Thursday, November 22, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The last of the Fall Color

The Last of the Fall Color
Rutherfordton, NC
Saturday, November 17th, 2012

This years Fall Color is just about gone.  However, there is one tree at my In-Laws that always seems to put on a late show.  Not only does it hang on to its leaves a few weeks longer than most trees, but when it does change, the color is spectacular!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Early Thanksgiving

Early Thanksgiving
Rutherfordton, NC
Saturday, November 17th, 2012

Amy's family traditionally celebrates Thanksgiving on the Saturday before Thanksgiving.  This goes back to the days when Amy's Dad always took advantage of Triple Time Pay and worked on Thanksgiving day.  Even though my father-in-law is now retired, they still stick with their early Thanksgiving tradition.

Here are a few shots from our early Thanksgiving celebration!

 My father-in-law tending to the deep fried Turkey

 My Father-in-Law Chris, and my niece Caroline


 Tending to the Turkey

 My Brother-in-Law Hugh

 Pulling the Bird

Deep Fried Turkey is Done!

  The Bird

Sunday, November 4, 2012

2012-11-03 Roan Mountain Snow Hike

The first Snow Hike of the Season!
Roan Mountain TN/NC
Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

I was originally planning to catch the last bit of Fall Color this year.  However, earlier in the week, Hurricane Sally swarmed up the east coast.  Sally's outer bands of rain hit a major cold front dumping several feet of snow over the High Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina.

My buddy Andy heard reports of close to three feet of snow on Roan Mountain and easily convinced me to change my plans and join him for the first snow hike of the season!  As usual, Andy's dogs Boone and Kona would also be hiking with us, along with Andy's buddy Dave and Dave's dog Sasha.

Not knowing what road conditions would be like at the higher elevation, we agreed to meet in Marion, NC and squeeze all six of us in my 4x4 pick-up.  It turns out the roads were clear all the way to the trailhead, but it still was better that we took my truck as fitting three humans + three dogs + all our hiking gear into Andy's Corolla would not have been a comfortable option!

We started the hike at the Carvers Gap Trailhead located along Hwy 261 at the TN/NC state line.

The Carvers Gap Trailhead
It was just above freezing when we started the hike, but a strong wind made it feel downright frigid!  There was not that much snow at the trailhead , but once we started gaining a little bit of elevation and entered into the more shaded areas there was more than enough white stuff to exceed our expectations.

Kona in the Snow

We hiked the Appalachian Trail to the West towards the summit of Roan Mountain.  The trail was pretty well packed, but with a good foot of snow underfoot.  However, if you happened to step off trail into the fresh stuff, it was knee to thigh deep in places.

Dave, Andy, Boone, and Kona along the trail

We hiked to the Summit of Roan Mountain and then took a side trail to Roan High Bluffs.  The total hike was about 6 miles round trip with about 1,000 feet of elevation gain.  The scenery was spectacular!  I was definitely glad I made the long drive to experience this awesome Winter Wonderland!

Frosted Fence at Roan Mountain

 Appalachian Trail Sign


 Bare Ground next to 3 foot snow drifts

 Me at Roan High Bluffs

 view from Roan High Bluffs

 view through a Frosted Fence

 Dave and Andy along the Trail

 Boone catching a snowball

 view from Roan Mountain

Butterfly in the Snow

The complete set of photos is posted here:

Saturday, November 3, 2012

First Snow Hike of the Season!

It was a great day today for our first snow hike of the season.  I joined Andy, Dave, and three dogs on a hike to Roan Mountain!  Here is a quick shot of typical conditions along the trail!

Dave, Boone, and Andy hiking through the Snow!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween Night Around the Fire Ring

Halloween Night Around the Fire Ring
Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

On Halloween, Amy and I like to move our Fire Ring into the driveway, light a blazing fire, and enjoy a few adult beverages while giving out candy to all the Trick-Or-Treaters!

Amy reading a book under the last bit of daylight

Plus, with all the wind from the outer fringes of Hurricane Sally the previous few days, there was plenty of deadfall around the yard to gather up and burn. 

 Almost time for the Trick or Treaters

I always loved trick-or-treating when I was a kid, so I enjoy being able to return the favor to the next generation of children!  And I always enjoy drinking a few FABs around the fire!

Jack and Amy toast to an enjoyable Halloween Evening!