Breathtaking fall afternooon run

Lucy and I have taken way too much time off from running these last few weeks, due to my parents coming into town (we went hiking instead) and Jason and I moving into our new home. Plus, it has been nonstop raining for the last I don’t know how many days making it difficult to go anywhere.

Today is the first day I can look out my office window and see Bays Mountain. I hope the sun stays for a little while!

With the blessing of the blue sky, I laced up my running shoes, hoping the path would not be flooded, and we headed to our favorite place, the Kingsport Greenbelt.

I felt myself calm down as we pulled into the parking lot. The stress of work got the best of me the last couple of days. I could feel myself needing to be outdoors and releasing some of that negative energy. Yes, running + being outdoors is the best therapy.

My sweet little Lucy was beyond excited when we arrived in her favorite parking lot. Of course, I could not get my stuff together fast enough for this little squirt. Eager was definitely an understatment. With all the rain, it’s been very hard getting her outside for any kind of exercise.

Our drive to this area of the Greenbelt is much further than where we used to live, but I love this stretch of the path.

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I will definitely have to do some research and see if there is a closer portion of the Greenbelt to where we live now. But until then, I have no problem making the drive.

20141013_123449Although the path was wet in some areas, it was not flooded at all. Last summer around the 4th of July Jason and I walked the path, which was completely under water in some sections.

As we ran our 2.32 miles, we moved to the music of leaves crunching. Lucy was not a fan of the extra noise, but I loved the crunching, as the wind brushed over our faces keeping us cool.

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We stopped mid-way, so I could give Lucy a little rest. Her pace was slowing tremendously and I didn’t want to over heat her since the temperatures were in the high 70s.

I of course didn’t mind the stop . . . it gave me a chance to take pictures of the scenery I was admiring as we ran the path.

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The current of the water was moving at a steady pace today and much higher than usual.

20141013_125508Last year, I spent this time of the year running on a treadmill at the gym. Wow, never again will I run indoors during the fall. The weather is perfect and the colors that surrounded us played a part with calming me down and encouraging me to enjoy every step we took.

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I think Lucy enjoyed the stop too. Every time the wind picked up, leaves of every shape, size and color started spinning to the ground at different speeds, which kept Lucy’s attention for quite some time.

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I hope the weather will allow us to run for the rest of the week. I know better, running has to be a part of my life. Without it I feel lost, without it, working from home becomes too much. I need that outlet to escape from my office for an hour or so.

A beautiful morning hike

IMG_2368In an effort to get out of the house after a rather stressful day of work yesterday, Jason and I took Lucy to Bays Mountain for a morning hike. I guess I needed a change of scenery from our usual morning run at the Kingsport Greenbelt. With that said, hiking today was by far much more of a workout than Lucy and I running 2+ miles.

Who needs a gym when you live in NE Tennessee? My legs are still kind of sore from our hike this morning.

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We hiked 3.74 miles on a trail that took us from an elevation of 1,667 feet to 2,206 feet. When we hit that incline, a rather long incline on Cherry Knobs, my calves were burning something fierce.

We started our hike alongside the Kingsport Reservoir on the Lake Side Trail, which took us to Cherry Knobs Trail after crossing a bridge. We usually just follow the Lake Side Trail around the reservoir, but decided to try another route today.

Wow, that route sure got our heart rate up. This trail eventually took us to Lake Road which led us back to the Lake Side Trail.

The scenery was breathtaking along the trail. The best part was we were the only one’s hiking this trail today, so Lucy had the freedom of being off her leash for a good portion of the hike.

IMG_2378I found it interesting that once Jason and I began hiking up the trail the change of leaves was not as frequent. I only spotted a few red and orange leaves.

Most of the pictures of the leaves changing were taken along the reservoir.

IMG_2369As we began walking alongside the water, I began to remember just how pretty Bays Mountain is in the fall. After that thought filled my head, it was exciting to think that now we have something to compare everything to, since we have lived through all the seasons of NE Tennessee at least once.

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Last year we visited Bays Mountain on Nov. 1 and almost all of the leaves had changed.

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I’m so glad we are getting out into nature earlier this year to see the transition take place.

IMG_2373Just when I think one color of leaves is beautiful, I spot another hue that makes me stop in my tracks.

IMG_2383The best part is seeing the change of color against the beautiful sea of green that I absolutely love about this area.

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As always, I’m so glad we took just shy of two hours out of our day to get the sense of balance that nature seems to provide. My head is clear and I am ready to tackle the day, which includes a rather long school board meeting tonight that I have to cover.

There were some flowers along the trail too.

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This picture below is my favorite of today.

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The leaves are changing colors

Jason took me to the Natural Tunnel State Park in Duffield, Virginia this morning, a much needed break from all of my freelance writing and editing.

It was time to get out of the house and see the outdoors after two straight days of being stuck in my office, especially since we started noticing that the leaves were finally changing in our area.

It’s breathtaking to see how the leaves go from a lush, beautiful green, to so many different hues.

IMG_0616Although some of the trees were beautiful, others were already bare.

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IMG_0643I love the hues of reds stuck in the middle of all the other colors, it definitely pops.

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I’m in awe, such a beautiful time of the year.

IMG_0628As we were walking the different trails, I had to stop every couple of minutes, so I could capture more of the colors.

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IMG_0630So far, I think the fall is definitely my favorite season. Every time we go outside the scenery becomes more beautiful.

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The tunnel was also pretty neat to see, especially with the train tracks running through.

IMG_0676According to information on a sign at the Natural Tunnel, “The South Atlantic and Ohio Railroad began laying tracks through Natural Tunnel in 1882, connecting Bristol, Tennessee, with the coalfields of southwestern Virginia.” It eventually became known as the Natural Tunnel Route when it was taken over in 1899 by the Virginia and southwestern railroad. Today, the tracks carry about 10 trains a day to ship coal from mines in southwestern Virginia and eastern Kentucky.

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IMG_0680The tunnel is 850 feet long and 100 feet high inside.

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IMG_0682Too bad we didn’t see a train go through when we were there.

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The reds are beautiful.  IMG_0639

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I loved the path and the stairs . . .  all full of leaves.

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Such a beautiful path.  IMG_0668

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The two pictures below are my favorite from today. IMG_0654Now I want to go for some hikes on the trails we found when we moved to the area.

I could only imagine how beautiful they are now.

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This last picture is for one of my fellow bloggers (Running To Her Dreams) . . . I finally found a heart!  IMG_0689

Now I can begin working again and knock out some more articles and editing. I feel refreshed from walking around in our 60 degree weather smelling the fall leaves.

Hopefully tomorrow we can go capture some more beauty at a different park before the trees all become bare.