Friday, April 21, 2017

Pot Point Trail - Chattanooga - Hiking Review

This is a review from a novice hiker's point of view of Pot Point Trail in Chattanooga Tn. 

I am in no way an experienced hiker. I would likely die if I went out to the Appalachian and hiked. That being said, my husband, our 8 year old son and myself love to go on hikes. We are blessed to live in the TN Valley. We live in North Georgia just south of Chattanooga, Tn. There are so many great hiking places surrounding us. 

I thought it would be fun to review the hikes that we go on from a non-experienced hiker's point of view. Us average ever-day hikers like information on where we might hike as well. When I was looking around for a new place for us to hike, I took to the internet. Most things I found were from hardcore hikers. Not that it was bad, mind you. I got valuable information from them. I thought I would add to it from a novice's stand point though.

Here is my review of the Pot Point Trail - Chattanooga, TN. 

Pot Point Trail - Chattanooga - Hiking Review by march to December

First off I will give you a bit of basic information on this trail. 

- You can download a map of the trail HERE

- 3.5 mile loop trail

- Part of is it by the river gorge (picture at top)

- Up to 1,000 foot climb

- It is about 9 miles from downtown Chattanooga

- Some what difficult to find via GPS (see below)

- 1-3 hours to complete 

Pot Point Trail - Chattanooga - Hiking Review by march to December

When we took off to hike, we put the location in our GPS and set out. Once we got within 5 miles of the location, we ran into some trouble. Nothing big and we found it without having to circle around. Just some points to note about getting to the actual trail. 

  1. The roads are very narrow and the locals drive like they are not. Be careful! 
  2. The GPS told us we had arrived about half a mile before we did. We were looking for a place to turn around when we found the actual trail
  3. It will be notated with a big sign. So if your GPS tells you are there, and you don't see the sign (pic. 2) keep going. 
Pot Point Trail - Chattanooga - Hiking Review by march to December

On to the hike! The trail itself is very well marked. At no point did we not know where we were going or ever felt remotely like we were lost. Just follow the blue blazes and you are good! As mentioned above this trail does get up to 1,000 feet. I had to sit down once and my 8 year old son had to sit down once just because it was steep! There was a group behind us that turned around because they didn't know "if there was anything at the end to justify such a steep hike." 

  • If you are looking for some WOW factor in your hike, this one is not for you. There is no amazing scenery at the end or no waterfall. This is just a wonderful hike for the sake of hiking. 

  • There are a lot of rock formations along the way. Some rocks bigger than houses. 

Pot Point Trail - Chattanooga - Hiking Review by march to December
You can see the blue marks and some of the rocks in this photo

Once we got to the top of the steep climb and had our little break, on we went. We were surrounded by beautiful trees and rocks. The next part of the hike is a downward and winding trail. This part was my favorite. The trails were wide, there was beautiful flora around and the trees made for a lovely canopy over us the entire time. 

Pot Point Trail - Chattanooga - Hiking Review by march to December

The next part of the hike, in my opinion, was the only part that wasn't well marked. 
  • You will have to cross the street to continue on the hike 

Once you cross over River Canyon road you will be in the part of the trail that follows beside the river. This will lead you back to Pot Point Cabin and completes the loop. There are a few things I want to mention about this part of the hike. Had I known these things, we probably would have turned around.

  • Bugs - That part of the hike is very lush and going to have the bugs that come with water, lushness and whatever part of the season you are in. 

  • Mud - There are places where the river rises up and makes for muddy crossing. When we hiked there was no way around it. We had to go through the mud in 5 different places. If you have small children, animals or a vehicle you don't want muddy don't go this way. If you do go, plan accordingly! 

  • Trash - This really took away from part of the hike. People out fishing, hiking and camping. There was trash in numerous places. 

  • Dangerous - Okay, so we got to the point where there was a mile or less left in the trail. We came across a dangerous sign...the trail had been washed out! At no point until then was there any mention of this. You can keep going, but it isn't the safest. You have to climb over boulders and trees laying down on their side. To one side there is a steep incline where this all washed down from and on the other a steep drop of littered with boulders and pointed rocks. That steep drop off goes right into the water. If you fall, you are going to hurt yourself or worse. I was terrified!! We climbed over it and landed ankle deep in mud, but we made it. So if you don't or can't do that, don't cross over the road and do this part of the trail. 

Pot Point Trail - Chattanooga - Hiking Review by march to December

Pot Point Trail - Chattanooga - Hiking Review by march to December

I am not saying this will be there when you go hiking. They  might have cleared it up. It could be and it could happen again. When we get month long rains around this area, anything like this could happen.

This is the part of the trail where there is beautiful scenery. If you are okay with the few things I mentioned above, the view is lovely! We probably will go back in the Autumn ourselves to see this view with the colors that Autumn brings.

