Help Out the Fellas Over at the Muir Project!
I’ve posted about them in the past, but the guys at The Muir Project need to raise some money for their movie “Mile…Mile and a Half" I am beyond stoked for this flick so if you can, kick a buck toward a really great project!
But they also got a sweet offer from the great folks at REI that if enough people like this photo, they’ll make a very generous and notable donation toward their film!
It was such a beautiful day and I wasn’t even about to be stuck inside workin like a sucker!?! It’d been almost a year since we’d first hiked through this section of the AT from Brown Gap through Max Patch and it was just as awesome as I remembered! Although, then, it was early summer and the hills were covered in wildflowers and admittedly much more pretty, but the view was still fantastic!
Linville Gorge Wilderness…
It was a sunny, warm and work-free weekend back in March. The best combination of things to get me out on the trail and into one of the best wilderness areas around. The Linville Gorge has two reputations: Strenuous and Beautiful. The hike in was <2 miles but an ascent of 1293ft and while we were preparing mentally for the hike out, haha, we were still very eager to see the river. Once we got to the end of the Conley Cove Trail, the roar of the very fast moving water rejuvenated us and after another 5 miles (give or take) we found a great camp and dug in for the night. It was one of the best days/nights ever as the sun went down and the fire roared with the stars revealed themselves on a perfectly clear night… Gad I love being outdoors.
Knock Off the Dust… First Ride of the Season
Ducked out of work on a sunny morning and headed off to DuPont State Forest to grease the wheels of our highly anticipated mountain biking season with some me-maw trails at the local State Forest. This spot chosen for it’s fun, super tame trails but also it’s fantastic waterfalls.
I had only gotten to really enjoy all the great mountain biking in my area late in the season because I needed a bike and it took a little while to come up with the scrilla haha :P SO, I am super stoked to be able to get out there and hit the trails this year!
360° Trail View
I came across a site that offers “Google Map" type trail previews… I think it’s cool and thought I’d share!
Get Outside Campaign Pt 6…
It began Thursday with a text message from Steph:
S: “i need a hike reaaaaall bad.”
T: “MEEEEEEEE TOOOOOO.”
S: “maybe saturday??”
T: “SURE! weather’s not lookin too good at the moment, but imma keep the faith :)”
S: “well rain, sleet, snow. we got the gear for it :) so bring it!”
T: “I fucking love you.”
SO, it’d been quite a long work week for us and some of the best sunny weather we’ve gotten lately so today was the day we got to squash the throes of hiking want with a day trip to the MST and the Shining Rock Wilderness, one of our favorite hikes.
We arrived at the trailhead just in time for the last of the few wispy clouds to pass as the very last of the beautiful bright sun’s obstructions and spent the day ascending ever so gradually to one of our favorite outlooks on Chestnut bald. From here we had a bite to eat and after a gorgeous, sunny afternoon, our souls have been replenished if only momentarily ;) and that, for at least myself, is what getting outside is all about!
The trailer for a highly anticipated film “Mile…Mile & A Half" from the lovely folks over at The Muir Project. Their video “Almost There" was totally rad and super inspirational and this trailer answers in kind. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and I really cannot wait to see the film in entirety!
Get Outside Campaign Pt 5…
Sharing the pleasurable outdoor experience nature can treat us to, is an action I take upon myself as often as schedules allow. In this, the 5th installment of the Get Outside Campain, I set out again with my bud Brad from back home into Panthertown Valley, NC. This area was one new to me but was recommended very highly due to it’s marvelous valley, spectacular views, ease of walking and high access to water from which we had planned on fishing. An ideal place to take a best friend on a “Buds trip”!
