Sunset Rock

Lookout Mountain is both a backdrop and a center piece for Chattanooga.  It’s full of tourist destinations and local favorites; quiet neighborhoods and busy streets; civil war history and quiet countryside.  It offers fantastic views and shaded woods.  It all just depends on where on Lookout Mountain you go.

This past weekend, when we were trying to decide where we wanted to hike, my husband’s criteria was that he wanted to spend less than an hour driving round-trip and he didn’t want to hike more than 5 miles.  My criteria was that I wanted there to be a view and I wanted the trail to be doable in my fivefingers shoes.  Lookout Mountain was our perfect compromise.

We’ve gone up to Point Park on Lookout Mountain many times.  We’ve walked the paved trail down to the overlook at the point.  And, off in the distance, we noticed people sitting on Sunset Rock.  Today was our day to sit on Sunset Rock.

We decided to start at Craven’s House.  There are several trails from Craven’s House that can get you to Sunset Rock.  We chose the longest route.  Even so, it was not much more than 2 miles to Sunset Rock.

We took a trail called Rifle Pits Trail.  I’m sure there is an explanation for why it’s called “Rifle Pits,” but all I could think about was rifles spewing out shells and leaving behind the casings like I might spit out the pits from Kalamata olives.  We did not see a single shell casing, however.

This trail was partially an old road, which made for easy walking.  However, when we got to the Gum Spring Trail juncture, we turned and started climbing a lot of steps.  While it wasn’t so difficult as to be daunting, we were a little worried about Tisen.  These were mostly large stones positioned to form stairs, not actual stairs.  But every time I stopped to check on Tisen, he would run into the backs of my legs, he was so tight on my heels.

I made it up the steep section in 1 piece–it’s a miracle I didn’t trip over Tisen and fall off the cliff.  And the view from Sunset Rock was spectacular.  Unfortunately, it was, as usual, the wrong time of day to be shooting, but I did what I could.

Speaking of shooting, does anyone know how to train a dog not to walk into the frame when you stop to take a picture?  I had to trash about 50 images because of a Holstein-like blur running through them.  While we’re talking about unexpected visitors in the camera frame, let’s talk about my husband.  I think we’ve reached a point in our photographer/non-photographer relationship where he’s tired of assisting.  I didn’t bring my tripod or any extra lenses (for once), which meant he didn’t feel obligated to carry anything for me.  But, he still felt obligated to walk through my frame.  What do you suppose that means?