Chip tied on a wet fly and Robbie tied on a dry fly. They cast their lures into the roiling Linville River. Within a few minutes, success! They each landed a smallmouth bass.
Two teen age boys from Charlotte, who I met on the mountain, leap frogged up the Cragway Trail with me. I would pass them and they would pass me. I was hiking as strongly and steadily as I could. They would stop every 100 yards and climb the rocks. Yet, despite their large extra expenditure of energy, they were keeping up with me! That proves the strength of youth. Wonderfully, they were also polite -continually referring to me as 'sir' - and they had boundless enthusiasm for the magnificent scenery and sunny weather. I called them billy goats. They liked the appellation.
The scuba dive was my second of this trip, deep on the Palancar reef, which runs for many miles north and south off the eastern coast of Mexico and Belize - the longest reef in the Caribbean Sea. I was watching my computer for the three main items a scuba diver has to monitor under water: air consumption (how fast is the tank emptying), nitrogen loading (how much out of balance is the blood) and remaining bottom time (how long can the diver stay at this depth before risking the necessity of a decompression stop upon ascension). If any of these factors become a problem, then one solution is to ascend in the water column - which slows air consumption, reduces nitrogen loading, increases bottom time remaining - and also makes the diver closer to the surface and fresh air.
On a beautiful, sunny Saturday in early July, 2005, Debbie (then Laney, now Staley) and Bob Laney took a pleasant trip to the Virginia Creeper Trail.
The weekend of October 17 - 19, 2014, Friday through Sunday, Chip Wiles and Robbie Russell led a backpacking and trout fishing trip to Doughton Park. They graciously invited me, Bob Laney, to go along. We car pooled from my house to the Longbottom Road parking lot where Basin Creek exits the southern end of the park. If you go there, remember the new rule: you must have a permit from the Park Ranger, and there is no self-registration kiosk there like some other parks. You should call or write the ranger station several weeks in advance.
The Saturday of October 25, 2014, my nephew Robert Parker planned a rock climbing trip to Hanging Rock State Park, and he invited yours truly. He brought along his 4 - year old daughter Kara, who was a delight to be with. I had been around Kara many times at family gatherings. But she was so small that we had little interaction. On this trip she showed some of her personality and character. She was strong and brave climbing the big rock face. She apparently is musical, too, because she often sang while she played. And, like Michael Jordan, she sticks out her tongue when she is concentrating.
The weekend of March 21 - 22, 2015, I went backpacking for the first time on the land that Terri and I own on Shoe Mountain, in northwest Wilkes County, off NC 16 North and White Oak Church Road, near the Blue Ridge Parkway. Unless you trespass on the neighbor's land, there is not a lot of hiking that you can do on our 10 acres. So, most of the trip was spent setting up and taking down camp, cooking meals, pumping water and sitting on a big mossy rock reading the biography of George Harrison.
On July 2, 2005, I took a hike on my favorite mountain, as training for my trip next month to hike in Grand Tetons National Park. I went from US 221 on the Daniel Boone Scout trail to Calloway Peak and back down. I have been on Grandfather Mountain hundreds of times. I thought that I had seen every kind of meteorological condition. I thought wrong. This expected simple hike turned into a little bit of adventure. I saw three superlatives in one day - conditions with more of something than I had ever seen before.
On a sometimes sunny and sometimes cloudy Saturday in June, 2005, Ranger Bob lead his fourth annual trek to the Roan high balds to see the peak of the wild flowering bushes. Along for the show were Paul Anderson, Dan Bumgarner, Debbie Staley and John Willardson. This article includes photos from other Roan Mountain flower trips in 2006 and 2008, for which there is no separate written article. Shown from those trips are the Laney and Parker family clans, my mother Lib Laney, Joyce Anderson, Joe Richardson and children, Kendall Forester, Gwen Temple and others. Enjoy the view!
On a warm, sunny day in June, 2005, Bob and Debbie Laney explored the Daniel Boone Scout Trail on the northeast ridge of Grandfather Mountain. This was Debbie's first trip onto the mountain. It was Bob's-oh, say, about-150th trip.