Disc Golf, Training Trail Chosen, and Being Published

Well, the weekend is over and regardless of the on and off weather and the cooler temps here, we had a good one. Very productive and yet we still found time to have a bit of fun.

My husband worked on his honey do list and accomplished a lot. Me….not so much. Just the usual like meal prep for the week, laundry, and errands.

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I did however visit the gym and had a great Saturday morning workout. And then came home and waited patiently for him to finish all his projects so we could take a trail hike at a nearby campus. I have not been able to make it to this trail since last fall so it felt great to be surrounded by trees again when we finally got here late in the day Saturday.

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Sunday we decided to try and beat the rain and get in a game of disc golf. This was not a great plan since it began to rain on us by hole 11. Thankfully, we had enough tree coverage on this course to keep us almost completely dry and we just waited it out.

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Clearly, the course had seen some big storms just as we all did since there were obvious signs of storm damage.

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We had a great game, with a quick shower right in the middle and were able to continue on until…..the last hole where my husband threw his disc and it never returned to the ground. AGGGG….his favorite disc was stuck in the tree!!!!

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This was not good and I knew he would not leave it here and just go buy another…so after many, many broken branches were collected from the surrounding trees, they were tossed up to his disc and it finally fell to the ground and we headed home.

We ate a fast lunch and then headed out for another hike to the same trail as Saturday since it was so beautiful. There really is nothing better then trees, dirt trail, and good company…..right?

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While walking this trail we finally remembered to grab the GPS and track the mileage since we have been discussing starting to train for our upcoming hiking vacation. This time we need more mileage training than elevation training so we thought this would be perfect. After tracking the mileage we found that its just a bit over 3.5 miles. Which would mean we would need to do this three complete times to match the mileage of our longest trail we plan to hike while in Virginia. Uggg, that sounds like a lot right now but as usual, training is work but it is so rewarding when we reach our destination with energy to spare. So in  about a month we will begin training and hopefully four weeks after that we can reach a total mileage of 10 miles.

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And lastly, we had some big news this weekend from our son. He has had his first photographs published in a local magazine on WI state parks. This is exciting since he is working on becoming a professional photographer. We picked up four of the magazines since parents can never be too proud of their own children.

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Fall Creek Falls State Park, Tennessee

This was the only state park we visited while in the state of Tennessee. Located in Bledsoe and Van Buren counties and it surrounds the eastern top of the rugged Cumberland Plateau. We explored two waterfalls while here, Fall Creek Falls and Cane creek Falls.

Even when you take into consideration that we visited here without a plan, in mid January, and really only came to hike a quick hike to the Fall Creek Falls itself…..our visit here ended up being quite amazing. Now, apparently, there is an inn, campsites, cabins and meeting rooms for, I would assume, weddings and such…..we saw non of this. Like I said, it was quickly planned and we went directly to the trailhead we were seeking without any extra exploration.

Upon arrival to the trailhead we found ample parking, great signage, and an overlook for anyone not hoping to hike down to the falls itself.

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All very gorgeous and easily accessible……but we were looking to hike. So down into the gorge we headed.

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It was amazing. The terrain was mostly rock with some dirt trail here and there. We knew to be careful not to turn an ankle since the park ranger we spoke to upon arriving told us many individuals do injure themselves on this trail.

Beside the falls itself, our favorite spot we found to explore was a crevice in the rock that we all crawled into. If you recall in Sedona, the new family rule is I only hike on trails that are as wide as my hips and thankfully my hips fit through this crevice which meant I could also explore with my boys.

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Eventually you arrive at the end of the trail and two waterfalls roaring over the edge into the gorge.

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After we all did some exploring in this area it was time to head back out of the gorge and see if we could find our way to Cane Creek Falls.

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Although, by the time we reached the top again, we were hot…. in January…..again just amazing, so it was time do some adjusting to our zip off hiking pants.

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To reach Cane Creek Falls you followed a fairly smooth trail through some dense wooded areas with lookouts along the way.

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For us the lookouts were quite a disappointment since you could see very little if anything around the over grown tree line. So we headed a bit further down the trail to what we had read was a swinging bridge. How fun does that sound right? Well, it was fun, shaky and a bit unnerving to see cables with only, what I refer to as, chicken wire for edges. However, you only live once, so we all crossed it once and then twice to return to our vehicle from there.

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Our entire hike took us 5.3 miles through this state park.

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The park service rated this hike as strenuous and going into the gorge down to the falls I would agree simply because of the terrain. With that being said, I think anyone not disabled could do this at a comfortable pace per individual.

