Lucy’s first hike

Yesterday we decided to take Lucy on her first hike at a park not too far from where we live.

Ever since we brought her home at the beginning of April, I have been thinking about places we could take her. Let’s just say I’ve been pretty excited about including this little puppy in our outdoor adventures.

With the warm temperatures and blue skies yesterday, Jason and I both had the itch to be outdoors. So, we got everything we needed and headed to the car with Lucy close at our heels. As soon as we neared the car, Lucy became a little hesitant. This has become a little bit of an obstacle at the moment for Lucy. She’s not a fan of the car yet, which we hope to change because Jason and I like to be on the go . . . We like to explore new places when the time affords us the opportunity.

So, Jason scooped her up and we were on our way. I have found that she enjoys laying down between the two seats on the little center console. With that said, she typically gravitates towards Jason’s lap where she snuggles and lays down.

We went to Laurel Run Park in Church Hill, Tenn. again. We wanted to take Lucy somewhere we had already been, so we knew the trails and how difficult they may be for her. Since she is only three months old, we didn’t want to completely wear her out to where we had to carry her.

As soon as we parked, Lucy was greeted by two youngsters. She of course loved the attention and licked happily as the little boy said puppy over and over again. After the mom came over and got her kids, we started towards the trail.

The last time we hiked this trail everything was starting to bloom. This time the trails were lined with white, yellow and light and dark purple flowers. It was really pretty.

IMG_1616

The butterflies were back!

Last year when we first started making our ways to the different trails we would see butterflies every where, of every color. Although not the best picture, here is one of the one’s we saw on the trail yesterday.

IMG_1657

The vegetation alongside the trails are once again a beautiful hue of greens with the occasional beautiful color of flowers.

IMG_1652

IMG_1655

IMG_1659The better part of our hike, I carried the leash as Jason led the way. I found that if someone was ahead of her she was in a hurry to follow. But, of course, I had to hand the leash to Jason a time or two, so I could take a picture of our little peanut walking the trails.

IMG_1622Usually when I take her for a walk outside our place, she stops every few seconds to sniff and find something to eat. That was not the case when we went hiking yesterday, which of course surprised me. I figured with all the smells she would stop every few seconds. But Lucy was happy jogging along keeping up with the both of us.

Since yesterday was such a beautiful day, there were a ton of people at the park. For the majority of the hike, I did not have Lucy on a short leash, but rather allowed her to roam as far as the leash would take her. But, when we saw people approaching us, I would shorten the leash.

It was adorable, as everyone passed by, I heard so many “ahhh, she is so cute.” More times than not, they stopped to give her a little pat as Lucy soaked up all the attention. It’s true, you make a ton of friends when you have a dog, especially a puppy.

IMG_1624Lucy seemed to have a great time. She became a little braver the farther we hiked the trail, often times jumping across puddles in the path and climbing rocks. Jason commented at the end of our hike that she always stayed on the trail.

IMG_1636Until, of course we went off the beaten path.

We walked past the waterfall since there were so many people enjoying the sight and playing in the water at the foot of the falls. When we came back around, there was no one there, so Lucy led us down the rocks.

IMG_1640She stood in the dry area by the falls, but would not get her paws wet. Lucy was not too sure about the water. We will definitely have to get her used to the water.

IMG_1643Lucy really did well on her first hiking adventure. She really surprised me. On the way back to the car, she was trotting along at a faster pace than when we first started. I figured by this point she would be tired, but nope she was on a mission. Instead of missing all the muddy areas, she went right through them, which made me smile . . . she wasn’t afraid anymore.

This little peanut is going to be a great companion on our hikes. I’m so glad she did well. Now instead of leaving her at home, she can accompany us on our adventures.

On the car ride home she did fantastic. We really wore her out. We even stopped at the store and she was too tired to care that Jason got out.

IMG_1666Our adventure yesterday really was special for me. It’s a lot of fun to watch an animal enjoy the outdoors. When we got home, she ate and then took a bath. She instantly fell asleep in my lap when I finished drying her off. She slept for a couple more hours after that in her little bed.

I’m so glad she got all of that exercise!

The smiles continue

Yesterday still has me smiling … I can still see the beautiful scenery we saw as vividly as if we were still standing in front of it all.

I have a new found love for nature, one that grows more every time my foot hits a new, or old path, Jason and I have traveled.

There was just something about yesterday …

The rain started coming down above almost instantly after we started our hike yesterday. Jason gave me the option of going back to the car and sitting it out for a while, which I won’t lie, sounded like a good idea. The look in his eyes, those beautiful green eyes, I couldn’t say no to, so we kept going. What’s an adventure without dealing with the elements right? At first the rain was cold and puddles were growing on our path … but within time the only drops we felt were falling from the trees as the wind began to blow.

