Chattanooga Hikes: Trek 3

“Wow, I didn’t even know this place existed!”

This is only appropriate response when you discover over 30 miles of walking, hiking, and biking trails just a few miles outside your front door, all you got to do is get out of those plush slippers you got from Popbox and start walking.

Enterprise South Nature Park is a gloriously pruned tract of land across the parking lot from Volkswagen’s manufacturing plant in Chattanooga. On a clear day you can look towards the brilliantly lit VW logo and see Lookout Mountain’s Point Park as you enter and exit the park.

Newly paved and landscaped, this once abandoned dynamite manufacturing locale hosts dozens of trails for casual walking, bike-riding, scenic hiking, and even roads for your leisurely Sunday drives.  It’s best to stop by the Visitor’s Center when you enter to pick up a color-coded layout of the diverse and winding paths. Being mine and Abigail’s first time, we simply started walking down the first path we saw – Poe Run Path, which after a mile ambiguously becomes Hidden Lake Trail.  Several minutes later, we split off on the Hidden Lake Overlook.  It’s not as scenic of an overlook as you might imagine compared to the rest of Chattanooga’s trails, but you do get a nice view of the hidden lake, as well as the picnic area on the opposite bank.

From there we looped around and took the paved roads back to our car.  All in all we walked between 3.2 and 3.5 miles.  Had we not both been under-the-weather, we would have loved exploring all the ins and outs around the park.  As the trails are so well kept and do not vary much in difficulty (all moderately easy, it seems), Enterprise would be a great area to get away for the day.  In fact, I highly recommend it.  Take a day for yourself from working full-time and the working on home improvement and get lost in the splendor of the outdoors.

Perhaps my favorite part of the area, and certainly a main contributor to the park’s popularity, is the 100 old dynamite bunkers.  No, those flora-ridden mounds with ventilation shafts are not, in fact, hobbit holes.  What once held tons of explosives during WWII, and the rundown roads that lead to them, are now a fascinating scenic additive.  Chattanooga never is one to be short of something unique, I’m so thankful to say.

Total Hike Time:  1.5 hours

Three down, thirty-seven to go.

10 Books in 10 Weeks

For those who haven’t been keeping up with me, 10 weeks ago I set out on a quest to read 52 books in 52 weeks (hence the section of this site titled “52 in 52″).  As of last night, I’ve read 10 books in 10 weeks.  When you break down the numbers, it’s really quite incredible what a single mind can process.  This isn’t just in reference to me – there are ample individuals who read and write more than I do in some form or another.  And I’m not even referring to only reading – it’s amazing what a single person  can do with a little resilience.  Mine, simply, is used towards this reading goal, whereas others’ are used for their specific interests.

The list of books finished to date are as follows (also, only a few pages left in Francis Chan’s Multiply):

1.  Blind Spot:  Why We Fail to See the Solution Right in Front of Us, Gordon Rugg, 304 pp.

2.  A Praying Life:  Connecting with God in a Distracting World, Paul E. Miller, 277 pp.

3.  The 4-Hour Work Week, Expanded and Updated, Timothy Ferris, 396 pp.

4.  The Weight of Glory and Other Essays, C. S. Lewis, 192 pp.

5.  Blink:  The Power of Thinking without Thinking, Malcolm Gladwell, 296 pp.

6.  The New Coffeehouse Investor:  How to Build Wealth, Ignore Wall Street, and Get on with Your Life, Bill Schultheis, 236 pp.

7.  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, J. K. Rowling, 310 pp.

8.  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, J. K. Rowling, 341 pp.

9.  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J. K. Rowling, 435 pp.

10.  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J. K. Rowling, 734 pp.

I began this endeavor on November 16, 2014.  Sixty-nine days later (January 23, 2015), I’ve read a combined 3,521 pages.  To put this into perspective, this would be similar to reading the entire Bible twice; or reading Les Miserables four times.  That’s incredible!  Like training for a marathon, or building a company from scratch, it’s amazing to see what can be done when you work towards something day-in and day-out.  In these ten weeks, I’ve read an average of 51 pages a day, which, truthfully, does not sound like that many.  Historically speaking (though it may have changed), a published page holds roughly 250 words.  So, if I read 51 pages a day, that means I read approximately 12,750 words a day.  Which also means I’ve read approximately 880,250 words in the last 10 weeks!

A lot of people like and appreciate words, syntax, vocabulary, or something of the sort.  If you’re someone who wants to learn a new word a day, or five words a day, which many do, try reading instead of studying a dictionary.  Whether it’s in a blog, newspaper, novel, or textbook, if you read over 12,000 words a day you’re bound to find at least one you don’t already know!

I hope you’re not reading this thinking, “Wow, this guy’s kind of arrogant, it’s not even that big of a deal.”  I realize I’m not doing anything special.  But I do find it amazing how determination and perseverance towards a goal builds over time.  Rather than thinking me arrogant, use this as motivation to start working towards something you want to accomplish.  Paint a masterpiece, build a race car, create a new business – utilize time and habits to do something you’ve always wanted!


Kenneth D. Burke