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719 Fall 2012 2012-10-22

Fall foliage

Over the weekend I visited the Cumberland Plateau. The trip was a friend filled excursion.

Two of my friends accompanied me as we traveled to Fall Creek Falls. We visited our friend, Ray at the Park. It was the Climbing Workshop's traditional Saturday evening cookout. We did not help with the workshop, we just helped with the fun.

When we arrived Ed, Nick, and Caley (sp???) were already playing and singing as we gorged ourselves to a table of food. Paula had made her special vegetarian chili, and it was good enough that I had three bowls full and I was not even hungry! If I could just get that recipe!!!

Sitting around a fire with friends on a cool fall night, listening to music and eating chili, it just doesn't get much better than that - well except that my wife was not able to come. She had other commitments. Jake, the dog, also stayed home. So when we finally pulled the plug on the evening, it was after 12. Amy and Jake were at home in a nice warm bed while I was trying to get comfortable in the cool fall air.

Earlier that day, as I packed for the trip, I tried to decide how cold it would be on the Plateau for the night. In Nashville we had had a mild fall thus far, but it was supposed to be cooler over the weekend. Trying to pack as little as possible, in order to save space and weight, I chose the lightest tent, sleeping bag, and pad as possible.

As I crawled into my small tent, I began to think I should have carried a bigger bag! Aw, it was only one night, how bad could it be? Through the night I had to constantly adjust my bag and clothing. It seemed that I was always either cold or hot and never in between. Of course those just right moments had gone unnoticed because I was probably sleeping comfortably and most assuredly snoring away! Overall, I had a great evening, a warmer bag would have allowed me to sleep a little more sound, but I really don't mind making the temperature adjustments. The only things I really missed was my wife and dog.

The next morning we said our good-byes and left Fall Creek Falls to find our friends Dave, Jenny, Ben, and Sam at their nearby yurt. Of course it was only nearby if you could fly like a crow. We were stuck to following roads. Jenny had left great, detailed instructions to the yurt - as we measured distances and turned from nameless gravel roads on to other nameless gravel roads - we followed the directions to the tee. Without Jenny's directions we would have wandered on the gravel roads until we finally ran out of gas. This was one of those special locations in America that has no address. When we finally stopped we were a short distance away from their yurt hideaway. A small path led through the forest to a small, idyllic, piece of land located at the confluence of two creeks. After touring the yurt and surrounding area, we sat on the deck and passed the morning - visiting with our friends - listening to the children, the leaves falling, and the creeks' waters passing by.

What a great Fall weekend. Thanks to all!

Happy Fall trails


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