Friday, April 24, 2009

MerleFest '09: musical bliss

This festival is a smorgasbord of incredible music. Very conducive to experiencing new bands and genres. It was pretty apparent early on that if someone is playing one of the 13 stages, they have got their stuff together. These band are top shelf with an emphasis on the music, no matter what the genre.
Thursday after work/school, Starla and I saw (in order):
The Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band with guest George Shuffler who is from Burke County
The Kruger Brothers (great pickin')
Daily and Vincent (amazingly tight, extremely professional, incredible vocals)
Tift Merritt solo (Starla's favorite of the evening)
Travis Tritt and Jerry Douglas (just the two of them and my favorite of the evening)
Friday I went solo. The first stop I made after getting in was to see
Laura Boosinger and Josh Goforth with some traditional music on The Traditional stage:
Then onto the Watson Stage to set up my lawn chair and leave my backpack

The Fiddler from The Duhks:

Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band, Jim Lauderdale, and The Duhks doing the Welcome Home Super Jam: After the Super jam I headed to the Walker Center for some excellent traditional music by Anne and Pete Sibley from Wyoming (their vocal harmonies sounded incredible). Then it was Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band and Tony Rice (these guys have some history together). I enjoyed the indoor venue, at this point in the day it was hot outside and the sun was beating down. The air conditioning felt good. My pics from inside didn't come out well, operator error.
After Peter Rowan and Tony Rice threw down I took the shuttle back to the car for some lunch. i opted to forgo the bus and walk back to the college since I was at lot A which is closest. For future reference unless you want some good walking exercise, take the shuttle. Although it is not a bad walk, it is longer than it seems when you are riding the bus.
Then onto see one of my favorites from the festival,
The Duhks from Winnipeg on the Hillside stage: Donna the Buffalo also on the Hillside Stage:
Mountain Heart with special guest Tony Rice, his best performance of the 3 I've seen:
Before Thursday I talked to Boyd at work about the show. He tries to go every year and he gave me some valuable advise about things to take, etc. Boyd had warned me that is would probably rain in spite of the weather report because it does every year. Unfortunately I didn't heed his advise and bring a rain coat or poncho. For a few minutes I was sitting on the grass with my lawn chair over my head. The one good thing about the rain was that it enabled me to move my lawn chair a little closer for the last 3 or 4 songs of Tony Rice and Mountain Heart. As I stated before, they were great.
Amos' Epics

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Big Ride with Johnny Calhoun and Matthew Lee. I did 30 miles on a Kona 29er.

The bike I rode is in the bottom right hand corner of the picture below. The mountain range in the foreground is the Black Mountain Crest.

We did the Blues to Blacks then back to the Blues. There was some serious hike a bike involved. The 29er was sweet. It climbed great and rolled over stuff very efficiently. I pulled off two difficult uphill moves that are usually hit or miss for me. I cant say I ever really missed my full suspension except maybe at the very end of the ride. I think this may have been as much due to the trail selection as the bicycle. We dropped down some smooth sweet single track trails!
Below is the parkway back towards 128, Heartbreak, etc.:
Below is the parkway towards Curtis Creek, Linville / Table Rock:
We rode some stuff over there:
The view from our last stop:
Matthew's Cannondale team bike:The prelude to the last few miles of potentially screaming fast, steep single track trail to the cars:
Amos' Epics

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Sunday morning at Wilson Creek, afternoon family hike at Ripshin Ridge

Layla with the Zoolander: G (or is that Chuck Norris?) at Razorback:
I did one -3" Wilson Creek run with Layla and G. They decided to do a second but I headed on home and gathered the family for a Easter afternoon short hike.
Thanks Geoff for taking some play boating pics.
G and Layla on their 2nd run:
Ripshin Ridge, Grandfather Mtn in the background:
Amos' Epics

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Saturday at the Watagua. Three runs, the third was my first solo.

An excellent level. I met Layla and Gaston at the river about 10:20. On the way up 181:
First run was with Gaston, Layla, and Steve. Second run with Gaston and Layla. Third run was solo.
Amos' Epics