March 13, 2018


Throwback Tuesday. That time I was almost the cover of Toyota Trails, the TLCA magazine. I wrote a story called “Plan B” how adventuring with my Toyota Tacoma leads to many Plan B decisions. This year we had planned to go to Nova Scotia, but something came up, so we headed to Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia, after a couple of cold nights and bear visits, my friend’s wife wanted warmth, so we headed to Cape Hatteras for the rest of the vacation….. I am never  unhappy if camping.


Dec. 29, 2017


Today was the planned hiking day. My first goal was Crabtree Falls.


It was as pretty as I hoped, and I loved the ice.


We stayed so long, the dog started shivering….


it is funny watching other people, several walked up, looked at the waterfall, took a selfie and left.


But at least they are not in my way!


Next up was Roaring Forks Falls


We had this one to ourselves!


All about the details.


We ended the day at Setrock Creek Falls.


The “least” pretty, but again we had the scene all to ourselves!


You needed at least one picture of the truck.

Dec. 26, 2017


Hike #51 #52hikechallenge Boone’s Cave Park in Lexington. Kodak remembered the last time I took her to a cave, she had to swim out, so she waited at the opening as I explored a bit.


This is a pretty little park and the caves are what most people come for. The caves are more hole in wall type, but cool. There is no proof that Daniel Boone really lived in the caves as his family built a home as legend has it, but he and other family did live in the area, so maybe….


As I said, it is a small park. I hiked all the trails, (except the Back Country Trail, it is closed) and double hike a couple in 2 hours or so.


The view of the Yadkin River from Baptism Rock


Cave opening, it is less than a 1/4 from parking lot down stairs, but we walked the long way over Boone Peak trail and Cottonwood trail


Wetland Trail boardwalk


1940s care taker cabin ruins.



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…