Sept. 16 and 17, 2017


I wanted to try something new this weekend – instead of Photos of Day, I wanted to create a Vlog or Video Blog post. I didn’t take any pictures, only video. I made a bunch of mistakes, and edited this is less than 2 hours after unpacking, but here it is….  CLICK TO WATCH THE VIDEO

Sam and I backpacked this beautiful loop in the Pisgah National Forest. Starting at NC 215 we joined the Mountain to Sea Trail, past Devils Courthouse, Art Loeb Trail to Black Balsam Knob, Sam Knob Trail to Flat Laurel Creek Trail to NC 215 and back to the truck! Hike #36 and #37 of #52hikechallenge


Sept. 4, 2017


Sam and I hit the Virginia Creeper trail early to beat the crowds. 17 miles of downhill biking!


and a bunch of bridges on the old railroad trail.


Making art!


A successful morning! Last time we rode this trail, Deb flipped and suffered a concussion so we didn’t get to enjoy the ride (or the ER visit) today Deb served as our personal shuttle. After a lunch in Damascus and breaking down camp we headed home…..


but had time to stop at Grayson Highlands State Park. Deb had never been there since normally Sam and I backpack there, but I wanted her to see the wild ponies. There were lots of foals (less than a year old) like this one scratching itself on a tree.


and this one that wanted to be petted? There are signs everywhere don’t feed or pet the ponies…. but this did everything but purr!


Family picture, sans Sam she doesn’t want to touch them?

Hike #33


On the way down I am looking at the park map and see “waterfall” – I had no idea, we come for the AT trail, the bald mountain tops, Rhododendron Trail, etc. This is a unnamed? 25 foot falls on Cabin Creek trail. A hidden gem, almost no one on the trail and very pretty!  hike #34 – #52hikechallenge

Sept. 3. 2017


Since everything was wet in the morning, we got a slow start to the day. I made a game time decision, wait one day for the bike ride since the trail would be muddy and skip the hike I really wanted to do since it has 14 or so water crossings to reach it. Luckily a friend (JD) mentioned this cool rock tunnel in Tennessee so we headed there. First we hiked the Backbone Rock Falls trail…


The tunnel was very cool – locals say it’s the world’s shortest tunnel.


The view from the top.

I am counting today’s 3 short hikes as one #32 #52hikechallenge

Beaver Flats Trail, Backbone Rock Falls Trail and Backbone Rock Trail

Sept. 2, 2017


We debated all last night and this morning – should we still go on our planned camping trip? The weather in Damascus, VA was info, but after working on the basement all morning, we throw a few things in the Taco and hit the road. Forecast was 20%, lots of fog over the mountains to 100% rain the evening and night and we play cards in the Flippac and call it an early night.

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…

July 22, 2017


Some days are better Photo A Day days than others… I started with a macro of this grasshopper.

Then the RCC Photography Department’s Graduation Recognition. A framed “Toast”

So I think I am done with PODs and head towards South Carolina to pick up  Sam from her Aunt and grandmother week long vacation.


and the Wienermobile pulls in front of me… and they are hiring! –


I followed for a while, hoping it would stop for a picture next to it, I finally gave up and passed it….


and left it in my dust of US 1. If only every POD day was this good!


July 2, 2017


As Calvin told Hobbes, the days are packed. Swimming, paddling, card games, and off road bocce.




a quick side trip for ice cream


and for the second evening in a row, a twilight paddle, last night was for fireworks, tonight for the sunset.




Sam poses for James to create an epic Instagram picture