Tag: exercise

Alum Cave Bluffs In Tennessee

Nature, Photography June 30, 2019

About

The 2.3 mile trail to Alum Cave Bluffs is located in the Smoky Mountains, approx. 8 miles from the Sugarlands Visitor Center, near Gatlinburg, Tennessee. It’s the shortest and steepest of 5 different trails to Mount Le Conte.

Originally mined in 1838 by the Epsom Salts Manufacturing Company for deposits of magnesium sulfate & alum, it’s now a popular hiking area with limited parking – one should plan to arrive early; or, park along the road some distance away.

Water

At lower elevations, the trail meanders alongside the Alum Cave Creek, providing a pleasant and constant sound of running water throughout the forest.

Here are a few photographs –

Arch Rock

At 1.4 miles along the trail, hikers have the opportunity to pass through a natural tunnel in the side of the mountain – at Arch Rock. A series of steps with a cable handrail make this a fun, navigable passageway.

Here are some photographs –

Eye of The Needle

As hikers continue up the trail, the sound of water fades and glimpses of the surrounding mountains begin to appear between the trees. Inspiration Point is situated at 4,700′, which, on a clear day, provides an unobscured view of the surrounding landscape, most notably Little Duck Hawk Ridge – which features the Eye of the Needle (a see-through hole cut into the side of the ridge). It is in this area, if you’re lucky, that you might see Peregrine Falcons.

Here are a few shots –

More Scenes From The Trail

Note: it’s not really a cave. Rather, large sandstone bluffs standing 80′ tall, extending 500′ in length, with a substantial ceiling-overhang.

Prints

If your home or office has an empty wall, please consider purchasing a print – framed, canvas, art, metal, wood or acrylic – from my gallery at Pixels. Customization options are available to make it your own! Other items to see, also.

Thanks for stopping by!

Golden Pattern Yoga Mat

Patterns, Products May 17, 2019

Strike your sun salutation in style. This yoga mat is lightweight (3.6 lbs.), yet durable. Just toss it over your shoulder with the handy carrying strap and you’re on your way. It measures 24″ wide by 70″ long by 1/4″ thick and includes 1.5″ woven polyester carrying strap. Latex-free and free of heavy metals.

Enjoy!

yoga fitness gear

Abstract Black And White Yoga Mat

Abstract, Products April 16, 2019

Stay in shape using this premium yoga mat from Pixels. It measures 24″ by 72″ and is 1/4″ thick, made of natural rubber with a blended microfiber top surface. The underside has textured dimples for better floor grip and, of course, it’s portable to travel along with you for your workouts. Also, see more great product options!

premium yoga mat with interesting black and white pattern design

Fitness Flashback

Miscellaneous March 3, 2019

It was 1996 and I was 32 years old living in Kalamazoo, Michigan. My gym was American Fitness and I was working out 5 days per week (3-on-1-off, 2-on-1-off).

One day, I noticed a flyer posted on the bulletin board, advertising for a strong man contest to be held in 2 weeks – who could bench press their own weight the most times? This was my favorite exercise, so I decided to enter the competition.

The contest would be judged, and lifters had to adhere to the following rules:

  • no bouncing weight off of ones chest
  • no arched back – ones back must remain flat, in contact with bench
  • to count, each repetition must be full and cleared as “good” by judge
  • contestants would compete based on a weight class bracket

The event was to be held at an old, industrial building near the railroad tracks on the east side of town, used at that time for a bar known as The Warehouse. Based on my weight, I was in the 175-200 lbs. weight class bracket.

When it was time, I arrived to see that many others were also interested in competing, and a local news station had their camera set up to record the event. The first order of business entailed stepping on a scale to be weighed by an official. Each individual did so in private without clothing, and I weighed 190.5 lbs.

It was at that point that I learned another contest rule – that is, that weights would be rounded up in 5-lb. increments. Thus, I’d be lifting 195 lbs. instead of my actual weight. It was suggested that I run outside around the building a few times – hoping to lose 1/2 pound – and that a second weighing would be made available. I thought about it but wanted to conserve my energy, so I declined.

I waited for my turn back in the main room, stretching my muscles and warming-up on one of several bench presses made available.

