139: Dad, summiting Mount Katahdin

I wrote a longer, more detailed narrative another time, but here is a short film taken by strangers (visible at the end) of my dad and his hiking partner Jack Scott finishing the Appalachian Trail after section-hiking it for a couple of decades.  It's a dramatic moment, not just because of the magnificent landscape and iconoclastic setting, but because we almost lost dad to a heart attack and triple bypass surgery the summer before, while Sloan and I were in Tuscany and near when his final hike had been originally scheduled.  This summer, in 2001, Sloan and I flew to Bangor, ME, and camped in Acadia, and met dad in Baxter State Park to accompany him on his hike.  My brother David accompanied us too, flying in from Vail, CO.

Here is the video!


138: Logging at Coldholler

I'm removing the deep green acre of massive mature white pines at the center of Coldholler.  It's surrounded by 100s of acres of mixed hardwood, so letting sunshine in won't be the end of the world.  But they are fully mature, with some past prime and a few widowmaker dead ones.  Now, I'll get paid quite a bit for the timber; wait too long, and I'll have an expensive, dangerous problem.  More detail later, but here are some pictures.

137: Tenkara!

Took a short lunch spin on July 3, and instead of hitting the WCU Trail as usual, I stayed in the valley and cruised around the  Tuckaseegee River behind campus, using fat tires to roll on shoulders and more closely inspect the banks, and then along the hatchery-supported stream that runs through campus. Several years ago, some stone was added to Cullowhee Creek, giving an otherwise 12" deep stream some attractive, much deeper holes eddies and small ledge pourovers. 

This is the spot that I caught a 5" brook trout week before, when I first tried my Tenkara rod. With no reel, Tenkara appeals to me because it offers the same simplicity I enjoy on my fixed-gear road bike and single-speed MTB.  Plus, "real" fly fisherpeeps look at it with amusement, cynicism, or intrigue, just like mainstream cyclists view fixies.  Since then I haven't had any luck, but it's hotter now and I've gone around mid-day during lunch. 

Thinking about all the possibilities around here for small stream fishing, accessible by road or mountainbike, some legally and some questionably so (I might selectively poach some no-bikes areas just to connect legit routes but would stay out of posted private property).  Any suggestions?

Here I am on my lunch ride...bike in background.  We live in a marvelous place! 

Some other pictures of Tenkara, in Panthertown Valley and in my own trout pond near the Coldholler log cabin...

136: Hiatus, over!

I took a couple of years off, here, during which the boys have grown a bit, I added another five acres and two trout ponds, lost 30 pounds and got back into cycling shape, built a mountain bike trail, and started Tenkara fly fishing. I'll try to bring the blog up to speed, perhaps not in any exact chronological order but by topic. Here I am last week, on the closed Blue Ridge Parkway just below Richland Balsam at 6000 feet, after climbing from the log cabin in Coldholler up and over a big ridge on my own faint trail, descending the new WCU Trail, and ascending 4000 feet on an old gated logging track in the snow. More soon!

About Me

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I use this blog to chronicle certain aspects of my life near the Smokies. I'm building a cabin. I kayak. Sometimes I bike.