Sunday, February 27, 2011

Norris Dam Park 2/26/2011 (published 2-27-2011)

The Appalachian Irishman enjoyed another solo hike in Norris Dam Park yesterday, when the weather was sunny and crisp – unlike today’s rain, which left him bored, as a “women’s basketball widower,” unable to get into the woods.

The first two photos show the solitary trail that I selected. I didn’t meet a soul. My reliable ’95 Nissan pickup, with almost 160 thousand miles on him, was the only vehicle in sight. (As a side note, I met a most interesting Bulgarian gentleman on a House Mountain hike in early January. He and I hike together occasionally now. Of course, I enjoy hiking alone, at times, to clear my mind, but I am always eager to meet interesting people to join my little Appalachian Irishman hiking club!)

The next eight photos show the beauty of the upper reservoir. The water was clean and blue, and the sky was a clear blue. In one photo, you can see the dam to the south.

The next two photos are of the dam itself. Norris Dam Park and the nearby Norris Watershed offer an abundance of trails for backwoods camping, hiking, horseback riding, and biking. A couple of campgrounds and a cabin area are available. Of course, fishing and boating opportunities abound. Yes, I know, I sound like a commercial!

Ah, now, let’s get to the last photo, and the point that the trail emphasized in my mind – a point that I already knew. The Marine Railway Loop trail started out well, with the great views of the lake above. After trekking a while, however, the trail became boring. So, in typical free spirit, adventurer style, the Appalachian Irishman set out to make his own trail! Exploring around, I crossed over two trails and decided to follow one. That trail led me to within about 100 yards north of my truck.

Life lesson: When you are bored or frustrated with one path, get off that trail and blaze a new one! You will come out about where you thought you would! Nature is a good teacher, or reminder, if you listen.

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