karma); unlike the parts for the 4, which are incompatible with the 6 (and up). So, I’ll be able to run the 6 and the 7 at the same time, for some cool front/rear views, drone/bike views (if I can teach someone to fly the drone), or onboard/tripod views. I had been wanting to get another one for the Dragon last year – which I didn’t make it to – so now I’ve got that taken care of.

Hopefully, we’re on the downslide of winter, and warmer weather won’t be too far away (I’ve got my eye on you, you stupid giant rat; you better not see your shadow). I need some trails, I need the Dragon, I need a beach. I need a lot of things, and I’m not getting any younger.

…and with all the recent adventures, the Master Adventure Map has been significantly updated. Really, you should check it out if you’re looking for a trail to explore, a cool motorbike route, off-beaten-path kayak put-ins, or whatever. It’s pretty impressive. I’ve also updated the awesome Motorbike Page, what with the new bike and all – come take a spin down memory lane with me.

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