All-in-all, this trail was moderately easy and a great trail if all you want to do is be in nature and hike. We ourselves will probably do it again. I want to end this review with one important thing about this trail. BEWARE OF POISON IVY! If you are very allergic to it, this trail isn't for you. We did get in some when we got off the trail (I am allergic) and didn't have a problem with it. If you rather not mess with it, stay on the trail.

Happy Hiking!

Pot Point Trail - Chattanooga - Hiking Review by march to December

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


If you were a reader of March to December, you will know my stance on homework. If you were not, you can find the most popular posts from March to December here on Simply La'Shawn. More specifically you can read what I thought about homework.

To sum it up for those who don't know or don't feel like reading another article. I didn't believe in homework. Not one jot. I didn't believe in it when I was a kid. In fact so much so that I nearly failed the 6th grade, and had to go around daily to get teachers to sign off on a homework ledger. Adult La'Shawn didn't believe in it either. I made my son do it. After all, we all have to do things we don't like to do. I didn't push and pressure him though. My thoughts were that what good is 1hr of school work after sitting still all day and learning going to help? In fact, this was my exact thought on it...

I can only speak for myself and my son. That being said, homework does not help him (or me when I was a child) learn or retain anything I learned. That is outside just writing over and over helps him with his penmanship. The whole "practice makes perfect" line just does not apply. Homework isn't doing the same thing day in and day out. It is different tasks everyday. Coming home and doing an hours worth of work with a parent who isn't a teacher isn't going to be practice. Only a practice in futility.

 Alright folks. Are you ready to watch me eat a slice of humble pie? Like most everyone, I don't enjoy admitting I am wrong. I absolutely will do it though. Nothing is really gained by being stubborn and not doing so. So here we go...


Not long after I wrote that article about, This Mom's Thoughts on Homework I had the yearly parent-teacher conference. A parent-teacher conference that I left in tears. Sobbing tears. Not to drag my son's business out on the internet for the world to see now and in the future, but he was struggling. And I was failing as a parent.

I am supposed to be here to help him along, not hinder him. I especially didn't need to imprint my crappy attitude about homework on to him. As his parent, I should have been more focused on what he needed, than what I thought. With that in mind, I shook off the disappointment and re-focused on him. My husband, the kiddo's teachers, and myself got together and came up with a plan. Want to know what that plan was?

More Homework

That's right folks. More homework. On top of his daily homework (Sun-Thurs) he has practice homework in nearly every subject. He has fun online games he can play (homework in disguise. lol) He has twice-a-week tutoring (pre-homework). We went from doing daily homework begrudgingly to homework pouring out our ears while we do it with a smile on our face.

Do I like homework now? No. Do I wish there was some other way? Yes! Have I changed my opinion on homework? Absolutely.

Each kid is different; and each kid's homework need is different. As my MeeMaw says, "If we were all the same, what a boring world this would be!" My son just so happens to be one that not only benefits from homework, but needs it. Needs lots of it. Other kids might not need it or benefit from it. It could very easily be only a practice in futility. That being said, this mom's narrow-minded opinion on homework has changed. Just so happens I needed God kicking my rear to make me do it. Nothing like failing your own child to open one's eyes! 

...and just for the record....The kiddo has excelled since all this extra homework. All his grades have come up to where we knew he should have been. While I am stating things for the record, let me take another slice of that humble pie. My son enjoys the extra work. He knows it is helping him; and he is proud of every milestone he makes because of it. Maybe I should take a page from his book and be a bit more open to things. 

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest and for reading it. Have you ever had your mind changed from something you were staunchly against/for? What are your thoughts on homework?

Monday, March 6, 2017

A Bit More About Me

Finally finishing up the blog posts about getting to know the author (can I call myself that? I guess so) behind this blog. Simply La'Shawn. Two weeks ago I gave you a tiny glimpse into my past up to 20 years old. Basically a lot of who I am today is thanks to the amazing people that I have in my life. True story!

That being said. I bet if you would ask anyone who has known me for a bit today to name one thing about La'Shawn. They would tell you that I love panda bears! I really do. I am not sure where this love came from. I just know that I have for as long as I can remember. I love that Christmas does not go by without getting at least one thing to do with pandas. I love that people post adorable things on my FB about pandas. I cried the first time I saw them in the Atlanta Zoo. I also cried the 2nd and 3rd time. I really did!

Which brings me to another thing. I am a crier. It is actually kind of embarrassing. There is never a week that goes by that I haven't cried over something. Usually it is at least an every other day kind of thing. I cry when I am mad, sad, happy, tired, sick, and so on. Give me a good book, tv show, movie, or heck a good commercial. Here comes the tears. My son watches me during certain things to see if I am going to cry. It is embarrassing when I am crying over things like America's Got Talent. Outside that, I don't so much mind that I am a crier.

