In the effort to entertain my brother and sister-in-law, I came up with the following itinerary:
- Have them assist in a birds of prey program at a local festival.
- Take them to lunch at a famous barbecue on a hill with goats.
- Haul them up to Lookout mountain and take them hiking for a couple of hours.
- Drag them out for Mexican-fusion at favorite taco spot.
- Give them a tour of husband’s workshop.
We are now on #3. Hauling said brother and sister-in-law up to Lookout Mountain for a relatively short, easy hike.
One of my favorite short, easy hikes on Lookout is the hike from Craven’s House to Sunset Rock. There are many routes to choose from so it’s easy to make the hike as short as 3 miles or as long as 10, depending on how long you want to be out. Regardless of which route you choose, the scenery on Lookout and the views from the overlooks are always fantastic.
The rock formations on Lookout are amazing in and of themselves. The sandstone (or maybe limestone?) splits, drops, careens, and leans in ways that make you feel like you’re doing something really dangerous by walking on stone that might fall off the side of the mountain at any moment. If the trail were along the creek with the same rock formations, it wouldn’t be quite as adventurous, but it would still be beautiful.
Water runs between the rocks from time to time. We were surprised on this early spring day to discover chunks of ice lingering in one microscopic waterfall. Just another reminder that only the humans around here are convinced it’s supposed to be spring.
Tisen enjoys this hike, too. He likes to linger behind, sniffing, and then dart back in front. Sometimes, he stops to check on me if I’m hanging back. I’m not sure if he’s worried I’m going to fall off a cliff (a reasonably probable occurrence) or if he thinks I might sneak off and disappear to some new life that doesn’t include him. He really doesn’t have to worry about the latter–I’m not anxious to find out what life will feel like without him.
We made it to Sunset Rock in tact, although Tisen scared me to the point that I yelled at him when he got so close to the edge that I really thought he was going to lift his leg and immediately topple down the cliff. I called him three times and when he ignored me, I panicked and yelled his name at the kind of volume that echoed off the surrounding cliff sides. He looked up at me, surprised and sheepish. I couldn’t remember having ever raised my voice at him before; I felt a little foolish.
The view from Sunset Rock is not actually better than the view from Point Park, but making the hike through the woods and up the mountain makes it feel so much better.