Saturday, February 27, 2010

Following the Blue Blazes to the White Blazes and I ran into two local pioneers in white-water sports out doing trail maintenance.

The majority of these pics are from last weekend.
This is the start of the pics I took today:
I've gotten out for a few hikes recently but I havent been able to do much more than that due to a heavy work load and no functioning bike. The latest exploration hikes I've gotten under my belt was on a sweet little trail that begins less than 15 minutes from my house off of hwy 126, across the road from Lake James and between the bridge over the Linville River and Wolf Pit Road. I had been wondering about trails in this area for a long time and now thanks to a little beta from Todd C. I feel like I've hit the jackpot. I've done two hikes out there now and today I ran into father and son, Bob and David Benner. They are the co-writers of CAROLINA WHITEWATER A Paddler's Guide to the Western Carolinas which was first published in 1981 and is now on it's 9th edition. I've personally had three different editions of their book and have been using it for about 15 years. They were doing trail maintenance on the Blue Blazed trail. My hats off to them.
Anyway, the blue blazes trail is full of character and has a section that runs parallel to the Linville River for a few hundred yards. It rolls through a nice beautiful wooded forest and meanders down to the river then climbs quickly away from it and up the ridge and into a burned out section of woods before it ends by T'ing into the Mountains-To-Sea Trail. To the left at the T is the Linville River ford which if crossed leads on up the other side of the lower gorge to The Pinnacle. Taking a right at the T leads to the top of Shortoff. Last weekend I followed it to the other side of Shortoff and to my favorite little photo-op looking up the Linville Gorge towards Table Rock and Hawksbill. Today I followed the MTS Trail to the river crossing. A couple of exceptional "out and backs" that I will be doing many more times as well as linking up some big destination hikes.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Monday after work: Soul-O on Wilson Creek at 0 then a jog in the dark for shuttle

I've lived 25 miles from Wilson Creek for over a decade and I still feel like a tourist every time I show up here. And I hope I always do, this stuff should never get old:
I had hoped the WCAWC (Wilson Creek After Work Crew) would be able to make it but it wasnt meant to be so I embarked on another Soul-O run. The wave below Screaming Left Turn was still good to go and I surfed it into the twilight.
Amos' Epics

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Saturday at Wilson Creek. 5" in the morning, a little above 3" at 5:45. I was able to get in 4 runs.

The roads were not in bad shape at all and I left my running shoes at the lower takeout in case of a solo. I got to the put in in perfect time to jump in with Chris, Dennis, Garrick, and Josh. I caught up to them right before they got to the top of Ten Foot. They were a fun group to paddle with and nice guys to let me jump in on their shuttle.
Josh in the classic Pirouette S at Boat Buster at an exceptional level.

Awesome color scheme on Chris' Nomad. I'm glad to see Dagger making boats with that multicolor design. Reminds me of some of the Crossfires "back in the day".

Tyler joined us for the second run. The brothers Grindstaff at Razor Back

Tyler at the Coin Slot.
Alex joined me and Chris for the third run then he and I finished the day with my Fourth run. Alex got this last shot of me getting the grind at Thunder Hole on the third run. It wasn't as cold as I expected but I started feeling chilly on the third run, especially after a roll off the grind above. I was starting to get cold by the fourth run. It was a great level, good people to paddle with, and the snow made the views extra special. What a wonderful place to be on a Saturday.