Camping in Shady Valley, TN and Hiking at Backbone Rock and Creeper Trail

in #stemsocial6 months ago (edited)

Valuable Life Lessons Learned

This year has already taught me some hard lessons. So have the past few years. We are all continuously learning. What matters most is that we listen and learn from our mistakes. We must remember these lessons for the rest of our lives in order to not make the same mistakes twice. Some of us take multiple lessons to learn. We learn the hard way!

I went to meet my friend on the AT this weekend to take his new hiking boots. He had done some work around my house while he was here, so we bartered for new gear. His old hiking shoes were falling apart.

I hate to report this, but we are no longer friends. The past two weeks have been very eye opening. People come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. This one was for a reason. I learned a lot from this person, but I also learned that he was not someone I wanted in my life long-term. He was here to teach me a valuable lesson and it helped me discover that I need to be cautious with my kindness and generosity.

He was self-righteous, arrogant, judgmental and condescending. He tried to tell me what to do and how to do it on almost every aspect of my life. My kids, my dog, my house and on and on. Dude, I am 48 years old and have been married and divorced twice. I do not need a man to tell me how to live my life! Someone that does not have children should never give their opinion or advice to a mother about how to raise her kids! My kids are my life. NO ONE should ever make me feel like I'm not doing a great job. I do not need this kind of person in my life.

This guy even blocked me on Instagram because I told him how I felt 😟 I assure you, I did not deserve that at all. He is on his own journey and has some life lessons to learn as well. I was placed on his path for a reason and I'm ok with that. You are welcome to follow me on Instagram here

Ok. Enough about my weekend drama. Let's get to the good stuff!!

Camping and Hiking in TN and VA

I tent camped at The Rabbit Hole in Shady Valley, TN. What an amazing spot for hikers to enjoy a night off the trail. It was perfect! Rabbit cooked up breakfast of farm fresh eggs and home grown potatoes. It was delicious! Rabbit is a very kind man whose heart is made of gold.

I just got a new one person tent that sets up in less than one minute and a new bag rated for 10F. I was so warm and cozy. It was good to unplug and sleep out under the stars. Saturday night, it snowed. I woke up Sunday morning with my tent covered in snow. It was exhilarating!

On Saturday, I ventured over to Backbone Rock in the Cherokee National Forest. I've hiked and camped here many times over the years. I got several shots of my walk up and down this massive rock this time. It is a very pleasant hike with manmade rock staircases and wooden walkways. Takes about 10 minutes to walk up and over. Enjoy the pics!

I also drove into Damascus, VA to walk on the Creeper Trail that hooks up to the AT. I had never walked it before, only biked it in my younger days. I used to take my oldest daughter on my bike in a child seat when she was a toddler. I only walked about a mile in and back so I need to go back some day and walk the entire 9 mile loop that includes a section of the Appalachian Trail. I also want to bike the entire Creeper Trail one of these days. Something else I've never done.

On my way home on Sunday, I was very sad. These strong emotions helped me realize that not everyone can be our friend. Some come into our lives to teach us a lesson. I'm listening now and I will be wiser for it. I'm still growing and learning everyday.

Peace be with you always 😇

Shady Valley, TN the "Home of the Snake" with one valley, three mountains and 489 curves.

Backbone Rock Tunnel

Drive through the tunnel to get to Virginia

Stone staircase up to backbone rock

At the top of backbone rock

Be careful! There is a drop off on both sides of this rock

Walkways and handrails installed for safety at the tip top

The road coming from Tennessee

The road going toward Virginia

Coming down off backbone rock to Beaverdam Creek

Virginia Creeper Trial in Damascus, VA

The Virginia Creeper Trail used to be The Virginia Carolina Railway

Photo Op with Sasquatch on Creeper Trail

Billboards for the local eateries along Creeper Trail

Where the AT begins again in Damascus, VA

We will be wiser for the lessons we learn photo credit


I’ve ridden part(s) of the snake, back when my bike functioned, and I haven’t been in the Creeper trail enough. It’s such an easy, pleasant ride. Gotta get up there this summer.

I agree! We should definitely go ride bikes up there sooner than later 😀 I'm not afraid of the cold lol

I’m not afraid of the cold, I just hate it with all my heart and soul. Don’t wanna be anywhere near it or affiliate with it in any regard. 😁

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