Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Nature Day: Stringers Ridge

I knew when we moved to the Chattanooga area that nature would play a big part in our lives. I don't think I knew how perfect it would be in terms of how close so many different trails are to us.

My love of this area is definitely increased by the number of trails that are within a short drive (or walk) from our home.

Each week Jack and I go on a hike as part of our homeschool's nature study, and we typically tackle trails on the mountain where we live. However, sometimes we venture off our mountain (we've wandered over to Lookout and Raccoon Mountains), and have really just begun to explore the Tennessee valley and surrounding areas.

Last week, in conjunction with the Super Blue Blood Moon, we were studying the phases of the moon for our nature study but that particular study didn't really fit with our typical day hike.

Since the two of us always try to hike on Thursdays, I decided we would do an urban hike in the city, and if we had time, I wanted to take Jack to the Pump Track to ride his bike.

When Jack found out the plan about the Pump Track, he wanted to get the Stringer's Ridge hike over as quickly as possible!

It was a foggy cool morning, and we were the only ones who seemed to be out on the trails. We stuck to the paved trail in order to try to make the fastest time to the overlook of the city.

We noticed that hiking in an urban area was different from our mountain in that we could hear construction in the North Shore area, and also traffic on Hwy 127 as people made their way downtown and around the city.

Over the last several weeks we have also noticed lots of tree limbs and debris down on the trails in the area. Heavy winds have made a bit of a mess of the woods.

We had another successful day together. We weren't on the look out for any particular part of nature, it was just nice to walk and talk together, in silence or chatting.

Several times Jack came and grasped my hand as we walked. He almost never does that and I really cherish these moments we get to spend together.

As promised, after we made it back to the car, we drove around to the other parking lot located at Stringers Ridge, and Jack biked his little heart out on the two tracks.

He tried some different ways of riding down the various dirt mounds and got pretty confident.

He did have one spill at the end. I had to help pick the bike off of him, but he was fine. He hopped back on and did several more laps before we had to call it a morning.

Watching these videos, I'm pretty sure Jack is ready to move up a bike size. We have one with gears for him, but Daniel needs to do some adjustments to it before Jack starts riding it.

Check back on Thursdays to see where our nature studies have taken us...
Previous Nature Hikes with Jack: 
September: Green Gorge, Althaus Park, and Mabbit Springs
October: Reflection Riding Center (Monday Nature Day with friends) ⎮ Joyce Kilmer Wilderness Among Trees (hike we did as a family) ⎮ Greenway Farms Nature Day (family archery lesson and hike)
November: Glen FallsMushroom Rock (with Mommy and Daddy) ⎮ Raccoon Mountain
December: The BouldersToccoa River (family hike)⎮ Amnicalola Falls (family hike)

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