On a moderately warm October weekend in 2006 I went to the beach with my sea kayak. The goal was to paddle to Bear Island. I had a long pleasant drive from Wilkes County to Bogue Banks, just west of Atlantic Beach, which is further southwest from Morehead City, NC.
One week in September, 2006, my nephew Robert Parker called me to see if I wanted to accompany him on a rock climbing trip to Pilot Mountain State Park in Surry County, NC. Robert had an occasion to be in the area while his wife visited with her family, and he needed something athletic to do on Saturday. I readily said yes.
Last Tuesday evening, at the weekly session of the Paul Anderson Tuesday Afternoon Tennis and Tea Society, Paul and I got together for a match with John Barker and Billy Gee. First let me set the scene, with the cast of characters.
In July of 2006 St. Paul's Parish of Wilkesboro journeyed to Valle Cruces for its annual retreat. Chuck Forester and Bob Laney were elected to lead the adult outdoor activity on Saturday. Unlike Bob and Chuck's Great Adventure a few years earlier, when we were assaulted by a terrible thunderstorm on the top of Grandfather Mountain, this time the weather was nice. We enjoyed a warm and sunny day.
Isla Mujeres Diving
Over a short week in late July 2006, Paul and Joyce Anderson lead our small group of Stan and Iris Carmen with Bob and Debbie Laney to the western Caribbean Island of Isla Mujeres.
Over the long July 4th weekend of 2006, Bob and Debbie Laney joined Allison Laney and her fianc'e Steven Harris, and Brian Mendenhall and his buddy Tyson Philyaw from Winston-Salem, for a pleasant day of paddling canoes on the New River. Brian and his buddy could only stay for the first day canoeing. Allison and Steven camped 4 days at the New River State Park, Wagoner Access.
Over the long July 4th weekend in 2006, Debbie and Bob Laney joined Allison Laney and her fiancee Steven Harris, and Brian Mendenhall and his buddy Tyson Philyaw from Winston-Salem for a pleasant day of paddling canoes on the New River. Brian and his buddy could only stay for the day canoeing. Allison and Steven camped 4 days at the New River State Park, Wagoner Access. Debbie and Bob stayed the first evening at the campsite to share a charcoal grilled cookout supper with the youngsters. Then two days later the old fogies returned in the evening after work to do it again - this time cooking over a fire of oak and maple. We old timers just can't get enough of that campfire taste! Saturday morning saw the Laney clan meeting at Debbie and Bob's Fairplains, NC, house to carpool with the NC State students. We met the Mendenhall contingent at the river put in where NC-16 crosses NC-88, just down stream from Zaloo's. The weather was perfect ' clear blue ski, warm but not broiling hot, a mild breeze and refreshingly cool water. (More on the water temperature later...).
On a pretty, sunny [and early - starting at 6 a.m.!] spring morning in late May, 2006, Debbie and Bob Laney traveled to Hampton, TN, to meet Judson Conway. That name may be vaguely familiar. If you read the biography of Eustace Conway, The Last American Man, Judson features prominently in several chapters. He is Eustace's younger brother, the one who rode with Eustace and Judson's girlfriend on the world record setting cross continental horse packing trip about 6 years ago. And the author, Elizabeth Gilbert, was right: Judson is handsome and charming!
It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it. The weekend of May 21, 2006, the Paul Anderson Tuesday Afternoon Tennis Club and Tea Society caravanned to Charleston, SC, for another outing. We decamped to Wild Dunes Resort where Bob Boettger arranged for us to rent a truly large and luxurious house for a pittance. Also along were John 'Death Star' Willardson, Jim 'Vacation' McCrae, Bobby 'Casanova' Isenhour, Dave 'Coach' Wiles and Bob 'Volley' Laney.
One warm, foggy October evening in 2005 after work I decided to do my first bike ride on Lithia Springs Road after dark from start to finish. Always before I would start in the daylight and try to end in daylight, or at worst finish soon after dusk. But this time it was too late in the day. This trip would require the balance of several competing factors: concentration vs. relaxation, perseverance vs. patience and domination vs. acquiescence.