In addition to sitting on the side of the road catching all you cool cats and kittens cruising by, I spend a decent amount of time going on adventures, including hiking, kayaking, camping, mountain and road biking, even unicycling and few other assorted activities like drone flying, crawling into holes in the ground and various sportball games. If you haven’t found it already, the Maps Page includes my Master Adventure Map, which documents thousands and thousands of miles I’ve done in the (mostly) local area. Check it out, and of course, if you have questions about specific routes, just ask!
I’ve done a lot of hiking. Hundreds, probably thousands of miles. All the major sections of the Cumberland Trail, plus everything at Prentice Cooper, and everything on Lookout Mountain, Big Frog, and too many others to list. Personal best was 26 miles at Big Soddy Gulf, in the Immodium Falls area (where I had my first bear encounter). I’ve done all of Savage Gulf, all of Cloudland Canyon, I’ve through-hiked Fiery Gizzard, and covered every trail at Sewanee. I’ve worn out many pairs of boots, and put a lot of miles in those boots. Give me a trail and a waterfall, and I’m happy.
Probably my favorite activity (OK, second favorite) is kayaking. I’ve padded the entire Tennessee River Blueway, from Watts Bar in the north to Bridgeport Alabama in the south, which is around 120 miles. I’ve also done North, South and West Chickamauga Creek, Lookout Creek, and visited Patten Island, Maclellan Island, Williams Island, Long Island and others more times that I can count. I even spent the eclipse back in 2017 in my boat.
I have passed through the locks on the Chickamauga Dam, I’ve explored towns and cemeteries that were submerged with TVA built the dams, and the boat almost always goes with me when I’m camping. I have a Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 twelve-footer, and it’s been perfect in every way. I also have a cheap boat I picked up at Academy (my first boat!), which I let other people use when they want to come with me.
The Tennessee River in and around Chattanooga is an amazing place to kayak. The islands – especially Maclellan and Williams – are hidden treasures, and the river is never the same from one trip to the next. If you paddle, this is the place to do it – and hey, I’ll be happy to show you around!
Pretty self-explanatory, right? Load your stuff, head for the lake or the woods. For me, usually it’s the lake, so I can paddle, although I have been known to take my mountain bike on occasion. Goal: motorcycle camping. Why should Ewan and Charley have all the fun?
Without a doubt, my favorite campground is Shellmound, over by Nickajack. I can paddle straight across to the batcave, it’s quiet and clean, and the tent spaces are fairly well removed from the RVs (but there are still bathhouses, and food isn’t too far away, if I don’t feel inclined to cool my world-famous FGC [firepit grilled cheese]). A close second campground is Chester Frost, but it’s quite a bit more congestested, since it’s more-or-less in town. There’s always a trade-off.
Like all the other activities, I’ve done a lot of cycling (and unicycling!). I have a Kona Hei Hei mountain bike, which is my go-to, and I also have a Kestral carbon fiber racing bike. The Kona is my go-to, because I can carry lots of stuff, and go pretty much anywhere. My personal best on it was a century ride; that is, 100 miles in one go.
During COVID, I did the Silver Comet/Chief Ladiga Trail. It’s about 95 miles, from Atlanta to Anniston, Alabama, but I did it all out-and-back, so it was double that. I didn’t do it in one shot; I made four individual trips, so each visit was around 50 miles. If you’re considering doing this, absolutely go. It was amazing.
I’ve done most of the best trails around here – Edwards Point, 5 Points on Lookout Mountain, Raccoon Mountain, and many others. I’ve also done the Riverwalk many times, and even done a Grand Prix – circling the city, which is about 60 miles, but can be as much as 80 – on more than one occasion.
THIS PAGE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION. MUCH MORE TO COME.