I am also a bit on the nerdy side. I love all things Harry Potter. I have read the books more times than I can count. I watch the movies all the time. I am also a proud 33 year old women who wears my HP shirts out and about. I also love Doctor Who. Not to the same extent as HP though.

I love the color yellow. It makes me happy to see it or to wear it. I love that my 9 year old son still picks me yellow weed flowers. If he sees them, they are mine! By the end of spring I have these picked-with-love flowers all over the place. He knows his momma loves the color yellow!

Those are just a few things that scream La'Shawn. I thought it would be fun to do a little questionnaire to round up the getting to know me post. I read THIS post over at Carrots & Cake and thought It would be fun to do. Here ya go:

  1. I’m happiest when I am spending time with family

  2. ”¦ especially if it involves going on hikes

  3. I’ve always wanted to visit England!

  4. My family and I are major homebodys!

  5. I was a terrible girlfriend. I don't know how Jerr stuck it out. 

  6. My first job was a cashier at Goody's 

  7. I could probably eat donuts every day. If I am not careful I will!

  8. I stole ink pens from sign ins. I am bad bad bad about that! I swear it isn't intentional. 

  9. I was born on the same day as Dr. Phil and Gloria Estefan 

  10. My all-time favorite film is The Holiday. I want that house in the English countryside surrounded by snow! 

  11. I do a pretty mean British Accent. (catch a theme here?) I watch way too much British tv. To the point I don't notice the accents at all. People who have legit accents would probably laugh at mine. Jerr likes it though. :-P

  12. I’m still mad I never finished college. Probably my all time #1 regret in life. 

  13. I met my husband at our mutual job of Office Depot 

  14. I always knew I would be a mom. I did think I would have lots of kids though...I have just the one. 

  15. I’m not afraid to show my emotions. I probably should work more on not showing them as much!

  16. I make digital scrapbooking layouts

  17. I have almost no dancing skills. Serioulsy. It is comical. 

  18. I always cry when...the wind blows? ha ha. I cry all the time. At least every other day. The guys poke fun at me about it. Happy, sad, mad, sick, tired, annoyed, PMS...doesn't matter. Cry! 

  19. I’m a UGA college football fan. My hubby taught me the ins-and-outs when we were dating. I was hooked. I plan my Saturday's in the fall around it. 

  20. I spent 8 months pregnant. Yup. They had to take the kiddo a month early. I had preclamsia. 

  21. I wish the weekend had 3 days and my work day started at 10am. I hate mornings! 

  22. At 5, I was gosh, I don't know. I don't remember much from that young. 

  23. I believe if everyone practiced seeing the good in things, it would be come habit, and the world would be a happier place. 

  24. I can’t stand when people snore. #1 pet peeve....and guess husband can bring down the rafters with his snoring!! 

  25. Whenever Bones is on, I’ll watch it.
There you go. Getting to know the person behind the blog. I hope you enjoyed it. I would also love to see your answers to these questions. Blog it and link me up! Or just answer in the comments. I couldn't leave today's post though without showing off my man. We will be married 10 years this coming Friday. TEN YEARS!! I love you babe!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

I Am Not Defined By That

I realize in last week's post I said I was going to sum up the getting to know me post. Then something happened this weekend; and this blog post popped in my head. I thought I would go ahead and talk on it. Next week I will finish introducing myself.

Today I want to talk about being defined by things. Actually more of not being defined by things/people/situations in our lives. I think a lot of us define who we are by these outside things. I know for a fact that I do!

What do I mean?

If I was to ask you, "What makes you, you?" What would you say? Here is how I would answer if someone else was to ask me. What makes La'Shawn, La'Shawn? I am....a 33 year old God-fearing, full time working, nerdy, somewhat lazy, digi-scrapping, photo taking, college football loving, panda obsessed, yellow wearing, Harry Potter nerding, Doctor Who watching, historical fiction reading, southern wife & mom.  Sound familiar? Look to the sidebar to your right. I am defining myself by all of these things. Are they bad? Well, no. Is this all I define myself with? That would be a big no!

How do I define myself? 

Let me start out by saying in NO way is this me fishing for compliments. It is me being honest. If I am going to be honest.  If it was just La'Shawn asking La'Shawn who she was my answer would be a lot different than what I gave above. Those things are what makes me who I am today. I identify with them all. I love those parts about me. Now for the honest.

I am..... an obese, lazy, ugly, manish looking, hairy, failing christian, wife, and mom. I am about as mediocre as they come. Unless we are talking about my weight. Then I am tipping the scales at rolls all over, big fat pot belly, humpty dumpty looking fat. Harsh, right? I am not lying or making it more harsh for blogging purposes. This is how I see myself. I could not list ONE...not ONE...thing I like about myself. These are not things I think about only when thinking about, "who is La'Shawn?" I think these things everyday. Unfortunately if I give into it, I can spend a crazy unhealthy amount of time thinking on it.