Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Running, Buffet-ing and Paddling

Saturday April 30, 2011
Site 79 C
Cumberland Mountain State Park, Tennessee

I worked on the blog a bit this morning early
and at 9:00 set out to run the entire Pioneer Trail. 
Maybe you recall, we had tried to hike the short loop
the day of the tornado warnings and had to
race walk the end because of the rain. 

I got to the end of the campground road
and realized since I was going right by registration
I might as well pay  for our last two nights here
since I’d forgotten to do it yesterday.  
So I ran back to Winnona to get the credit card.

Started out again, ran over to registration
and GUESS WHAT-----the card was denied.
This is a continuing saga explained the last time this happened a mere

So I ran back to Winnona
and spent another 45 minutes yelling
at yet another SENIOR SUPERVISOR who,
just like the last one three days ago,
assured me that the computer
would not be sending us any more cards.
A summary, for those who didn’t read this before,
just skip this paragraph if you did.
Our card expires in May,
We left home in early April so we were
not there to get the replacement cards.
I told Citibank ahead of time about this fact and that
we would be traveling.
They sent the replacement cards UPS
to the campground at the rally. 
Everything was fine.
But no one told the computer and
it has kept sending cards to the home address.
This is 5 or 6 times now.
The post office doesn’t forward them
but rather sends them back,
the computer puts a hold on our account
because no one received the cards.
I have to spend an hour getting it straightened out AGAIN.
And 3 days later, around we go.

Right arm clearly does not know what the left arm is doing
And no one is smart enough to control the computer. 

Anyone want to make some recommendations
of credit card company that will actually treat well
customers who have had their card for over 10 years
and NEVER had even one late payment??

I like using credit cards rather than cash on the road. 
It is easier and gives me a record of nearly every penny we spend.
But this last 3 months with Citi-bank is absolutely ridiculous.

At 10am I set out AGAIN for the registration office
and the card worked fine
so off I went to the Pioneer trail which did not disappoint. 

Now I’m not sure which is my favorite trail. 
Pioneer or Byrd Creek. 
But I highly recommend that anyone traveling through Tennessee
spend a few days at Cumberland Mountain State Park
to enjoy them both.

We had done - in the rain - the Pioneer Short Loop
that goes to and across the suspension bridge.
Today we each continued on past the suspension bridge
to extend the hike to 5 miles making it
THE Pioneer Loop (long trail I guess).

The short trail runs right along the lake,
As I was returning  from the card denial to call Citicard
yet again,
David set out before me to run the same trail.
We got back to Winnona within 15 minutes of each other
but never passed on the trail.

So we have two different versions of this experience
and I picked through both our
pictures and chose some for this post.

goes through lovely woods,

passes many outcroppings,

and crosses several streams.

Here's a correct You are Here map
showing the location of the suspension bridge at the
foot of the Short Trail.  Going straight on
and not crossing the bridge puts you on
The Pioneer "long" Trail.

Here's the bridge from higher up

and closer down.

the continuation of the trail also
had stream crossings.

It had a rock passage.

lovely water views

 And then I came ot the first of
several, difficult for me, effects of the storms
on the  trail.

This was a large tree that had fallen
across the trail too recently for trail crews to
have cleared it.  I took a picture of myself
straddling the tree in order to get over it
But you couldn't tell the size of the tree or
what was actually happening.

This one isn't much better but you
can sort of see the trail in both the bottom right
and top left of the picture.  You just can't tell how big
that tree is unless you actually had to climb over it!!
No stepping over this one.

I could hear the water dripping
here before I rounded the bend to
see it.  Can you see that in the picture?
Click to make it larger if not. 
What a magic spot!

Another tunnel

and another obstacle on the path
This time several trees. 
Looked like the path to nowhere when I came upon it.

As I get closer I can see there is a small piece
of trail in between.

And then as I get over one,
I see there is much more.

This was a climbing PILE and I did scrape my
legs in several places but nothing serioius.
David didn't so I guess that's yet another
advantage of not being vertically challenged.

But there were definitely compensations further
down the trail.

I think this was the last stream crossing before
returning to the boat dock.

An outcropping with what my Aunt Carrie used
to call "hidey holes"

 Final sections of the trail

Near the end was this rock overlook

Standing here I felt like the luckiest person alive.
What a GREAT life I'm living!!


By the time I finished, with the trail
and all the back and forth over the card,
I had run nearly 7 miles not just the 5 miles of the trail.
(and some of it I obviously had to walk and climb)

After showering and changing clothes
we went over to try the famous lunch buffet at the restaurant. 
Menu today was
Baked chicken with rice
Meatloaf and mashed potatoes
Southern style green beans and ham
fried squash
huge salad bar
Bannana pudding
chocolate cobbler
cherry cobbler
and two kinds of cake.

Needless to say we ate way too much;
buffets do that to us all I think.
But the food was excellent
and a must do at least once while you are at the park.

We took 6 or 7 pictures of the buffet
and the lovely dining room and our
stacked high plates but when I went
to do up this blog David found he'd deleted
them from his camera.
So you'll have to use your imagination.
Or better you go on over and try it out yourself!

It was 2:30 after lunch and we walked down to the boathouse
to check out the boat launch for kayaking.
The water was up and the run around the lake
had made the lake and kayaking look very enticing.

But after the stress of yet another Citibank episode,
running nearly 7 miles in total,
eating a huge lunch
and the windy afternoon,
I determined I’d rather just take it easy.
So we walked back to Winnona and David
decided to go out by himself.
I, of course, worked on the blog.

I really would like to have been on the lake
and after he left I realized
I should have suggested the Sea Eagle.
Less trouble  since you don’t have to take it on and off
the car like our hard sided Kayaks.
Although you do have to blow it up to use it
and clean it off when you are finished.

BUT I could have used the
“Linda Payne method of paddling”
where the guy in the back paddles
and the gal in the front puts her feet out into the water.
Sure wish I’d thought of that BEFORE he left.

OH Well, next time!

David's going to do a post about
his paddling afternoon
It will be coming up next..... 
don't change your channel 



  1. You are so right, "What a GREAT life you are living!!" Can't wait to get out there and hug a tree, but in the mean time...thanks for taking us along with you.

    Great blog...great photos!!


  2. So, now you know where you are, but does your credit card company?

    Ain't technology grand? GIGO, cuased by the human factor, aka IDIOTS!!! ;c)

  3. I didn't know that you like to climb trees that much. You could get all the way to the top and not have that far to fall. ;) Travel safe.


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