The weather was clear, sunny and warm on July 26, 2020, when I paddled my canoe on the New River in Ashe County.  I hired the New River Outfitters in south east Ashe County to shuttle me up stream about 7 miles for their "intermediate" trip.  I was paddling solo in my medium size Dagger Reflection 15.  The river was medium high from recent rains so the current was moving well.  With moderatle paddling mixed with coasting along to enjoy the scenery I made the trip in about 2.5  hours.  Even with this fairly short mileage and time on the…
On the sunny, hot day of July 12, 2020, I took a nice wooded hike on the Boone Fork Trail in Price Park, Watauga County, NC.    The most notable event was that due to recent rains and abnormally muddy trail, at one steep location I slipped and skinned my shin, knee and forearm.  On a more positive note I was using a new water bladder and drinking hose system that worked well.   The trip was good fun, good exercise and I saw many other hikers enjoying the outdoors with me. 
Roan Mountain, TN, and the grassy balds for several miles to the north contain the biggest collection of native growing wildflowers of which I am aware in the Appalachian Mountains.  Each year in mid June is the peak season of the blossoms of rhododendron, flame azalea, mountain laurel, bluets and other flowers. The Roan Mountain State Park on the west side of the mountain hosts the annual Rhodendron Festival at this time, on the weekend calculated to be closest to the peak. When I have attended the festival I was put off by the jammed crowds and absence of parking. …
On the last day of May, 2020, I took a hike on Grandfather Mountain.  The route was on the Profile Trail from NC Hwy 105 most of the way to Calloway Gap at the top of the mountain. This trip was my first real mountain hike in several years. Due to several illnesses, injuries and medical procedures – including two hip surgeries – plus getting older and fatter, I had lost most of my conditioning.  Recently I would get out of breath walking up a set of stairs in a building.  Thanks to many tennis matches and some town park…
I have been physically attacked in my law office by a hot headed young man who I defeated in Court and embarrassed the day before. At other times, I have been chased and bitten by big, mean dogs while mountain biking. Once while backpacking in the Slickrock Creek Wilderness of the Nantahala National Forest I was harassed by a wild boar that walked through my camp. Another time on the Appalachian Trail in the Great Smokey Mountain Park I was followed by a black bear. When backpacking on Grandfather Mountain I had a black bear come into my camp and…