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.

click for larger

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