It’s funny what stands out while you are in your own thoughts taking in the surroundings. I remember a cluster of red leaves laying on the ground as we started to descend down the never ending rock stairs. Jason laughed because he knows we would never get to our destination, or beyond for that matter, if I stopped and took pictures of everything. Now I see everything as a picture, something I have to capture, so I can relive that moment.

You develop this new appreciation for nature as you hike through the wilderness.

Something as beautiful as a spider web with the light shining through, a rock laying nearby, the water flowing through the creek or roots that make up the beauty of the base of a tree catches my eye more and more.

The fresh smell after the rain, the breeze that hits your face as you near a waterfall, the instant jolt of cold that starts at your toes and travels to your fingertips when you step in the water and the calmness that takes a hold of you when you see the pure beauty with your own eyes of what mother nature has done …

This is why I feel rejuvenated during and after our hikes.

In addition to all of that, an intensified love for Jason grows as he helps me overcome my fear of heights every time we go out. His patience and understanding of when that fear leaves me motionless is overwhelming. When I reach a certain spot that looks sketchy, it’s hard to move on … I don’t want to make that move and fall. It’s the gentleness of his voice, the extended hand that I grab a hold of, or the guidance of where to put my hands and feet, so I don’t fall … and that look, the look of encouragement, that look that “I can do it,” makes me soar beyond what I think I am capable of doing. The embrace he gives after the fact and the emotion filled remarks instantly grabs a hold of my heart. I am one lucky girl to have a man like this.

Hiking cleanses my soul and fills my heart with so much happiness.

Jason and I share endless smiles as we explore together. Every adventure only brings us closer, only provides us with endless memories of what we shared.

I cannot stop smiling today … I’m happy, I have an amazing life, one that only gets better as the days go by.

I am fortunate to have found the love of my life for the second time … and I am overjoyed that we live in a place that affords us so many breathtaking views that we can get up close and personal with.

The start of another adventure . . .

Jason and I are about to start another adventure . . .

When we moved to Kingsport, Tenn., we decided to sign a six month lease – a decision that has proven to be very beneficial. Although we like the complex we are living at, we seem to always leave Kingsport on our days off, exploring other areas, but the one we currently call home.

The great part about that is we are leaning towards an area we both think is beautiful, one in which waterfalls are much closer to visit.

So, today I turned in our notice to vacate at the end of October. I’m excited about this new adventure. We have already begun the process of looking for another place to live – this time a home we can rent out in the country somewhat, hopefully.

When we first started dating we rented a house from friends that was on some acreage, which we enjoyed. Although it’s convenient to live in an apartment complex, it’s also nice to live somewhere, somewhere you do not have a downstairs neighbor and upstairs neighbor and everywhere in-between.

The next few months will be fun as we find places we like and take tours of the homes to see if it is a good fit for us. The conversations have already begun of the possibilities that lie before us now that we are thinking of renting a home. I can start a garden and grow everything I need for a salad, or ingredients for a meal. We can possibly get a dog, since we will most likely have a decent yard – that in itself is pretty exciting.

IMG_0081The best part, get this, I can set up an actual office, instead of one in the corner of our bedroom now. That is exciting, very exciting . . .

Everywhere we go, we are looking at houses, not just to rent, but one day to buy. The great thing is we both seem to think the same houses are beautiful – a wraparound porch and a beautiful backdrop – mountains, streams, creeks – as our view into the backyard, or front yard for that matter.

Jason and I are pretty simple people, very simple.

Tennessee is a beautiful state, one in which Jason and I both agree feels more like home every day.

Blue Hole

Today was another perfect day with my baby. We found another area to explore  … Blue Hole.

image

Although there were not many trails to take at this destination, the areas we found were an amazing sight to see.

image

image

We turned the hike into an adventure. We walked through the running water to get to the other side at many spots. It was a rush, quite the experience. Jason held my hand as I found my footing between rocks and on logs to cross the creek. I climbed up rocks on all fours and climbed down rocks while finding spots to get my footing.

image

The Blue Hole was at the bottom of a small waterfall that many people and dogs were swimming in, which we stopped to check out before finding our own adventure again.

image

image

image

Every time we go out and explore I become a little more gutsy and follow Jason as he finds amazing views.

image

image

image

image

After our shoes, and well parts of our shorts, were completely drenched we decided to head back to the car and further up the street.

image

The road leading us up the mountain was stunning, absolutely beautiful.

We decided to get out of the car at the Holston Mountain trail, which was much wider than the other hikes we have gone on lately.

image

image

It was beautiful and cool, I had goosebumps from time to time as we were walking up the trail.

image

The wild flowers were every where …

image

We even spotted a snail hanging out along the trail.

image

It was a wonderful walk, one which left our legs burning once we finished.

image

image

Like I said, it was another perfect day, one which brought Jason and I even closer. These adventures are good for the soul and spirit. They show you what you are capable of if you put aside any and all fear.

Hopefully tomorrow we will have time to add another area to our list of exploring.