Monday, October 8, 2012

Fall - A Perfect Time for Adventures

Fall is by far superior to all other seasons. The weather is phenomenal – the warm afternoons are perfect for going for a walk and the cool evenings are perfect for bonfires and hayrides. The food is the best. Caramel apples. Roasted Hot dogs. Chili. Smores. And I don’t exactly see people lining up to walk through summertime gardens proudly harvesting tomatoes and zucchini. But a pumpkin patch? Sign me up.  Fall even has its own smell. It’s something like nutmeg and cinnamon and pumpkin and a bonfire all bundled up together. And the Tennessee trees? Don’t even get me started. The colors alone are enough to make you believe.

One of my favorite fall trees outside of my condo just beginning to turn a beautiful shade of red.

And seriously. No other season is so great that it deserves two names. Fall. Autumn. Winner.

Disclaimer: I have heard rumors of something called ‘football’ that many people really enjoy in the fall, but I wouldn’t know anything about that.

The Fall Lineup
So every fall I get excited. When the weather starts to change I feel like a kid again. I look forward to weekends in a way that I don’t any other time of year. But this year? I’m even more excited. Because on top of all of the normal Fall goodness,  this year my calendar has been quickly filled with more fun than ever. 

My next few weekends are back-to-back adventures with: 
Touring through the Smoky Mountains on a Harley
Hang Gliding
Sky Diving (again - see last year's post and video)
Hula Hooping a 5k (one of my 2012 resolutions)

Oh, and I am going on my covenant group girls' middle school retreat at church. I haven’t been on a middle school retreat in a long time, but I’m going to go ahead and call that an “adventure”.

I apparently have a fascination with being really high in the air. And adrenaline. YOLO, baby.

And all of this is happening before Thanksgiving. Here’s hoping for some B-E-A-U-tiful weekend weather.

A note to my mother: Yes, I will be careful. Yes, I will call you after every adventure to let you know that I am okay. Yes, I know, I take after my father. Yes, I know, I love you too. And YOLO means You Only Live Once. Save yourself a google search.

Hot Air Balloon Ride Food Truck Burgers
On Friday my sister and I went to a fall festival to meet up with some of my friends. We were supposed to go on a hot air balloon ride there, but the line was forever long and the balloon ran out of propane by the time we made it to the front of the line. But it was tethered anyways, and you know how I like being really high up in the air, so it wasn’t too much of a let down.

The picture that we took in preparation of our non-existent balloon ride.

Anyways, we ate food truck burgers while we waited.  We almost had another burger disaster when my sister's bag ripped down the side, but she had a much smoother save than I did.  Her burger fortunately never hit the ground.

Big Burger. Small Bag.

A Real Hike
On Saturday morning, after walking around an awesome Franklin neighborhood looking at yard sales with some friends, my sister called to tell me that she was headed to Percy Warner Park for a hike. I threw on some yoga pants, a fleece, a random OU tshirt, and my rarely used North Face hiking shoes (that I had purchased for my Yellowstone trip because they were the only hiking shoes that I could find with a touch of pink on them) and hopped over to the park. If you will remember from my Two Truths and a Tale, I’m not a hiker. And if you know anything about my sister, you know that she is. 

I expected a greenway. Pavement. Mild, rolling hills. Rest areas with water fountains. But this trail? It was dirt and grass and rock and sometimes water. There were steep inclines and areas where I had to sit and scoot to get down off of the ledges. And we hiked for 6.5 miles. And... I liked it! I actually really liked it!

Mossy Ridge Trail - part of our hike at Percy Warner Park

The whole time I kept reassuring myself in conversation my sister:

This is a real hike, right? 
Yes, Emily.

So I can tell people that I went on a hike in the wilderness? 
I mean, you can still hear cars on HWY 100, but sure.

People are so much nicer on nature trails than they are in malls. 
People are nicer when they are in nature. It makes them happy. It's proven.

Hey look, I am climbing a mountain. 
This is just a big hill, but sure.

You have a backpack. You look like such a serious hiker. 
Where do you think that water that you keep drinking is coming from? My backpack.

Look at me! I am really hiking!
Emily, seriously, when is the last time you went on a hike like this?
That one time when I was 14 and we went backpacking….

…Why? When was the last time you went?
Like yesterday.

I loved it. And I didn’t even complain once. AND I asked to go again! I’m a hiker. Who would have thought.

Note to self: Don’t wear any sports paraphernalia unless you actually like the team. People that we passed would see my OU shirt and say things like “How are the boys doing?” or “Boomer Sooner.” or other sports phrases. Next time? I’ll be sure to wear something more appropriate like a "Don't ask me about sports because I like sewing and baking and sky diving and motorcycle riding" tshirt.

I ended my weekend with some hoop practice for the 5k.

And a ride on a child-sized scooter.

I really want a vespa now!

Add in a couple of upcoming holidays, our second annual friendsgiving (with promises of an actual cooked turkey this year), a Nashville visit from a Bestie, and a whole lot of family time and I’ll say that by the time this is over 2012 might just rank pretty high on my “favorite years” list! 

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