When I was finally called, I walked up onto the stage, listened to a brief review of the rules by an official, and then got into position on the bench. Next, as with each competitor, a judge (a.k.a., the spotter) assisted in safely removing the weight from the rack, thereafter releasing contact for me to begin lifting.

I bench pressed 195 lbs. for 29 clean repetitions, good enough for second place in my weight class bracket. First place went to a 178 lb. competitor (from my gym!) who pressed 180 lbs. for 31 clean repetitions.

All told, I bench pressed 5655 lbs. during that series of lifts, which (in consolation only) was a total of 75 lbs. more then the winner. My 29 presses were also the 2nd most of any competitor across all weight class brackets at the event.

House Mountain in Knoxville, TN - Part One

House Mountain in Knoxville, TN – Part One

Nature, Photography January 29, 2019

Part One: The Ascent

House Mountain is located in Corryton, Tennessee, just 10 miles northeast of Knoxville, and, at 2,110 feet above sea level, it’s the highest elevation in Knox County. The actual mountain stands 1,000 feet above the surrounding valley floor, with a few different trails available for hikers to select. I chose the Mountain Trail (blue trail), which is 1 mile long.

 The following photographs are available as prints in my gallery at Fine Art America, and provide a fair representation (in sequence) of the challenging terrain along the trail.

Despite a strenuous climb lasting for approximately 1 hour until I reached the 1-mile marker on the trail, the views along the way were wonderful! Huge boulders were strewn along the mountainside and, looking up, it sometimes appeared to be impossibly steep, where the mountain seemed to be leaning uncomfortably forward – a dizzying view!

The Crest Trail sign shown above reads as follows –

The Crest Trail traverses the top of the mountain and is 1.5-miles long from overlook to overlook, winding along the top of the ridge partly on public and partly on private land. At each end of the Crest Trail you can enjoy a splendid view. The approach to the East End Overlook winds through many large boulders. The East End Overlook provides a view of Clinch Mountain, the parent of House Mountain, and the ridge and valley toward Blaine and Rutledge. The West End Overlook provides a great view of Knoxville, the Great Smoky Mountains, and the Cumberland Mountains out toward Oak Ridge.

I first headed toward the West Overlook, took in the sights and then returned. Next, I hiked to the East Overlook – which, in my opinion and despite the aforementioned accolades, is a much more scenic & preferred location – before descending the Mountain Trail (blue trail) back to the car. Altogether, it was a 5-mile hike at a level of exertion certain to leave me sore by morning!

The hike was a slow process, with matters of proper footing a real concern along the way. Steep drops in close proximity to the trail were a good reminder to always remain cautious. Rocks and roots served as steps in many areas, and wet spots from a few different springs were observed. In a few instances, trails diverted to skirt around large fallen trees, though most of the hiking was ‘obstacle-free’.

In the days ahead, I’ll provide more photographs from this outing – so, stay tuned…

UPDATE: Additional links regarding House Mountain in Knoxville, TN –

Hiking Knoxville, Tennessee

Nature, Photography January 24, 2019

As a follow-up to two previous posts…

Yesterday I visited Ijams Nature Center a second time, hiking around Mead’s Quarry Lake along a 1.1 mile trail known as Tharp Trace

Looped trail, steep in places. Named after Minnie Tharp who championed the restoration of Mead’s Quarry. Views of the lake and Mt. LeConte, plus the historic Stanton Cemetery, punctuate long stretches of woodland canopy along the trail above the cliffs.

This sign greets hikers at the beginning of the trail –

Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville, TN

After a short walk along the north edge of Mead’s Quarry Lake, the trail inclines for a more strenuous hike. In some areas, stone steps and the roots of trees provided helpful footholds along a damp, slick path –

Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville, TN

Here are some more photographs I shot along the Tharp Trace trail –

 

Near the end of the hike, an informational display provides an historical perspective of the early years at the quarry, including these two black & white photographs –

Despite overcast weather, the temperature was tolerable and I had a very nice hike through the woods. On my way back to the parking lot, I passed a few more spots beckoning to be photographed –

Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville, TN
Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville, TN

Enjoy the great outdoors in Knoxville, Tennessee!

