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.
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.
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!
Across the road was a pretty waterfall with several sections.
Even the bottom was nice.
Then it was time to work are way back toward an afternoon hike, running Forest Service roads and 221…
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
Hebron Falls on the BFT
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)
It had been 6 days since I was in the mountains, time to head back. My first ever HOA meeting for our little cabin in the mountains and the rain held off for a ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
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
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.
After dropping the packs at the truck, we did the short hike to Lower Falls – enjoyed a swim and headed home.
through 7 tunnels on the Blue Ridge Parkway. A 10 out of 10 weekend!
A Land Cruiser and clouds….
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…
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….
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
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.
I started early for a spin from the house to the top of the Linn Cove Viaduct
A cloudy and chilly start but I had the roads to myself!
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.
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.
The dog was happy in head high grass.
The sun set and everyone left….
we waited for the bounce. Only one other couple stayed for this part of the sunset!
Sam and I headed to the mountains, meeting my brother and sister-in-law to work on our little place in Blowing Rock. After dinner Sam and I headed to Raven Rocks Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway to watch the sunset, but clouds rolled in and this was all we got.
But it is still better than watching TV!
Mother’s Day – Breakfast in bed. (Uncle Wayne, do you recognize the pan?)
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.
Then some work around the “mountain place” including yard work and finding thsi salamander.
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.
The whole hike is beautiful!
There are a couple of creek crossings, in the end we gave up trying to keep the boots dry!
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.
But race I did! The Boone race is always great, a challenging course and free pizza and beer make it an easy choice!
Sam’s picture of this year’s special treat, an of camber greasy turn downhill… lots of falls!
I was happy I rode it all 3 laps, no falls for me.
Me on the run up.
Celebrating my 44th place : P – thanks Sam for the pictures and cheering for me!
It was time for pictures after the race, the Blue Ridge Parkway was busy as near peak color was everywhere!
Price Lake at Julian Price Memorial Park
Jesse Brown Cottage next to the Cool Springs Baptist Church on the parkway.
Cascade Falls, also called “The Cascades“, located at E. B. Jeffress Park
Just a creek
Raven Rock Overlook
Me cycling just for a picture. (Sam picture)
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.
Cruising along dirt roads in the mountains
Finally we got on the foggy Blue Ridge Parkway and headed for a campground for the night.
Dinner, a small fire, a quick card game and off to bed!