Sunday, December 20, 2009


I'm not feeling much like a cyclist these days and after all the rain yesterday I wasn't feeling motivated to change that this morning. Well, I say that. This morning me and the kids did ride bikes in the bank parking lot by my house. Sophie's finally learning what it means to really try hard; to try until she actually fails rather than just trying until things aren't going perfectly and giving up. Hopefully that will translate to other parts of her life. She's also learned to look where she wants to go rather than directly at the ground in front of her. That helps.

But back to that NOT cycling I was talking about...

I spent all day yesterday with my family, but lately I've really been wanting to spend more time with the girls. To that end, we went running around Unicoi today.

We started out on the Unicoi Lake Trail. Nothing special, but it did provide some nice views of the lake.

 Unicoi Lake

There was also a beach. It always feels strange to be standing on a beach in subfreezing temps.

 The Gerch on the Beach

Our lap around the lake was laaazy. We stopped a couple of times to take in the sights. No rush.

 The Girls Looking at the Lake

We even stopped to check out the dam. I took a few pics of it before the 6 hour a few months back.

Our original plan was to take the Helen Trail into the park from Helen, hike around the lake and take the same trail back. I figured, with the map, I'd just be able to drive around Helen and find the trail, but it wasn't that simple. Plan B was to hike the Lake Trail, then take the Helen trail out and back, but we walked right past the intersection with the Helen Trail and didn't feel like walking back across the bridge. I know. Sounds like a lame reason, but at the time, it just really didn't seem worth it.

Plan C was to drive up and check out Anna Ruby Falls. We've been up there twice before, but I've never GPS'ed it or taken any pix. And with all the rain we've had, the falls should be raging. Seemed like a much better plan.

The falls trail is paved.

 Anna Ruby Falls Trail

I'd swear it wasn't paved when I very first went there like 4 years ago, but I can't find anyone that can confirm that. Maybe it was paved then too. They've definitely done other work since then though. Two overlook platforms were built, or at least rebuilt this year. There are some new fences up to keep folks on the trail.

Smith creek was raging. It was looking good for the falls.

 Smith Creek

We were not disappointed.

 The Girls Approaching Anna Ruby Falls

 Anna Ruby Falls

It was cold next to the creek and even colder at the falls, but when I was ready to go, Iz argued "Dude, come on, it's not worth it yet!"

 The Girls At Anna Ruby Falls

Cold or not, she wanted to stay until she'd seen it long enough to make up for the climb. It was colder and wetter than last weekend at Harbins. I guess her clothing was working. Actually, neither of them complained about cold toes or fingers all day.

We checked out the Lion's Eye nature trail too, which is also paved, and maybe 200 yards long total. Not a very strenuous day, but a lot of fun. Exactly what I was looking for today. Now if I can just get back on my bike...

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