Tuesday, January 26, 2016

the lingering season

Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour.
--John Boswell

Above: A snowy pastoral scene found near Unicoi, TN.

Monday, January 25, 2016

cabin sweet cabin

There is hardly a pioneer's hut which does not contain a few odd volumes of Shakespeare. I remember reading the feudal drama of Henry V for the first time in a log cabin.
--Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) French Historian and Political scientist.

Above: Fort Watauga at Sycamore Shoals State Park in Elizabethton, TN.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

snow day

Cross country skiing is great if you live in a small country.
--Steven Wright (b.1955) comedian.

Cross country skiers enjoy the snow at Sycamore Shoals State Park in Elizabethton. The man in the bottom photo joked as he went by that he was training his dog to be a husky.

Saturday, January 23, 2016


My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better.

--Steve Jobs (1955-2011) American entrepreneur and inventor.

Above: Clearing snow in Unicoi, TN. In the background is Pinnacle Mountain.

Thursday, January 21, 2016


Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die,
Life is a broken-winged bird
that cannot fly, 

Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams go,
Life is a barren field,
Frozen with snow.

--Langston Hughes (1902-1967) American Writer, Poet and Essayist.

Above: Barn near Watauga, TN.

Friday, January 1, 2016


Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity. 
--Gautama Siddharta (563-483 B.C.) Founder of Buddhism.

Above: Roaring Fork Falls.  Click here to learn more about this beautiful cascading waterfall found near the Blue Ridge Parkway (Mile #344) in the Mount Mitchell area of North Carolina.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.
--Laura Ingalls Wilder

Wishing you a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

don't wait

In life, one has a choice to take one of two paths: to wait for some special day -- or to celebrate each special day. 
--Rasheed Ogunlaru

Above: Late afternoon walk at Carden's Bluff (Watauga Lake).

Thursday, December 17, 2015

gratitude and vision

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. 
--Melody Beattie (b.1948) American author. 

Above: Blue at Chestoa View, Blue Ridge Parkway mile 320.8 (elevation 4090 ft.).

Chestoa View offers great views of the Linville Gorge Wilderness and is a short walk from the parking area. In the photo above you can see Table Rock in the distance (top right). More discussion of this fantastic overlook here.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

twin tunnels

Persons of high self-esteem are not driven to make themselves superior to others; they do not seek to prove their value by measuring themselves against a comparative standard. Their joy is being who they are, not in being better than someone else. 
--Nathaniel Branden (1930-2014) Psychotherapist and author. 

Above: Twin Tunnels, Blue Ridge Parkway, Mile 344.5 (between Crabtree Falls and Mt. Mitchell).

Of the 26 tunnels found along the parkway, 25 are found in North Carolina. Most of the decorative stone portal-facings were not part of the original construction, but added later in the 1950s and 60s. Tunnels were used to prevent large scale cutting and scarring of the mountains and also to ensure the most desirable routes were achieved. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

december swim

All men should strive
 to learn before they die

what they are running from, and to, and why.

--James Thurber (1894-1961) American author--

With temperatures reaching above seventy degrees, Blue was happy to go for a December swim in Watauga Lake.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

risky business

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket -- safe, dark, motionless, airless -- it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.
--C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) British Scholar and Novelist.

Above: Sunset at Watauga Lake

Sunday, November 22, 2015

keep moving

Better to start up a thousand wrong roads than to spend your life going nowhere because you know the way. 
--Robert Brault

Above: Late autumn road on a dreary day.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

life's essentials

Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.  
--Joseph Addison (1672-1719) English Author and Statesman.   

Carden's Bluff Campground is open from mid-April till the beginning of November. But while you can't camp there now, you can park at the main gate and walk in and explore. It's a perfect place to walk the dog and take in some wonderful views of Watauga Lake.  For more pics and info, click here

Saturday, November 14, 2015

when all else has fallen

Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. It is, in fact, the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen. 
--1 Cor. 13:7-10 (JB Phillips Translation). 

Above: Fallen leaves blanket the waterfall at Rocky Fork State Park

Directions: Take the Flag Pond exit off of I-26 (exit #50), at the stop sign turn left onto Upper Higgins Creek Road. Drive ½ mile, till you reach Rt. 23, turn right and travel 2 ¼ mi. through Flag Pond, then turn left on Rocky Fork Road. Enjoy the views of the tumbling creek. After ¾ mile, you will see a gravel pull-off to the left. Park here (out of the way of the gate) to continue exploring the 10,000 acre Rocky Fork on foot. Trail map here.