May 14, 2017


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!

May 13, 2017


It’s been a long semester for Sam and me, so we needed a weekend away!

First stop – Moravian Falls near North Wilkesboro. A road side stop, but always pretty.


Then to Hike #18 #52hikechallenge – The Glen Burney Trail in Boone and the Glen Burney Falls.


A detail of falls.




The whole hike is pretty, including the Cascades.


and The Ruins, Boone’s former Waste Treatment plant (last used in 1929!


and a night at the “mountain place” – Deb and I still slept in the Tacoma! It is so relaxing here, you can see Grandfather Mountain, the trees in the wind sounds more like the ocean and in the morning the whistle blowing of Tweetsie Railroad.

Jan. 28, 2017

Great Channels of Virginia near Abingdon, VA

Hike #5 of #52hikechallenge

We decided the nice weather and a free day meant we wanted a fun hike, so Clay, Kay and I headed towards the Great Channels near Abingdon, VA.

Great Channels of Virginia near Abingdon, VA

There was ice and snow on the way up….

Great Channels of Virginia near Abingdon, VA

but the top bathed in sun, and worth the trip even if you can’t climb the old fire tower.

Great Channels of Virginia near Abingdon, VA

But we came for the channels….

Great Channels of Virginia near Abingdon, VA


Great Channels of Virginia near Abingdon, VA


Great Channels of Virginia near Abingdon, VA


Great Channels of Virginia near Abingdon, VA

It was worth it, 30 plus foot openings, lots of slices to play in….

Great Channels of Virginia near Abingdon, VA

To say Hwy 80 is curvy…

Great Channels of Virginia near Abingdon, VA

on the way back we saw this waterfall on a creek that feeds into the North Fork of the Holston River.

Great Channels of Virginia near Abingdon, VA


Great Channels of Virginia near Abingdon, VA

Clay will do whatever it takes to get the picture!

Jan. 22, 2017


Hike #4 of the #52hikechallenge. I returned to Raven Rock State Park to hike some of the other trails. The threat of rain, Sam’s homework and distance planned kept my family home, so Clay and Kay joined me.


We chose the Campbell Creek Loop Trail down to Lanier Falls.




The recent rains had the Cape Fear River really running.




A pleasant surprise, the creek side of the loop was open for the first time since Hurricane Matthew in October. What a beautiful walk in the woods! We skipped the rest 3 miles since it was starting to sprinkle and we had stayed dry for the last 5 miles.

Oct. 16, 2016


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

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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)


Sept. 4, 2016


Cullasaja Falls– after getting off track and driving along some beautiful roads, we finally got around to visiting waterfalls. There is no sign for this falls, and a steep trail leads to the base. A tough trip down as ground wasps were stirred up and Deb, the dog and me were all stung.


So we head up the Cullasaja River a bit for a quiet spot to recover. Laying in the middle of a small waterfall is so relaxing!


Next up was Bust Your Butt Falls. A popular place and was as always crowded, but we stayed to jump from the rocks (read cliff) into the deep pools.

Click here to Watch us Jump


Pano of Pothole Falls. That night was back to the river for play and baths.

Click Here to Watch Video

Sept. 3, 2016


Another beach trip cancelled, means another trip to the mountains. It also means a lunch stop at Sierra Nevada Brewing.


After lunch a weird thing in the parking lot. A Tacoma with a Flippac parked next to me. After not seeing another one on the east coast, now Clay has his (back) mine (middle) and this gorgeous truck! Three in one picture. Even odder…. a Xterra parked across from me had a Northwest Territories front plate like mine… not a tourist one, but a real expired plate!


Sam and Kirsten enjoy Pothole Falls near our campsite (also the last series shot with my Panasonic GX1 after I fell into the water while exploring, when they say not splash proof, they don’t lie)

July 29, 2016


Day 4. Another waterfall and swimming hole to ourselves! A slippery climb to sit in the waterfall and lots of chances to jump in.


And rocks to dry off on. We spent a lot of time just relaxing/swimming/etc. Before heading out to explore forest service roads and looking for other dispersed camping areas, finding an un-named waterfall and re-visiting Dry Falls and Bridal Veil Falls for Deb.

July 28, 2016


Day 3. Deb joined us last night so we started slow at the Cashiers Sliding Rock. Lots of fun, reminded me of sledding in the north, wait your turn at the top, make sure the landing is clear and walk back up.

The first true waterfall was Silver Run Falls, but it was busy so we captured a few pictures and head for another longer hike.


High Falls. The longer hike meant we had it to ourselves for a while, climbing to teh top and exploring each layer.


The swimming holes were deep and clear!

July 27, 2016

Day 2 – Today we only did 2 waterfalls due to longer hikes and bushwhacking. This “trail” leads to Scotsman Falls, the directions said to drive along a forest service road till a hard left and look for the unmarked trail near two White Pine trees growing close together. We found it, but the “trail” required a bow saw due to fallen trees and a lot of scrambling.


But we had the waterfall to ourselves!


The second was Lower Waterwater Falls in South Carolina, it’s a long hike, every sign said 1.7 miles (odd after hiking for 40 minutes, we have the same distance as we did at the trailhead.