It was almost 90 degrees and sunny yesterday, which was a record high temperature for October here in Tennessee. The gorgeous weather motivated me to get outdoors and push myself a little harder with our Fall Exercise Challenge. 🙂
I decided to revisit Short Springs Natural Area. It’s a beautiful spot in middle Tennessee with great hiking and multiple waterfalls. This was the second waterfall on my hike (photo below) and I went on to really challenge myself on this hike…
I started the day with a quick breakfast of pecan halves while I was working.
A half cup of pecans (60 grams) is 420 calories, only 2 net carbs, and 93% healthy fat – so it’s a very filling little snack!;)
Since I was heading out of town for my fitness adventure and knew there was a Hardee’s a couple towns over, I decided to have lunch on the way – because they make my absolute favorite low carb cheeseburger! 🙂
I got the Frisco Burger “low carb style” (in a lettuce wrap).
Hardee’s or Carl’s Jr will make anything on the menu low carb style for you. See Seedrah.com (Hardee’s spelled backward).
I’d been to this hiking spot before so I decided to take a different trail in and see Busby Falls, then loop around for my REAL mission. I mentioned in previous posts that I was itching to climb Machine Falls, and that’s exactly what I set out to do!
It turns out that Busby Falls is actually two waterfalls, the lower Busby Falls (which you saw in the first photo above) and the smaller upper Busby Falls shown below:
They were both absolutely beautiful. 🙂
Just as I reached the stream that would take me down to Busby Falls, I ran into a kind older man named Bob. I would guess he’s in his 60’s or early 70’s and he was out getting a little sunshine and exercise (just like me! and several other solo-hikers) before his kick-boxing class later. 🙂
He walked downstream with me a ways, telling me stories of the area and his adventures in those woods. He was a great help navigating the waterways off-trail too, and fun company!
After Bob headed back to make his kickboxing class on time(!), I found where the two streams met and turned right to walk upstream toward Machine Falls.
It was fun following the waterways instead of the trails. 🙂
I chose that route to keep cooled off while hiking on such a HOT day. It was a lot more scenic too, with even more waterfalls along the way.
I walked upstream until I reached my destination: Machine Falls.
You can’t see much of it in this photo. I was limited with my selfie stick, because my “camera voice commands” wouldn’t work so close to the waterfalls. My phone couldn’t hear me over the roar. 🙂
WHY did I want to climb Machine Falls?
Good question… 🙂
Lately I’ve felt so up in the air with so many things in my life, had a little head spinning going on – ya know? We all go through that sometimes. Getting out in the fresh air and sunshine and working up a great sweat is good for the body AND soul.
But I also craved a sense of accomplishment… I wanted to challenge myself, and prove that I could do it. We’ll just call it therapy.:)
Plus rock climbing is an AMAZING workout. 🙂
About 2/3 of the way up that ridge, I really started to question this mission -lol. It took A LOT of upper body strength and balance. Sweat was dripping off of me. Spiders and snakes and other such things started running through my mind…
Going back down wasn’t exactly an option at this point though. 😛
I made it. 🙂
Hot, drenched in sweat, relieved (lol) and feeling like a million bucks!!
Here’s my “victory shot” standing over the top of Machine Falls:
From my downstream chat with “old man Bob” I knew there was a trail leading to the top of the waterfall, so I intended to find that trail and hike back out from there.
Somehow I missed it. (the trail) 🙄 lol…
I ended up (not intentionally) on a path that took me back down the bluff I’d just climbed… but in a different spot, with at least a few more footholds.
About halfway down I stopped for a break, because I found a tree to hold on to (lol). This was a crazy steep grade, most of which I had to do on my butt, inching my way down VERY carefully.
I made it. 🙂 Another HUGE victory!!
I followed the river back downstream – filthy, sweaty, a little scraped up and SMILING so big. I was exhausted and the sun was starting to get low, so I stayed on course hiking back to the Busby creek intersection then upstream from there – the way I came. I didn’t want to get lost in the woods in the dark! lol – eek!
Making it back to the lower Busby Falls with plenty of daylight still left to hike out was a relief, although I felt comfortable enough with my path at that point to get out even in low light. Still, this sight gave me another big smile as there were no longer other hikers around.
It was an amazing hiking experience all the way around, and a GREAT workout. In addition to logging over 10,000 steps on my Fitbit, it was a full body workout with lots of arm action on the climb.
That was 3 adventures in 4 days, and I’m finally feeling some muscle tension. 🙂 This is the first time I’ve felt “sore” with any of my workouts! And honestly it’s just a little tension, which makes me feel like I’m in better shape than I realized.:)
I was FAMISHED after 5 hours of non-stop hiking, and I was hungry for real food.
Unfortunately I was wet, dirty, sweaty – and smelled like it. haha. I decided to chance it anyway because fast food just wasn’t going to cut it after all that… so I went to O’Charley’s for a REAL dinner.
They didn’t seem to mind me, lol. 🙂
I ordered my favorite healthy low carb meal there: Cedar Plank Salmon with asparagus and “loaded broccoli” (steamed broccoli with butter, cheese & sour cream):
That usually makes two meals for me, but I totally cleaned my plate. Well, except for about half the asparagus because the stalk ends were tough.:)
It was SOOO good though!
Here’s my MyFitnessPal Nutrition Diary for yesterday:
It was a very healthy day all the way around with lots of sunshine, soul-searching, smiling, exercise, and great low carb meals!
I’ll be home for the next few days and plan to rest and catch up on a fun writing project, and maybe even cook a little. 🙂
It’s nice to find ways to make exercise FUN, and I really enjoy challenging myself and exploring my limits – both my physical limits, and things like facing my fears (heights, being out in the woods alone, etc). I also love to EXPLORE. It’s fun and it’s free and it’s a great way to break up your routine and get out of the house.;)
Discount Code: LOWCARBTRAVELER