Wooden Rock Bridge – Photo

Follow the Rock Bridge Trail, and you arrive at this… wooden bridge? If the trees are full of leaves, it can be hard to spot the rock bridge before you see this more obvious wooden one. As you walk between the stone “walls” you are actually walking “through” the bridge; to your right (as seen in the photo) is the actual bridge’s foot. It can be hard to see until you cross this wooden bridge, where its location becomes obvious.

As mentioned before, I proposed in the Red River Gorge and my wife and I returned for part of our honeymoon. My soon-to-be wife walked across this bridge in her wedding dress on the day of our wedding. The (real) Rock Bridge was our backdrop and the first time I saw her in her dress was as she emerged from that path between the stones.

It’s definitely not “just a wooden bridge” to us!

Wooden Rock Bridge

Watch the Sunrise

Just like a sunset, sunrises provide an opportunity to see one of nature’s most frequent wonders. Watching the sun rise can give you a sense of fresh beginnings and is a wonderful way to start the day. It requires a bit of planning, however.

You need to know:

  • what time the sun comes up
  • a good place to watch the sunrise
  • how long it takes to get to your viewing point

A sunrise actually begins about 15 minutes before you can see the sun. The sky starts to change colors, objects begin to take shape, the world unfolds. If you don’t time it right, you will miss out on the best part of the sunrise. This is why you need to know how long it takes to get to your viewing spot, you don’t want to be en route and miss the best part!

Plan on watching tomorrow’s sunrise. Pick your spot, check the times and set your alarm!

Caching in the Gorge – Photo

Nothing like finding a treasure while you’re out hiking! A beautiful fall day provided a perfect setting for finding this geocache. My wife and I followed our GPSr down the trail to the GeoCache. We detoured many times, admiring the views and exploring side-trails. This was one of those adventures that provided the openings for many more in the future.

I found the cache and am checking out its contents.

Click to see full-sized.


The Geocache itself, along with the GPSr and a geocoin.


Chase a Sunset

How often do you take the time to really appreciate a beautiful sunset? Do you do more than look for a few seconds and comment/think how beautiful it is before you continue whatever you were doing? This is something that I often have a hard time with and am trying to work on.

I have heard that sunsets are like snowflakes, no two are alike. When you start to pay attention, it is easy to see that this is true. The clouds are different, the coloration is more or less vivid, the horizon changes depending on your location. However, if you don’t take the time to really look, you might never appreciate this fact. “It’s a sunset, look at the pretty colors” and move on…

Today’s challenge is two-part:

  1. When you see a sunset, “chase it down”
  2. Really take time time to appreciate a sunset

Chase it down by finding the best vantage point to view the sunset. This might be as simple as walking around a building or to the side of some trees so that you have a better view. It could mean getting in the car and driving to a nearby hill.

Appreciate the sunset by taking 10 or 15 minutes to really watch it. Pay attention to the changing colors of the clouds, how the silhouetted trees/buildings change from a purple to black, to the fading color of the sky. Don’t forget that the sky continues to change even after the sun is out of sight.

This evening, pay attention. I want to hear about your sunset views in the comments!

Some Sort of Altar – Photo

A short distance from the caves is a natural “altar” that my wife and I stumbled upon. When you’re walking along the trail below the cliff and look up, it can be a bit of a shock to see this formation and wonder who built it (too many viewings of The Blair Witch, I suppose). After a few moments, you realize that it is just how the trees fell onto one another.

Click to see full-sized.


Take Up An Old Challenge

Rubix Cube Do you remember these things? I had one when I was younger and finally, out of frustration, put it back together by peeling off the stickers and putting them where they needed to be.

Recently, I decided that I wanted to finally “beat” this toy and requested one for Christmas. “It will be a good way to pass time during my flight to Ireland,” I thought. I struggled with it for some time before giving up, frustrated once again, and tucking it back into my carry-on bag. After arriving in Ireland, I placed the mixed-up cube on my desk. After seeing it every day for 3 months, I decided to take up the challenge once again. With some help from the good ole internet, I quickly discovered that there are many ways to solve the cube and set about learning one of them.

You might see this as cheating (I did initially), but I am pleased with the results. I learned from others and applied this information to my own situation. My cube has been solved a number of times now. I still have some trouble remembering the final steps required, but I only started practicing over the past weekend and have not yet focused on those steps.

What un-beaten challenges do you still have? This can be anything that you want to do but have never completed. Is there a book you always wanted to read, a race you want to run or a daytrip you want to take? What are you waiting for, go do it! Don’t make excuses! How long have you been making excuses and have not completed your challenge? You don’t want that to continue…

Many challenges don’t have to be finished in one setting. Work on it during your lunch break. 15 minutes a day quickly adds up. Do one small task/part every day and you will be amazed at how quickly you finish.

Start right now! Take the initial step right now. Determine the dates for your race (giving you a deadline to work towards), order that puzzle or book you have never completed, or make a list of equipment you might need on your day trip. Don’t make excuses and keep working toward beating that old challenge!

The Cliff is Looking Back! – Photo

Here are the caves that I mentioned. My wife and I climbed down the cliff (it’s not too hard, there’s a trail off to the side) and were surprised to discover that the cliff was looking at us! You can see, in the lower left corner, my wife is looking right back! 😀
It didn’t take us long to use that home-made ladder to get up into the cave to explore. They don’t go very far back… It’s as if some giant with an ice-cream scooper scooped out some of the stone. Interesting, no?

Click to see full-sized.

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On Top of the World! – Photo

There’s no feeling that quite compares to standing on top of the world! No, not Everest, a cliff in the Red River Gorge (hey, the air is quite breathable and it’s above freezing… what can we say?) There are grooves in the stone where rappeller’s ropes have worn it away. Below us are some ice-cream scoop caves. For now, though, we are standing here on the edge, enjoying the view down down in the valley. We timed the changing of the leaves just right. A week earlier, and they were dull and dusty. A week later and they had started to fall.

over cliff