Eastern Tennessee just has to be one of the most beautiful places I’ve been in the last few years. Small towns, not a lot of cell signal on the back roads, but the people are friendly and the places are quiet and peaceful this time of year. Autumn is starting to show, temperatures dropping, leaves too. The colors haven’t shown up much yet, but I’m still hopeful they will.
Last Friday, I did my first ever hike along the Appalachian Trail. I should have grabbed my hiking poles. Lots of ups and downs and rocks, and the trail was pretty wet in places thanks to the soaking rains of the week. I scrambled a few times, but mostly managed to stay upright. From Carver’s Gap to Jane’s Bald to Grassy Ridge and back, it was about 3 hours and, if you believe FitBit, 152 floors 🙂
It was definitely worth it for the view, south to the Smokies.
Sunday, I headed just slightly north, back to one of my happy place campgrounds, Watauga Dam. Right on a lake between two dams, with high cliffs, blue herons, bald eagles, and light that changes every hour, a photographer’s dream.
Here’s the view one morning out my front door. Just look at that light.
And, yes, it’s also a happy place for kayaking. The wind is colder now than in August, but the views are still amazing and the sky is just blue as blue can be. Two blue herons, mating or fighting, I couldn’t tell, swooped down to the water not 10 feet from me.
I’m still fighting the tech wars, albeit less than before. My new phone didn’t have wifi calling (which is how I usually get calls and voicemail, ATT wifi calling onto my Verizon hotspot because Verizon beats ATT most of the places in the US), so I headed into town to get enough ATT reception to call support. Who promptly bricked my phone (turned it into something slightly less useful than a brick). And then I got to drive 10 miles to an ATT store where a nice woman fixed it by issuing me a new SIM card. Turns out every time you get a new phone, you should not swap the SIM card from your old phone. Who knew? Now I do, and you do too.