July 6, 2018


My day started like almost everyday of the trip, an hour climb up the forest service road outside our campsite and a 12 minute bomb back down. The best part was at the turn around, there was cell service, so I could check email and make a call each morning.


Fog and nightfall. If you camp with James and Elizabeth, you will eat well and still enjoy a luxury or two…. tonight was movie night, “Paul” was played on the wall of the E-Z up… but the hard drive wasn’t playing nice, so parts were played twice (or more) sometimes it was in French, sometimes a narrator described what was happening (or DV – Descriptive Video)

The middle of the day we searched for and found a swimming hole on a road that wasn’t on a map…. but we cut it short when I discovered a steering rack leak and no fluid in my pump…. how to quickly get to a town without lots of curves in the mountains…. impossible!


July 3, 2018


The day started early with a trip to Wolf Creek Falls.


We had the waterfall all to ourselves.


After lunch, we hiked to a 2nd waterfall – Little Fall Branch.


Then on to Max Patch for a sunset and Milky Way viewing party. Lighting plays in the clouds.


the sunset was amazing!




But the Milky Way was awesome with lightning still bouncing around the clouds below it!


July 2, 2018


The day started with a drive through Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, a mistake that will never happen again (way too touristy for me) to get to Cades Cove, a neat history filled loop, including this working grist mill.


Just a bear along the road, it was not interested in us at all!


James works on figuring out electrical gremlins, after thinking of complex problems to solve, sometimes the simplest answer is correct… a bad cell in his battery.


James checks how badly I am beating him at an English style pub in Gatlinburg.

Feb. 24, 2018

(Photo by Jay Capers)

Everything you need to upgrade your Tacoma brakes to the bigger Tundra brakes.

(Photo by Jay Capers)

Nothing is bolt on…. this is only trimming the dust shield

(Photo by Jay Capers)

This should be a 3 hour job for the home mechanic, I picked up the parts at 9:30am, went for a bike ride and had lunch, so really started at about 1pm, Clay and I finished at 8pm, after the first bedding of new pads and rotors, we decided to try one more system bleed and one wheel wouldn’t open, so we called it a night. Thanks to Clay for helping and loaning tools.

Aug. 21, 2017


The day started bright and clear skies (we made a great choice) we did a quick hike – Hike #30 of #52hikechallenge on the Upper Chattooga River trail.

After the hike, we claimed the big rock in the middle of the river and I feel asleep on my blanket under a bright blue sky. I awoke an hour later with a chill to a completely gray sky –  (we made the wrong choice)


Even in the cloudy woods, as total eclipse started, the woods got as dark as night! This picture is only the start, I gave up it was so dark!


After totality, the sun broke through the clouds for some pictures – it was still so cloudy, this is without a filter!


as the eclipse continued, we saw more and more…


Even Kodak was protected!


James, Beth and my family. We may have missed seeing the totality, but had a blast, experienced the feeling of totality, and enjoyed the long drive home on small back roads, following the Gazetteer.

Aug. 6, 2017


Vacation Day 9

Hike #28 #52hikechallenge High Knob Trail to fire tower

We packed up camp in the morning and headed back up 33 to the trail head for one last hike.


The group.


Again what won’t Clay do for a picture?


Moth Macro

After the hike we had a picnic lunch at the the roadside overlook and said our goodbyes!

What a relaxing and fun week of camping and exploring with friends!


Till next year…

Aug. 5, 2017


Vacation Day 8

More trail riding, this time north of State Route 33




What Clay won’t do for a picture!

Clay sent me a few photos from the day – “Oh What A Felling”


My front wheel drops into a hole…


I think I can get a better picture of my truck from here…


Thanks for the share Clay!