The first weekend of June, 2004, Bill Booth, Thomas Crawford and Ranger Bob went fishing on the Green River in Rutherford County. We had a good time with clear, warm weather and fish that were biting. I used my first live bait minnows and caught my first catfish, besides some beautiful red and yellow sunfish perch. Thomas kept the larger fish for his family's supper. [You're welcome!]
On April 24, 2004, a group from Wilkes and Ashe County caravanned to Turtle Island Preserve. Joining Bob were John and Ann Willardson, Randy and Angela Gambill and children, Beth Martinson and her sister Kirsten, and Roland Scroggs and his son Andrew. We went to enjoy an Open House sponsored by Eustace Conway with his staff and friends Yvonne, Beau, Dave, Spencer and Lindsay.
On April 17, 2004, Bob Boettger, Paul Anderson and Bob Laney left town a little after dawn and headed to Grandfather Mountain for a substantial day hike. We ascended the Profile Trail from the parking area on NC-105, which is well graded with beautiful stone work. In my opinion, it is the best graded and most beautiful stone work on any trail I have seen in the U.S.
The middle week in February, 2004, my boon traveling companion Carroll Lowe and I spent a week in Jackson Hole, WY. Our esteemed travel agent Annie Garwood fixed us up at the downtown Best Western Lodge. It would be over-simplified to say we were skiing. It was a varied, scouting, testing, experimental snow trip.
The weekend of February 6, 2005, my buddies Bill Booth, Mike Haire and Tom Haire from Rutherford County have invited me to go rabbit hunting. If you have not been, it may not sound like a lot of fun. But I have been with this bunch before, and it is cool. They hunt with some high quality rabbit beagles raised by their friends James, Colon and Larry Saunders of Morganton.
On January 31, 2004, I went grouse hunting with my buddy Bill Booth from Rutherfordton County. He also invited his friend, Bud Grissom, who played varsity football at UNC-CH and was an All American. Bud is now a high school principal. We also went with his brother from Surry County, Rick Grissom, who coaches Elkin High School football and won the 1A state championship for 2002 and 2003. His license plate reads '1ABk2Bk.' We went to Ashe County on land owned by a client of mine, on the north side of the South Fork of the New River about a mile down stream from Todd.
Over the November 1 weekend around 2003 Will McElwee and I backpacked the A. T. from the Yellow Mountain Gap, which is the same as the Overmountain Victory trail gap, to Big Hump Mountain This is the section that I call big grassy balds It was quite pleasant in terms of both weather and logistics Out trail mileage was only about 8 miles, but the big altitude gain made it a sufficient workout
A couple days before the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, on June 20, 2015, I attempted to repeat my rarely accomplished grand traverse of Grandfather Mountain. I have hiked on Grandfather Mountain close to 100 times, but I have never met or heard of anyone who has done this particular hike. I start on NC Highway 105 at the base of the mountain; ascend east on the Profile Trail; pass the Watauga River and Shanty Springs; reach Calloway Gap; turn right and go south on Grandfather Trail; climb and descend Attic Window Peak and MacRae Peak; and go steeply down the trail to the Swinging Bridge. At the Top Shop I tank up with water. Then I go back the way I came, all the way to NC Highway 105.
At Jim and JoAnn Caudill's kind invitation, I accepted an offer to go paddling on the Tuckaseegee River the week of July 6 - 9, 2015. It turns out that all of the many other persons who traditionally go with the Caudill's on this annual trip had conflicts. We ended up with just three participants - fortuitously the minimum number needed to run the vehicle shuttle.