On the chilly spring Saturday morning of April 16, 2005, Bob Boettger, Dan Bumgarner, Debbie Staley and Bob Laney took off for Grayson Highlands State Park in southwest Virginia. Even though many spring flowers and buds were showing in Wilkes County, the VA highlands were still under the lock of winter, with frost on the ground, no flowers and no green leaves. The wind chill factor was likely in the range of the teens Fahrenheit. We even hiked past a couple of remnant snow patches!
On April 15 of 2005 the Kiwanis Club speaker was Warren Doyle, professor at Lees-McCrae College. His claim to fame is having done what the above title says - hike from Springer Mountain, Georgia, to Mount Katahdin, Maine, and hundreds of other mountains in between, about 2,167 miles each trip a dozen times. Which is more than anyone else in history.
Carroll Lowe and I had a run for a few years from around 2002 to 2005 of annual ski trips to big slopes out west - Alta, UT; Snowbird, UT; Jackson Hole, WY; and others. It was a golden age. The last trip of that golden run was to Grand Targhee, ID, from late February to early March, 2005.
One Sunday afternoon I was on my way home from Bill Booth's house in Rutherford County. On a remote section of US-221-N, I passed a recent accident. The injuries were limited to small cuts, bruises and mild shock. One of the two vehicles, a van, had rolled after the collision into a deep ditch ' about chest high to me. One corner of the van had jumped the ditch and was resting on the other side, canted down at a steep angle. It occurred to me with a small surge of excitement that this was an opportunity for me to play Ranger Bob!
Over the long weekend of November 14, 2004, a bunch of the Paul Anderson Tuesday Afternoon Tea and Tennis Society went to the Wild Dunes resort on the Isle of Palms outside of Charleston, SC. Bob Boettger made all the arrangements. We were Paul, Bob Laney, Jeff Pardue, John Willardson, Joe Richardson, Jim McCrae, Bobby Isenhour and Terry Cleary.
Boone Fork - Two Trips
In late November a couple years ago, Will McElwee and I made plans to backpack on the Appalachian Trail across Max Patch Mountain south of Hot Springs, NC.' Due to a conflict Will was not able to join me.' 'Not wanting to drive to the Tennessee border by myself, I elected to go backpacking closer to home on the Nuwati Trail in the Boone Fork Bowl, Watauga County.' This is the headwaters of Boone Fork Creek on the south-eastern flank of Grandfather Mountain.'
Over the long weekend of October 29, 2004, I went to Eustace Conway;s place called Turtle Island Preserve, in southeast Watauga County. I worked on his legal matters and used the bucolic ambience to research the law on some issues. His place is so big and undeveloped that it is like a small state park.
n the summer of 2004 I attended the scuba diving class with the Reef Dancer Dive shop in Wilkesboro. It has since gone out of business. After our class time at the shop and the pool time at the YMCA, we had to complete the certification and get our licenses by making five open water dives in the ocean. Our dive master Chris Jordan, the Reef Dancer owner and class teacher, and my class mates Stan and Iris Carman, Dave Smith and Rance Moore and I began making plans to go to the Florida Keys. My dive mentor and buddy Paul Anderson, who had been certified for more than a decade and had made about 150 dives, went with us.