The trail to Cane Creek Falls I would rate as easy….since there is very little rock to be scrambling over to reach the overlooks.

 

Weekend Shenanigans and Our First Snowy Hike

Hello, hello, did you all have a good weekend? We sure did here.

Our weekend started with a bunch of crazy errand running like always. We are officially DONE Christmas shopping…..ahhhhh, what a great feeling this is let me tell you. We made a quick stop at the library to restock on books for my husband to listen to on his way to and from work. They had to cutest little Christmas ornaments decorating the library that the children had made.

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And we also needed to pick up a few odd and ends including new windshield wiper blades for my SUV. Snow, rain, and darkness do not making driving easy for me, but you add in crappy windshield wiper blades and it could mean disaster. So we took care of this issue first thing in the parking lot of the store.

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The rest of Saturday we went our separate ways. My husband headed to the woods for some hunting and I headed to the gym for a workout.

Then Sunday rolled around and we had made plans earlier in the week to redo our original plan for Thanksgiving which was to hike a waterfowl preserve near us that was closed down for the gun deer hunt season. Even though it is still bow hunting and muzzle loading season, the trails were once again reopened for hikers with the caution to wear blaze orange….which we did.

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Upon arriving it was starting to snow. We had woke up to a winter weather advisory but this little bit of snow don’t really stop us here in WI.

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And as much as I hate to admit it….the snow did add to the serenity and ambiance of the hike.

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We hiked the Meadow Ridge trail and it took us just over an hour to complete.

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It ended up being an wonderful, snow covered 3.4 miles that ended with hot chocolate.

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What a great way to end a weekend….even with snow falling from the sky.

Chimney Rock Loop Trail-Sedona, Arizona

Chimney Rock Loop was our last and final trail we hiked while in Sedona for the first time. It was also an unplanned add on because…..well….we just weren’t ready to return home. All three of us fell for desert hiking much more than we thought we would…..especially my husband.

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This hike was a 2 mile loop that involved some elevation but nothing drastic by any means. From the parking lot located on Thunder Mountain Road in Sedona, it loops around very close to residents back yards in the first mile or so. (***NOTE the gate to this parking lot apparently does not open until 8:00a.m. so plan accordingly.) This I did not care for, as it felt a bit intruding but then again, I am guessing the trail was probably there before the homes were constructed, so it all works out I suppose. Anyhow, I sort of felt like I was still in the city so to speak. However, all of a sudden you head inward and round the mountain and climb a bit upwards and you are on the lookout and away from the homes.

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You then continue around the mountain base while headed back down. This side is much more secluded and peaceful.

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All our resources stated this hike was rated moderate….I would agree to some extent but most of it was fairly easy.

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In my opinion, this is a hike if you have a short amount of time and need to stay close to the city itself. All that being said, we saw many area residents using it for trail running which I bet is ideal for a quick run before or after work.

*** To see more hikes we did in the Sedona area, click here and scroll down to the Arizona section and take your pick of which adventure you wish to read.

Just Struggling….

Reviews, reviews, reviews…..I have literally read hundreds in the past two weeks. The hardest part is that it is someone’s opinion. Not a fact, not a lie, just an opinion. HELP!!!

Let me explain a bit. I have been struggling to plan a winter vacation for my husband and I. We are going somewhere sunny and warm in the middle of winter. I could not be happier….but we plan to hike while on vacation and that is where the issue is. I have read what many, many others have said about the area we plan to hike. Some say don’t try it without a guide. Some say it’s easy and a great place to hike. There is no middle of the line. Some say the hike has literally exhausted them for the rest of the day and some say it was an easy hike and very enjoyable. Again, no middle of the line.

Which leaves me with the big question. Hire a guide or don’t hire a guide? I did talk with a few guides and they all asked very specific questions like, where do we usually hike, do we have any elevation, how far are our typical hikes, and so on.  When I answered them and also added that we hiked Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park  one year ago, which was our biggest elevation ever, they all said the same exact thing. “OH, that is extreme, you will have no problem then.” Which I kind of knew but the reviews all say that the trails we have in mind can be very hard to follow and are not well marked. (Let me remind you, we were guided in Zion National Park) I am not concerned about mileage or elevation. I am concerned about getting lost in the desert!!!

So I sit waiting for another guide to email or call me back and hopefully get more in depth information on whether they think we can handle this one on our own or not….more to come when I finally figure this out.

What would you do?