Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Signal Point at Sunset

Sunsets are always beautiful. This one was no exception. I really enjoy driving up to Signal Point whenever I get a chance. The lights in the distance are that of Chattanooga. The mountain on the other side of the river is Raccoon Mountain, and the one farther in the distance is Lookout Mountain. These mountains make Chattanooga such a beautiful city. They're part of what first drew me there, and they will always be a great place to go whether to get away or to enjoy the tourist traps.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Letter to America

I can now say that I've experienced the magic that is Letter to America (LTA). Recently I got to spend some time with internet podcaster Jett Loe. I've never done any podcasting, so it was neat to see how it all works. Jett has been doing a podcast out of Belfast, Ireland for the past few years and recently decided to travel to Nashville to experience life in Belfast's sister city. I shot him an e-mail to invite him to see the sights in Chattanooga, and he decided to come down.

He came in and we visited some of the lesser known site in Chattanooga. We didn't go to Rock City or Ruby Falls. We ended up visiting the Dragon Museum and the Tow Truck Hall of Fame. It was a fascinating side of Chattanooga that I don't often see. The podcast will be airing in about a week or two. We were so busy talking that I really didn't have a lot of time to take pictures, but I'll include some of the interesting ones that I got. (Above: Jett reviewing pictures from the Tow Truck Hall of Fame; Below: Memorial to Fallen Towers)

I'll leave my story of the adventure to the LTA podcast. There was so much that happened, I don't know that it could be described vividly enough in this plog. I had a good time though, and I'm looking forward to hearing the end result.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Natural Bridge

"I'm not going to stop until I get there," I thought to myself as I started the hike. "After all, it's only a 3 mile hike out there... If I don't stop I'll get there in an hour... I wonder what a Natural Bridge looks like anyways." Those thoughts started my hike that Sunday in June. I had just failed an insurance test about a week before and I was feeling pretty down about having to work the entire month without pay. It would just feel good to get away for a bit.

I hiked the entire three miles solo. When I had hiked this way before I had done it with an iPod and took numerous breaks. I made it out to Snoopers Rock that time. I love that place. This hike started from Snoopers Rock. It took me further south, along the ridge where I had a good view of the river the entire hike. It's amazing what some peace and quiet will do for you. Hiking with nothing to do but think. Nobody to talk to, no cell phone, no iPod.

It was quiet. It made me think. It forced me to take a good hard look at what I was doing in this internship to begin with. I had failed the test and I thought that maybe if I stuck it through, I would see the light at the end of the tunnel. That's what this hike was about: picking a destination and not stopping until I reached it. I knew if I got there, I could make it back out. I wanted to get there because I thought that maybe, just maybe, it would mean that I could be just as determined to do well in my job.

"Who am I kidding? I don't want to be an insurance salesman, much less a financial planner. Who would trust me with their money anyways?" Never mind, it was a stupid thought, I would just stick with it for the summer and see where it took me. I pressed on until finally I reached my destination.

"Wait, this is it?" I thought to myself. I looked at the two foot gap between a standing rock and the ground I was on. "I hiked all this way, and this is all it is?" Some great wonder of the world this was: A natural bridge that didn't even connect. Oh well, I guess the adventure was in getting there, not really being there. This I soon found out in my job as well. I worked hard through the summer for minimal pay (while being promised the grand Natural Bridge). In the end I got to the destination and thought, "Wait, this is it?"

Sometimes things aren't all they're cracked up to be. This was the case with the Natural Bridge; however, I got a lot of things out of that hike (including three ticks!). I learned that I need to press on with goals I've set for myself even if I'm unsure of the end result. If I hadn't been out there I would talk about going out there, wonder what it was like, and always wish I would have taken that lazy Sunday and done something more productive with it. Since I did it I can say I've been there, done that, and that the journey was worth it, but the destination left something to be desired. Similarly, I found this to be true in my job as well, but I at least I can say I've done it. I tried. I made it to the bridge and found it disappointing, but I learned a lot on the journey.