We hit the trail early Wednesday morning and it would seem we had the entire valley to ourselves! Just a few yards from the car we were already off into the thick cover of the trees and winding through the towering, shear, granite rock faces of Big Green Mt and Goldspring Ridge on the Great Wall Trail. not two hours of hiking we were met with a few waterfalls, daunting mountains and thick Fir and pine tree groves. It was in one of these groves where we decided to make camp. It was a lovely spot in the previously mapped/designated area of the valley only previously seen from a less than spot–on topo map and Google Earth but was in great proximity to water, and a decent shot of Big and Little Green Mtns. We quickly set about the priorities of work and Brad got a fire going the Bear Grylls method in one strike! Weather started moving inupon us and before we knew it we were getting poured on. NOT how we’d planned the night to go, but, nature’s not concerned with Buds weekends and the best course of action is to adapt accordingly… Slapping on our rain shells, I soon realized mine had all but lost it’s DWR. The water rolled straight of the back, hood and shoulders of Brad’s precip jacket and mine just looked like a splotchy blue soaked newspaper haha. Acting with haste, we constructed a modest hootch to cover the fire and then, enough to cover ourselves! It was a small victory, but it worked like a champ! We and our fire stayed dry and Brad and I hunkered in for the rest of the night, sipping on a nightcap huddled in our rain cover :P
We awoke the next morning elated to find clear blue skies and at only 9 o’clock, already 45° temps (and rising). After a quick breakfast and cup of coffee, we set out to make the most of our full day in the woods. We had intended on fishing in the many creeks and streams in the area, however, to our chagrin, the optimal trout conditions were less than adequate. We instead took off to hike up to the high ground to take advantage of the clear day at times stalking a pheasant or two with no success haha. We WERE successful, however, with getting some amazing views of the valley. A quick ascent to Salt Rock provided an awesome view of the North/Northeastern section we’d hiked in from. From here we noticed a bluff to the Northwest that looked large and promised a decent lunch accommodation so we set out for it… While I myself am no stranger to steep pitches of summit hikes, Brad was nearly bested by the trudge up from 4000ft to 4500ft. But, he dug deep and we summited to one of the prettiest, expansive, bright and sunny valley views. It was clear how this valley is considered the “Yosemite of the East”. We strung the hammock, cracked open some suds and enjoyed our lunch break on top of that beautiful lookout. Witnessing that view and the surrounding area we commiserated the rainy night prior and decided we’d like to spend the night with the valley to our feet. Brad, somewhat apprehensive about humpin back up that 700’ ascent (total from camp) with a full pack of gear, was in agreement that taking he shorter, more B lined Carlton’s Way trail that switch-backed nearly directly to our camp was the better route and within 30mins of returning to camp, we were packed up and back on our way to the top!
That evening could not have been any better. Up there on that beautiful summit with that valley below us we sipped our whiskey by a hot fire and watched the sun slowly fall behind the ridgeline and the stars show up to join a 3/4 moon. We reflected on our rainy night, and as much fun as building a hootch was, THIS, was the cherry on top of a Buds vs Wild trip…
In the morning, we met the sun in the very best way. Peering out over Ravenrock and Panthertail Mtns, we stirred from our bags and enjoyed a cup of joe before the quick hike back to the car. The walk back was full of high fives for a killer trip and appreciation for the area we’d just explored. Agreed it was a “definite return visit” for Brad as well as myself.
Another successful Get Outside Campaign and another “happy customer”. Score one for nature and another for Buds vs Wild! :)
Buds vs. Wild
The time has finally come. My bud Brad is southbound to NC to participate in the next chapter of my Get Outside Campaign. A 3 day camping and fishing trip in Panthertown Valley. I’m so stoked, I just p’d a little…
Hemps up, hos down…
Steph and I took some New Year initiative and got up at the near butt-crack of dawn Sunday in an attempt to see some of the Elk herd a lot of people had recently spotted in the Cataloochee Valley of the Great Smokey Mountain Natl Park. Trying also to spice up an otherwise rerun hike, we set out on the Cataloochee Divide trail from Ferguson Cabin (the only/last log cabin in the smokies at such elevation) up to Hemphill Bald hoping to get a shot of the Northeastern valley I presumed the Elk would most likely graze… As we sat at the trailhead waiting for the first peek of sunlight to grace us, I assessed the terrain and was surprised none the less as we hiked through the day. We ascended and then followed a ridgeline full off smaller, ranch owned puds on our way to Hemhill Bald. The clouds were rolling in, which I expected, but to the dismay of an otherwise fantastic view of the GSMNP infrastructure of mountains, there wasn’t very much to see at any great distance, some spots pretty much tens of feet in front of us haha. The trail was still pretty cool though as the occasional cloud would part and give us a great peak into what we would have preferred hike on a clear day haha. Alas, after a couple of very steep ascents, we reached the top. Had a bite of lunch and headed back down. In hindsight, not the high vantage point I’d hoped for to see some wildlife, but the clouds also forbade that… A fun day as always.
This is a well made little video about a couple of guys who went out just to breathe in some wilderness and connect with raw nature. As with other film clips I’ve posted, this one is no exception when lighting a fire within me to go out and do the same! Hope you enjoy.