The outside temperature had just reached 36°F when we climbed out of our cozy, warm car and began hiking. Brrrrrr! We were in Norris Dam State Park to take Katie on a hike, on the TVA River Bluff Trail. The hike, a loop, is not long, about 3.2-miles but long enough to give Katie some freedom to run and us some uphill climbing.
At start time, 9:30 am, an autumnal sun sat low on the horizon. We did not feel much warmth radiating from the sun’s rays. Long, dramatic shadows stretched across the trail and except for our shuffling feet amongst the leaves, the air was silent.
Fronds of woodland ferns poked through a dense covering of leaves along sections of trail. The bright green, leafy blades stood out against a vast brownness and seemed to reflect the sunlight. I have always been fascinated by the hardiness of the woodland fern, so unperturbed by the cold.
Just at the top of the ridge, where Norris Dam is visible, we cut right and walked through the brush. We have found an old road that parallels then twists away from the trail. The road is a good choice for us because it keeps our water loving Katie away from lake access on the lower section of trail and provides a good up and down hike to remind us that we are out of shape.
This was an out and back hike for us. We turned around near the bottom of the road, where a green flood plain is visible and before we reached what we believe is a plant nursery. Sometimes we hike longer but most times we are ready to start the steep climb uphill.
After the hike, it was time to winterize the van. A few nights of below freezing temperatures are predicted and we didn’t want to risk damage to the tanks and hoses. This was our first time through the process and John must have watched a winterizing video 10 or so times. The process was not too difficult and only a few “words” were spoken. These clandestine photos below show a bit if the process.