Abstract Pattern Leggings

Abstract Gold Pattern Leggings

Patterns, Products September 18, 2018

Hand sewn in Canada, these women’s leggings hug in all the right places and suit all body types with a compression fit due to high spandex content. You can wear your leggings over and over, and they won’t lose their shape! Each pair is printed before being sewn. Vibrant print won’t fade after washing. Machine wash cold, lay flat to dry. Enjoy!

buildings, structure, urban, colorful, spectrum, geometric, photography, rectangles, pattern, layers

Lightweight Yoga Mat

Graphics, Products May 26, 2018

Measuring 72″ long by 24″ wide and 1/4″ thick, this colorful yoga mat weighs only 3 pounds and is very comfortable. It contains a mesh center membrane for added stability and is ECO friendly (composed of cellular vinyl, free from harmful BPAs, phthalates, and latex). Wipe clean with a damp cloth after every use. Enjoy!

Women's Turquoise Pattern Leggings

Women’s Turquoise Pattern Leggings

Patterns, Products May 21, 2018

Available in sizes XS (0-2) to XL (16), these turquoise pattern women’s leggings are very comfortable, made of an ultra-stretch ecopolyester spandex blend (88% polyester, 12% spandex). The medium weight fabric is sturdy, yet breathable, stretches to fit your body, hugs in all the right places and bounces back after washing. You can wear your leggings over and over and they won’t lose their shape. Hand sewn in Canada. Enjoy!

Colorful Textured Pattern Woman's Leggings

Colorful Textured Pattern Woman’s Leggings

Patterns, Products March 29, 2018

Available in sizes ranging from x-Small to x-Large, style and comfort can be yours in a colorful pair of woman’s leggings. Custom made with care, each pair of leggings is printed before being sewn using a medium weight fabric which is sturdy, yet breathable – it stretches to fit your body, hugs in all the right places and bounces back after washing! Hand sewn in Canada using an ultra-stretch eco-polyester spandex blend (88% polyester, 12% spandex). Enjoy!

Biking Ann Arbor To Dexter And Back

Miscellaneous, Photography October 18, 2017

Biking 26 miles yesterday between Ann Arbor, Michigan, to Dexter, then back again, I brought along my camera to capture some autumn photographs of the surrounding area…

Abstract Geometric Leggings

Colorful Abstract Geometric Leggings

Abstract, Products December 28, 2016

 

Color, light, texture and a chaotic assortment of triangular geometric shapes comprise this abstract design. Using the highest quality anti-microbial polyester spandex material, these premium leggings wick moisture and remain breathable, making them perfect for running or runways. A proprietary six-panel cut and sew construction provides an unprecedented quality in fit and versatility with an adjustable waist line for wearing high, low or somewhere in between. Enjoy!

Abstract Women's Leggings

Abstract Women’s Leggings

Abstract, Products November 16, 2016

 

Made of an ultra-stretch ecopolyester spandex blend (88% polyester, 12% spandex), these women’s leggings have both style and comfort! Medium weight fabric is sturdy, yet breathable, stretches to fit your body, hugs in all the right places and bounces back after washing. You can wear your leggings over and over and they won’t lose their shape. Hand sewn in Canada. Enjoy!

Colorful Pattern Leggings

Colorful Pattern Leggings

Patterns, Products November 2, 2016

 

A proprietary six-panel cut and sew construction provides unprecedented quality in fit and versatility with an adjustable waist line for wearing high, low or somewhere in between. Using the highest quality anti-microbial polyester spandex material, these premium leggings wick moisture and remain breathable, making them perfect for running or runways. Enjoy!

Cadex-2 by Giant

Bike Riding Ann Arbor

Miscellaneous October 2, 2016

With temperatures warming to 68 degrees fahrenheit, the weather was perfect for a Sunday afternoon bike ride from Ann Arbor to Dexter, Michigan, and back again. With a full bottle of water, sunglasses and a camera, I was on the road and ready to begin the 22 mile trek!

My bike is a 56 cm Cadex-2 by Giant with a carbon fiber frame, 14 speeds and a recently replaced front wheel and tire. Very light, and fast. This 2016 season marks my fifth year biking and my fourth year riding this bike, originally purchased on craigslist.

Below is a map of my bike route (see red line). My starting and finishing point is the same, in Ann Arbor, shown here in the lower-right corner. The intersection of Huron River Drive & Mast Road, in Dexter (upper-left corner), is where I turn around to return.

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