Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Yes, there really is a Little Bottoms Trail in the GSMNP!
A good hiker never leaves home without someone knowing the intended trail, where the car will be parked and an estimated time of return. I braced myself for Mr. B's comment when I told him I would be hiking the Little Bottoms Trail and he did not disappoint. I believe it was something along the lines of, "hope it works!" LOL!! Shortly thereafter, he departed for France. Total mileage for this hike is around seven miles and it's one of my favorites because much of the time you are walking alongside Abrams Creek. Combined with the snowmelt from the higher elevations and the rain we've been having, the creek was spectacular.
Lunch spot along Abrams Creek
My friend, with whom I've been hiking for over a decade, and I have a routine we follow. We enjoy getting caught up and having lively discussions while hiking, but also both value our time of solitude in the woods. We always designate a "hike separately, but within sight of each other" hiking period and during our lunch breaks, we usually eat together, then spend some time alone reading, thinking, praying or whatever. It is such a comfortable routine and I dearly love my hiking bud.
This picture was taken about 1 1/2 miles into the hike and I couldn't resist adding it for two reasons. First, it shows the only real distance viewpoint on the Little Bottoms Trail. It is a great resting spot after a tough climb over a ridge. The trail goes off to the left from here and down, down, down where it then parallels Abrams Creek the rest of the way. Second, this is a picture of my hiking friend whom you can see, most definitely DOES have a "little bottom." She is five years older than I am and just by watching her, I have learned a lot about "normal" eating.
Speaking of eating, I am having quite a successful eating week with little stress. It seems I react in quite the opposite way from many of you when Mr. B is out of town. As you know, he loves to cook and he loves to eat and although we've made great strides toward a healthy compromise, he still tends to cook way too much leaving me to deal with the leftovers. When he is out of the picture, I am much better able to stick with the strict eating plan I followed when I lost my 65 pounds in 2006-2007. I'm enjoying the simplicity of meal times and am considering having a discussion with Mr. B when he returns to see if he'd work with me again as he did in 2006-2007. If I could follow this plan for three months, I believe I'd lose the weight I have left. To use a very southern phrase, I'm tired of "fiddle-farting" around with these last pounds. I'm excited about maintenance and just want to be there so I can become as successful at maintaining as I am at losing. So far, maintaining has NOT been my strength!! That may seem contradictory to some things I've written recently, but I really don't see it that way. I've realized anew this week, that I LIKE this way of eating. It is so, so simple and doesn't require time spent planning, shopping or thinking about food which is when I get into trouble! We'll see and I'll keep you posted.
Today is the first day of Lent. Our church, First Baptist Church of Knoxville, TN has a service on Ash Wednesday that has come to hold a great deal of meaning for me. I look forward to it every year and carefully consider what I might give up for six weeks that will be both a sacrifice and a learning experience. This year, I have chosen to give up sugar in all forms. I have done this before and found that when I am successful for the six weeks of Lent, I have formed the habit and am able to continue. This year, I am excited about it and am viewing it in light of a healthy sacrifice rather than something I have to endure.
We are expecting boatloads of rain today (2-3 inches) so I've compiled a list of indoor activities including making a new batch of my homemade granola and doing our taxes. Blah!! On the other hand, this rain is ushering in a series of cool, sunny days and I have hiking plans for Friday and Saturday. Mr. B will be home late Saturday evening and I am in hopes that he will immediately notice a SMALLER BOTTOM!!!
How's the weather in your neck of the woods? And BTW, if you've never told me, just exactly where is your neck of the woods?