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.
In the fall of 2004 Jim Smoak graciously invited several men from St. Paul's Church to join him for a week's vacation in August, 2005, at his cabin on the Snake River near Jackson Hole, WY. In addition to eating, sleeping, beer drinking and tall-tale swapping, we hope to get in some fishing and trail hiking in the adjacent, dramatic, magnificent Grand Teton National Park. Toward mid-July, 2005, most of us desk jockeys became aware of the sedentary nature of our life styles. Compared to the lung busting, feet pounding hikes around 10,000 feet coming up in the near future, we felt ' how can I say this? ' inadequate.
Some where near the middle of our fair state, just north of Asheboro, is an old rock quarry converted to a scuba diving resort called Blue Stone. On a cloudy Saturday in late July, 2005, the Wilkes County 2004 Hurricane Dive team trekked there. This is the crew whose first open water training dive, to get our scuba licenses, was planned for Key Largo, FL, in August, 2004. That trip was postponed four times (count 'em - 4) by serial hurricanes.
Date: Friday, July 15, 2005, 3 p.m.
Subject: Bonaire DVD Press Release
By: Paul 'Hollywood' Anderson, videographer, producer and director
The much anticipated DVD of Paul Anderson's production of Bonaire, An Adventure on Land and Sea will soon be available. According to inside sources, problems encountered in production, attributed primarily to user error (the nut behind the wheel) are being resolved'finally! The studio is now projecting a release date of July 22, 2005.
The cold was penetrating when I entered the woods. The temperature had been down in the teens the night before. There was ice in the creek. After hiking up the ridge awhile, my body temperature became effusive. Soon the heat over came the cold, and I shed several layers of clothes. I continued up the trail in bright sunshine under blue bird skies.
On Saturday February 1, 2014, the weather was cold and clear. I returned to the Widows Creek Trail in Stone Mountain State Park. My goal today was to take the north fork of the trail that is the Mountains to Sea Trail. This fork of the trail runs from Widows Creek almost straight north to the Devils Garden Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
On Sunday, February 2, 2014, in the mountains, the weather was still cold and clear. I went to the Blue Ridge Parkway to attempt to reach the Devils Garden Overlook. I was trying to hike the upper portion of the Mountains to Sea Trail and connect with the lower portion of the same trail that I had hiked from the bottom just the day before. Unfortunately, parts of the Parkway were covered with ice and the Rangers had closed some of the barricades. I could not get to Devils Garden Overlook, so I stopped at Doughton Park and hiked the Bluff Mountain Trail, starting at Alligator Back Cliff.
Eustace Conway's Turtle Island Preserve is staffed by interns, who enter a contract and work for 14 months in return for teachings and experiences in the natural ways of doing things. One of TIP's current interns is Brian from Connecticut. Besides being adept at nearly everything mechanical, he is a gunsmith.
The location was Grandfather Mountain. The date was April 19, 2014, just a week before MerleFest when Wilkes Community College will be full of people running around in short pants and tank tops. The weather report was for intermittent rain and temperatures in the 50's. When I got to Calloway Peak, the trail was covered with ice, the wind was spitting snow and I was suffering from mild hypothermia.