Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.



Today, after our regularly scheduled morning rain, I decided to climb Smith Mountain. This is something we always do at least once when we’re here at the lake.

The goal on top of the mountain.

You have to climb the mountain before you can climb the fire tower. It’s a long way up.

At the beginning of the trail I encountered this sign.

Well darn. But the access road will get me to the same place.

Huh. I like going up the trail, it takes longer than the access road but it has some ups and downs. Unlike the access road which goes up. And then it turns a corner and goes up some more.

Just the beginning of the upward climb.

Along the way I stopped, ostensibly to take pictures of pretty things.

Luckily there were plenty of pretty things to stop and take pictures of. Like this orange lichen on a big rock.

But really I stopped so I could breath. Did I mention that the access road goes straight up the mountain?

As I was walking a work truck crawled slowly past me, headed for the top as well. I seriously considered jumping on his tailgate.

I thought this stone, embedded in the asphalt near the top of the mountain, looked like a sketch of a girl hiking. I might have been delirious from lack of oxygen.

Once at the top I read some of the newly placed signs, about the wildlife, the birds, flowering shrubs. Anything that would stall the hike to the top of the fire tower.

But it turned out to not be that difficult. Guess the mountain warmed me up for 111 stairs. That’s one of the numbers I stopped to read about on the way up.

This sign was about 1/3 of the way up. Lots of interesting facts. Like the gazillion gallons of water in Lake Martin!

Once at the top I spent some time just enjoying the lake. I love being up there. I especially love being up there when there aren’t a lot of tourists around.

That little spit of land, with the trees reflected is on the back side of the mountain, where I walked my first week here.

Unfortunately, on this Monday there were workers down below, complete with generator going full speed to power up their tools. They’re fixing the stairs you’d climb at the end of your trail hike if you came up the mountain via trail.

Three guys and their generator sure can make a lot of noise.

I guess that’s nice. But it sure would have been nicer to listen to the wind in the pines and the birds calling. But I’ll be back, once they’re done with their project. Meanwhile I enjoyed the lovely poofy clouds and the red-ringed lake.

The Sandy Creek Narrows (I only know that’s the name of it from the new signs on the way up the tower) out to the ‘big water.’

I love this lake, it’s so beautiful, and not completely built up like most lakes are.
Sure, it’s more crowded than it was when my folks moved here in the 80s, but it’s still has a lot of empty land filled with trees and wildlife.

I loved the stripes of green fur trees against the empty limbs of the deciduous trees. Also the two turkey buzzards flying below me.

The clouds were beautiful, and sometimes the sun would peek out.

Bits of blue sky.

As I walked back down the 111 steps and started my way back down the access road I was happy that I’d made the effort to climb the tower on a beautiful afternoon. Even if it wasn’t as peaceful as I’d have liked.

It’s always a good feeling to see the world from way up high. If you’re ever this way you should definitely climb the mountain!

Standing tall, waiting for my next visit.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

17 thoughts on “Mountaineering

  1. I find that I often look for reasons to stop and take photos, more now than I used to. It’s a good excuse, isn’t it.

    Lovely view from up there. That’s a lot of stairs!


  2. My excuse for a breather when I’m out running is to check my handheld GPS to track the dogs. (They’re always way ahead of me). Like that’s news to me.


  3. Yeah, but no, thank you. There was a time in my life, maybe even not so long ago – maybe 25 years ago, maybe only 10 or 15. But now, no, my body would not deal with a walk that always goes up, nor would my body deal with 111 steps to the top of a tower. Therefore, I am especially appreciative of your photos, because they allow me to imagine I’ve done it. As I sit and sip my coffee. So much better that way!


  4. 111 steps seems like about 100 too many to me! Thankfully your lovely photos allowed me to see the view without walking up the stairs. Your photos are calming, just seeing such an expanse is relaxing.


  5. What a beautiful view. Well worth the climb, if your knees are up to it.


    • My knees aren’t bad. But yesterday on my drive to Gulf Shores I couldn’t figure out why my calf muscles ached. Later that night after a long walk on the beach I remembered I’d climbed the mountain the day before. Oh yea…that’s why.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I always stop to take photos and breathe! What a great view of the lake from up there! It looks pleasantly warm there too! Enjoy!


  7. What a wonderful view!! I hope someday I will visit there and I thank you for sharing the lake and all the beauty! Those clouds were gorgeous too!! 🙂❤️


  8. Wonderful view, Dawn — thank you for taking me along! I’ve only been to the top of one fire tower. It was back when I was in college and four of us decided we had to get up there to see the night sky. Probably wasn’t legal, but when did that stop silly college kids? I’m just glad we all survived to tell the tale!


  9. Since we can’t hear those stupid generators, your photos were so amazingly peaceful and beautiful. Oh, I would love to go here, and climb that trail (and stop often to take photos … and breathe). I love water, all kinds, so it might be kind of goofy but this is one of my favorites of your blog posts. And yes, I saw the girl hiking on the rock before I read your comment. Wow, 111 steps, and that’s AFTER you get up there. Guess I better start early in the morning. 🙂


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