Fall is upon us

IMG_2317Wednesday was a perfect day. Jason had the day off and I was pretty much caught up with all of my writing, so we headed to Steele Creek Park for an afternoon outdoors.

Steele Creek Park is located at 4 Little Lane in Bristol, Tennessee. According to its website the park has more than 2,200 acres, with more than 24 miles of trails, and opened to the public in 1964. The park has a 52 acre lake, which on Wednesday was filld with a ton of ducks, geese, turtles and fish.

More information can be found at: http://www.bristoltn.org/166/Steele-Creek-Park

Although Lucy and I have been heading to the Kingsport Greenbelt daily for our morning runs, Jason and I haven’t had our time outdoors together in a while. So when he suggested we head to the park, I was game.

The only downfall, was my allergies were a little extreme that day . . . It wasn’t too hot until we were more than half way through the hike.

Jason and I have walked a good portion of the path around the lake at Steele Creek Park, but never the entire trail. Since we weren’t pressed for time, we decided to do some exploring and take the long way around the lake.

We were both surprised with what we found. The smooth, paved trail had changed.

IMG_2321As soon as we started walking the path, Jason spotted a sea of red across the lake. I instantly smiled, fall is upon us.

I remember last year Jason and I were so busy that we really did not have a chance to get out and experience the beginning of the changing of seasons. I was shocked to see, Aug. 27, the leaves were changing. It just seems a little early to me, especially compared to last year.

IMG_2326It was really pretty to see patches of the trees scattered with red leaves against a contrast of green. Some of the leaves still had shades of light green mixed in with red.

IMG_2327I love watching nature at work. It has been so much fun experiencing the change in seasons again.

IMG_2331As I was snapping picture after picture, Jason and Lucy kept walking the path until they found a bench to sit and wait until I was finished. I know I can get out of hand with stopping every few minutes because I want to capture that piece of beauty that caught my eye. Although the image was engraved in my memory, I want to have that image captured with my camera as well.

What better way to re-live a certain moment than by having a picture jog that memory?

IMG_2336So what did I do . . .  I stopped and took quite a few of pictures of Lucy and Jason sitting on the bench after I was done taking pictures of leaves.

IMG_2338This manmade waterfall is usually where we stop and start heading back to the car. But, if you keep following the trail and head towards the bridge it will take you to another trail that becomes a little more adventurous. Hence, why Jason, Lucy and I were the only ones on this trail.

IMG_2344Our walk turned into a hike. A hike that had changes in elevation along a narrow path. (According to an app on my phone, the elevation went from 1,492 feet to 2,065 feet, before it stopped recording our walk/hike.) For a good portion of the hike, Lucy led the way until Jason made his way to the front. At one point I took Lucy off the leash and let her trail Jason’s heals as he hiked.

IMG_2347Along this path we spotted more leaves changing, but this time shades of oranges made its presence instead of reds.

IMG_2342

IMG_2343We even spotted a few deer, which I wasn’t able to capture with my camera. It took me a while to find their white tails and by the time I gave Jason the camera they were already heading towards the ridge line.

We eventually made our way to the golf course and a bridge that took us to the opposite side of the lake.

IMG_2352We walked a good 5+ miles that day. It was definitely a walk that worked up a sweat.

IMG_2359Jason and I have been talking a lot about our move to Kingsport last May lately. I’m so glad we decided to make that move. Yes, things haven’t always been easy, but we found a love that is undeniable. That love . . . nature.

A day with Jason

Yesterday I gave myself a day off, left my phone at home and paid no attention to the emails that kept filling my inbox. I even left my camera at home, which I wished I hadn’t by the time our walk ended.

Since I work from home, the work that piles up on my desk is only a couple steps away at all times. I have a hard time staying away from my office if I know work is waiting for me. I have a constant list of articles I have to turn in on my white board, or little pieces of paper scattered around my desk. I also have many documents set up with my budget for the publication and when they are due. Chaos and stress builds if I am not organized.

I worked straight through my weekend, so I would have all my work completed before Tuesday. It felt fantastic to have everything done, or at least caught up, so my tasks today would be simple before I had to submit my edited work.

Jason had yesterday off and I was determined to spend some time with him.

Our schedules are so different. He mostly works nights, which means his shift starts anywhere from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Jason sometimes doesn’t walk through the door until after midnight depending again on his shift and day of the week. Since he gets home late, it takes him a while to unwind. By that point, I have already unwind from my days work fighting to keep my eyes open.

A lot of times he comes home from work and I am already asleep on the couch. But with the Olympics on, I’ve been up when he walks through the door watching the coverage. An hour later, my head begins to roll as my  eyes start to fight against me.

It’s rare we go to bed at the same hour and wake up at the same time for that matter.

I try to get up at a decent hour, so I can start making phone calls early or meeting people in person for interviews, so I have a good portion of my day left to write.

 

Yesterday was much needed . . .

We were both determined to spend time outdoors yesterday, something we haven’t had much of a chance to do because of the cold, snowy conditions. With blue skies and temperatures in the high 50’s, we put on our shoes and headed to Steele Creek Park in Bristol, Tenn. We really wanted to go to one of our favorite waterfalls, but after taking a walk at the park we were happy we didn’t. The temperatures were still a little to brisk for us.

As we walked along the path that went around the lake, we soon found out that our bodies are still set to Florida temperatures. When the wind started to blow, we grew cold and our hoodies went up and hands went into our sweater pockets. When the wind subsided, we were fine and the hoodies came down.

It seemed we were not the only ones experiencing cabin fever. The path filled with runners and their dogs, mothers and their children and others who were strolling with their friends or family.

The majority of our 4+ miles of walking were done in silence as we strolled the path next to each other. An occasional conversation was had if something sparked our attention or a memory was had. That is one of the things I love about our relationship, those moments and minutes of silence that we share are never awkward. It’s nice having Jason as company, while also giving myself the time I need to clear my thoughts and take in the scenery.

It felt so good to be outdoors away from the four walls of my office with a small view of the world outdoors.

At times we slid across the icy path, or walked close to the edge as our feet crunched in snow that still had not melted away from last week’s storm. We saw ducks, geese and many turtles, even some trees that beavers had got a hold of.

The best part was hearing the water run along the rocks in the creek. I forgot how much that sound calmed me down.  We also saw a manmade waterfall. As Jason climbed up the small hill, I stood on the boardwalk and let the wind hit my face that generated from the water falling. I became mesmerized, again lost in my own thoughts, until a splash caught my attention. That splash was Jason telling me to climb up the hill and look at the view of the lake. It was very pretty.

It felt great to not work at all yesterday. Jason has Friday off too, a rarity! Maybe if I put in a full day tomorrow, I can take that day off too.