Wednesday, January 10, 2024

January 2018: House Mountain Hikes #142 & 143 (published 1-10-2024; article #449)


Howdy, fellow hiking enthusiasts! The first article, of 2024, was somber, but it did include a bit of humor. It also mentions my 188th “hike,” or walk, on House Mountain, at least on the loop trails. The second article, in 2024, brought out the analyst in me, but it ended on an encouraging note.

That second article notes that I didn't publish any articles, in 2007, 2015, or 2018. According to my hiking record, I hiked House Mountain seven times, in 2007, fourteen times, in 2015, and a lucky thirteen times, as a “bionic” man, in 2018. (The 12/17/2023 article is about the hike, on 10/17/2015.)

This past Sunday, I was reminded, about my two hikes, on House Mountain, in one week, back in January 2018 (six years ago). That was the first time that I'd hiked House Mountain, twice in one week, since my near death experience, on 3/29/2016. (The 8/26/2016 article inaugurated the topic section “My Bionic Life - since 3/29/2016.”)

This sixty-first article, under the “hiking” topic section, recounts my hikes, as a “bionic” man, on House Mountain, on Tuesday, 1/2/2018, and on Saturday, 1/6/2018. That was two hikes, in one week! I hope that you enjoy the lucky thirteen photographs, while this author hikes down memory lane!

House Mountain Hikes, Two in One Week, in January 2018

The 142nd hike, on “my mountain,” was on Tuesday, 1/2/2018. Four days later, on Saturday, 1/6/2018, I returned, to “my mountain,” for hike number 143!

1/2/2018, Tuesday, in Eight Photographs

My hiking record indicates that the weather was sunny. The temperature was a balmy 27 degrees Fahrenheit. (I'd clipped a hiking thermometer, to my belt.) One other vehicle was in the parking lot. I never did see the other hiker.

I'd hiked up the west trail, to the west bluff, in 40 minutes, pausing to take three photographs. I continued east, on the ridge trail. I hiked out, down the east trail. The total time, in the woods, was from 1:40 to 4 PM. Two hours and twenty minutes, in the woods, was better than not having been there!

I'd taken the first three photographs, while hiking up the west trail. I enjoyed seeing the long, thick icicles! At 2:05 PM, I'd taken the first photograph, below, at the highest switchback. The view looks north.

I'd taken the following photograph, four minutes later. I was on the trail, below the ridgeline, heading west. The clear and crisp sky was a sight to behold! I saw more icicles!

I'd taken the following photograph, three minutes later, having hiked a bit farther west. Can you spot the icicles?

The next three photographs are along the ridge trail, heading northeast. I'd taken the first photograph, below, at 2:33 PM. The west bluff is not too far behind me.

The next photograph was seven minutes later. I was near the high point, on that part of the ridgeline trail. The view still looks northeast.

I'd taken the third photograph, farther east, on the ridgeline trail, at 2:51 PM. The view looks northeast. Can you understand why that I call the rock outcropping the dinosaur rock?

I didn't hike, farther east, to reach the lower or upper middle bluffs. Instead, I'd decided to hike out and down the east trail. The following two photographs are along that hike out. The first, below, was at 3:17 PM. I was on the upper switchbacks.

The huge icicles were spectacular! The view looks northeast. The morning sun had broken off the tips of several icicles. Four minutes later, I'd taken the next photograph, still on the same trail down.

The theme of this hike, on 1/2/2018, must have been icicles! I'd worn sufficient layers, so I never did feel cold. At the house, the morning low had been, in Fahrenheit, 10 degrees. The high had reached about 33 degrees. Cold and sunny weather makes for excellent hiking!

1/6/2018, Saturday, in Five Photographs

Four days later, on Saturday, 1/6/2018, my 143rd hike, on “my mountain,” was in the records! I'd hiked up the west trail, to the west bluff, in 32 minutes. I'd continued, to both the lower and upper middle bluffs, along the ridge trail. I'd hiked back down and out, on the east trail. On the trail, the weather was sunny and about 23 degrees Fahrenheit. (At the house, the morning low was four degrees, and the late afternoon high reached 25 degrees.)

I'd taken the following two photographs, within four minutes, at 2:33 PM and 2:37 PM.

The west bluff is behind me. The view looks northeast. Can you see my trusty canteen? I still hike with it!

The fallen icicle was already at the base, of the split tree trunk! The view looks southeast. I think that a previous hiker, who'd also braved the elements, had placed the icicle there.

The next photograph, at 3:18 PM, is when I'd reached the upper middle bluff. The view looks northeast. The large rock outcroppings are prominent. I was standing on one outcropping.

On my hike out and down, on the east trail, I'd taken the following photograph, at 4:01 PM.

Now, those are huge icicles!

At 4:45 PM, I'd taken the following photograph, of my 2006 Nissan Frontier. (He likes to have his picture taken.) The image includes the only other three vehicles that were in the parking lot, at the time.

My hiking record indicates that I'd met Patrick, at some point on a trail. (Thinking back, I recall that he was hiking down, as I was hiking up, the west trail.) He was at student, at the University of Tennessee, studying physical therapy. I'd shared with him the story, about the vehicle accident, on 3/29/2016, my hospitalizations, outpatient physical therapy, and my recovery progress, up to that time. (I'm still recovering.) With my permission, he photographed me. I hope that he shared my story, with that photograph, to encourage many. I've not seen Patrick, since that hike.


Yesterday, the weather was too warm, rainy, and windy, for a hike. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman enjoyed a “rain closure” day off from work. Public school systems, in surrounding counties, had closed also, due to a little rain and wind.

Today, the weather is windy and cooler. I could have hiked. This morning, my wife's public school system employer had a two-hour “wind delay.” Several county schools, in the area, did also. My “long-suffering” wife had already planned to leave work early, for another “paint and cut” appointment. Wisely, she decided to take the entire day off. (The humorous article, of 3/22/2023, contrasts a “paint and cut shop” with a barbershop.)

Thanks, fellow hikers, for hiking down memory lane, with me. This article should have been published, in January 2018. Six years late is better than not publishing it!

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