Blue Ridge Parkway

Aug. 13, 2017

081317podA

How to start a perfect day? I found this book my grandmother gave my great-grandmother in the mountain cabin published in 1985. Written by Earl Thollander it describes back road routes across North and South Carolina… so we decided to follow his route out of Blowing Rock.

081317podB

I had driven a part of it a year or so, but didn’t get down to Globe, NC – Sunday morning at the Globe Baptist Church.

081317podC

on his map there were several waterfalls marked, this photo doesn’t do this one justice, it’s not the waterfall but the swimming hole – I will be back!

081317podF

Across the road was a pretty waterfall with several sections.

081317podG

Even the bottom was nice.

081317podD

Then it was time to work are way back toward an afternoon hike, running Forest Service roads and 221…

081317podH

We skipped lunch on the road since it started raining hard, but cleared in time to hike the Boone Fork Trail Loop. Hike #29 #52hikechallenge

081317podE

Hebron Falls on the BFT

081317podI

and just a pretty spot on the trail. We said goodbye to my brother and sister in law as a heavy rain started and we drove home, stopping in High Point for a Mexican dinner. Just about a perfect day (If only I had the motivation to get out of bed and ride before we left in the morning)

July 8, 2017

070817podC

We slept in and decided what to do… we had several miles back to the truck and a side trail for a waterfall – Upper Falls at Graveyard Fields – so we started back.

Hike #23 of #52hikechallenge

070817podA

We enjoyed a lunch and quick swim in the cold water and finished up… the threat of rain and tired legs, we decided to come back and try the Black Balsam Knob from a different trail head next time.

070817podB

After dropping the packs at the truck, we did the short hike to Lower Falls – enjoyed a swim and headed home.

070817podD

through 7 tunnels on the Blue Ridge Parkway. A 10 out of 10 weekend!

070817pod_LC

A Land Cruiser and clouds….

July 7, 2017

070717podA

Time for a backpacking trip, we had wanted to do Black Balsam Knob area so I decided to lengthen the loop at start at Graveyard Fields off the Blue Ridge Parkway. I knew we were in trouble right away, I didn’t have a map, or mileage idea of the loop, them the trails were not blazed at all… within 2 miles we ran into a family walking the wrong direction…. I had a general description of what I wanted to do…

070717podB

After leaving the Graveyard Fields trail, we started climbing on the Mountains to Sea trail, and I knew we had to descend again to cross the Yellow Prang, and we stayed on the “obvious” trail, which only completely disappeared in this mire….

070717podC

again, with no blaze to follow we backtracked (only got lost once doing that) and made our way back down to find a camp site

070717podD

a very peaceful night – made even easier since I brought a camp stove and Sam’s favorite freeze dried meal – only to discover I didn’t include matches…. doh!

Hike #22 of #52hikechallenge

PS it was Kodak’s first backpacking trip.

June 25, 2017

062517podA

I started early for a spin from the house to the top of the Linn Cove Viaduct

062517podB

A cloudy and chilly start but I had the roads to myself!

062517podC

My brother said he had enough working for the weekend and wanted to do touristy things, so we did a hike and lunch at Mellow Mushroom. This is Hike #21 of #52hikechallenge (been a month since my last hike) But a nice short hike in downtown Blowing Rock to Glen Burney Falls.

June 24, 2017

062417podB

The day was spent working, replacing wood, stucco work, etc.

Tonight Sam and I tried a short hike from Cone Manor to a field for the sunset. Folks showed up and we had a half dozen folks to watch tonight.

062417podA

The dog was happy in head high grass.

062417podC

The sun set and everyone left….

062417pod_pano

we waited for the bounce. Only one other couple stayed for this part of the sunset!

May 14, 2017

051417podE

Mother’s Day – Breakfast in bed. (Uncle Wayne, do you recognize the pan?)

051417podD

Deb went back to bed to celebrate her day and I went for bike ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway. This is me trying to rescue a snake.

051417podK

Then some work around the “mountain place” including yard work and finding thsi salamander.

051417podA_IG

Then it was time to hike. #19 #52hikechallenge – Gragg Prong Falls. Sam and I started last year to hike to these falls, but it was getting woods dark and we didn’t have a place to camp yet so we turned around, really glad we went back, awesome place and great swimming hole when it warms up.

051417podM

The whole hike is beautiful!

051417podp

There are a couple of creek crossings, in the end we gave up trying to keep the boots dry!

Oct. 16, 2016

101616pod_15

The day started slow and we got on the road a little late, it was race #2 of the season, but the light was awesome, and we stopped a couple of times for pictures. In fact I had to talk myself into going to the race over hiking and picture taking.

101616pod_16

But race I did! The Boone race is always great, a challenging course and free pizza and beer make it an easy choice!

101616pod_17

Sam’s picture of this year’s special treat, an of camber greasy turn downhill… lots of falls!

101616pod_20

I was happy I rode it all 3 laps, no falls for me.

101616pod_18

Me on the run up.

101616pod_19

Celebrating my 44th place : P – thanks Sam for the pictures and cheering for me!

101616pod_24

It was time for pictures after the race, the Blue Ridge Parkway was busy as near peak color was everywhere!

101616pod_25

Price Lake at Julian Price Memorial Park

101616pod_30 101616pod_22

Jesse Brown Cottage next to the Cool Springs Baptist Church on the parkway.

101616pod_21

Cascade Falls, also called “The Cascades“,  located at E. B. Jeffress Park

101616pod_28

Just a creek

101616pod_23

Raven Rock Overlook

101616pod_29

Me cycling just for a picture. (Sam picture)

 

Oct. 15, 2016 (The rest of the day)

101516pod_z

The day started before dawn for the drive to Lenoir and the first race of the 2016-17 North Carolina Cyclocross Series. Turns out tennis does not help one bit for cycling – I finished about 5 from dead last, but this picture from Sam captures the moment… this is the last lap and coming out of the last turn, the lap before I had caught this guy but took a beer hand-up (illegal, but it’s ‘cross) and had to work to catch him again, as I started my sprint, the chain slipped (why I am about to go over the bars) so no fun sprint to the line for us.

Then Sam and I visited Henry River Mill Village (it’s own post) and headed for a hike a part of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail to the Upper and Lower Gragg Prong Waterfalls and Hunt-Fish Falls. We got a late start, and I decided to turn around before it got dark, as it was it was after 5:30 when we got back to the truck.

101516pod_43 101516pod_46

Cruising along dirt roads in the mountains

101516pod_47

Finally we got on the foggy Blue Ridge Parkway and headed for a campground for the night.

101516pod_48 101516pod_50

Dinner, a small fire, a quick card game and off to bed!