This past Sunday I was able to hike a local treasure – House Mountain in east Knox County. At 2100 ft House Mountain is the highest peak in Knox county, and you can see over 30 miles away on a clear day.
House Mountain is a 500-acre natural area located in Knox County approximately eight miles from Knoxville. It is cooperatively managed by the State by Knox County Parks and Recreation. The park has a small parking lot, but includes a restroom and covered picnic area.
From Knoxville, take I-40 East. Exit on U.S. Highway 11W (Rutledge Pike) and go north and east on Rutledge Pike. After about 10 miles, look for the “House Mountain State Park” sign on the right side of the highway and then turn left on Idumea Road. Turn left on Hogskin Road. The entrance is less than a mile on the right. More information on House Mountain can be found here.
We took the East Overlook trail which is a fairly steep trail at the top of the mountain. The trail is well marked, but is narrow in places.
The weather was excellent and cool. The parking lot was full and we passed many folks on the trail.
Once at the top the clear day allowed us to see the Smoky’s to the south and east, and the Cumberland Plateau to the west.
If I were to ask you to set out on an adventure today – what kind of ideas would come to your mind? What ideas, places, settings and time make up an adventure to you?
Adventure is defined as:
a) an undertaking involving danger and unknown risks
b) a new, remarkable, exciting or unusual experience
I would add that adventures can be expected or unexpected.
I look forward to taking an expected adventure. The anticipation is great, and fun to organize. Some look forward to an exciting adventure such as riding a roller coaster, going to an amusement park, hiking to scenic views, preparing for an exercise event or participating in a mission trip.
I like to look for small adventures during ordinary events. On a recent business trip to Maine I found many opportunities for an adventure. Some I set out to do, and others found by just pursuing the day.
I travel to Maine regularly to meet with customers. As a Tennessee fella I really enjoy Maine in lots of ways. I enjoy their pace of life and the lack of big city hustle and bustle I usually see during a work day. I also enjoy the diversity of the landscape in the state. From the rugged coastline to the central state mountains, Maine is very diverse and beautiful.
On this trip to Bangor I had made time to visit Bar Harbor for a few hours. Traveling by myself I am pretty flexible in when I go and how long I stay, but this day only afforded me about 3 hours to seek adventure before sundown.
I knew of a mission house in Bar Harbor that I wanted to see, and I really wanted to get some pictures of the coast. So I was going to hurry to find this house my brother-in-law told me about and then wanted to get into Acadia National Park before the sun went down. So I parked in an out of the way public lot and according to my GPS it was not far from this particular house.
I knew what this house looked like from Tim’s description so I set out on foot to find it. The trail from the parking lot led directly toward the ocean, so I figured I could access the house from this trail. As I started down the trail toward the house I realized this trail was not just any trail, but a Bar Harbor city walking trail that went along the ocean. Wow – what a discovery! And what a relief. Now instead of having to find this house then jet over to Acadia – I could take my time finding the house and take pictures on this new trail I found. I was just so tickled with my new discovery!
Luckily the house was only a few yards from the parking lot – in city terms it was about 2 blocks away. I was able to find it and take some pictures of the house/mansion from the trail. However, I was not allowed on the the property. I did flag down and talk to the grounds keeper, but he was not at all amused by my enthusiasm for the house or relationship to my brother-in-law who had been there before. Neither of my persuading arguments would warm him up enough to invite me in for a closer look.
So now with the house part of my adventure abruptly complete, I had plenty of time to take pictures of the ocean.
The ocean views in Bar Harbor are just spectacular. The harbor is surrounded by several smaller islands, and the coast is a wash of colorful jagged rocks. On this particular day and time I was virtually alone on the trail so I took advantage by getting lots of pictures and climbing around on the rocks like a school boy. I was having such a grand time!
The only thing to dampen my spirits that evening was the setting of the sun. It brought my picture taking adventure to an end. But I had experience a great time with the sights, sounds and smells of the ocean.
The only thing left to do now in Bar Harbor was to eat. But where to eat this time?! I thought why not try something new? Yep – the beginning of a new eating adventure for me!