Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Donna The Buffalo at The Orange peel

On Friday, January 23, Donna the Buffalo performed at the Orange Peel. This has been an annual event for several years now, and falls during the week of my birthday, so it is always an event that I forward to.
The Binghampton, NY band "Deadwood" opened the show.


Donna The Buffalo

With Black Betty and Marie

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Wesser Bald Hike

The grandsons and I picked a clear January day to hike to the Wesser Bald lookout tower. The hike starts at Tellico Gap (between Wayah Bald and the Nantahala Outdoor Center). From the parking area, just follow the Appalachian Trail about a mile and a half to the top of the mountain and you will see the 30 foot high platform with the incredible 360 degree view.

I love reading Earl Shaffer's (the1st A.T. thru hiker) account of his visit there in 1948. Of course it had a cabin built on it then, and was occupied by a lonely USFS Fire Warden. The man insisted he spend a stormy night there and then was reluctant to let him go in the morning. Seems that he was starving for company.

Earl described the sunrise that he witnessed there the next morning, "The storm has settled into surrounding valleys, leaving the highest peaks jutting like islands from a sea of fog. Then the sun rose, lighting a golden path across that misty sea. Seldom...have I seen anything to compare."

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Steep Canyon Rangers and Jerry Douglas

                                         The Orange Peel, 1/9/2015.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Town Mountain's Holiday Hunger Relief Benefit

On Saturday, December 20th, 2014 Town Mountain and Mandolin Orange played a benefit for two local hunger relief organizations, Funding America Through Entertainment (FATE) and MANNA FoodBank at Isis Restaurant and Music Hall in Asheville, NC. New Belgium Brewing Company  sponsored the event and donated proceeds from their beer sales in addition to a monetary bonus. Town Mountain has dedicated a portion of ticket sales for the cause as well as arranged for a 50/50 raffle the evening of the show. This is the 3rd time that FATE and Town Mountain have teamed up to fight hunger, having donated more than $3000 towards the cause and Town Mountain will continue to develop the Holiday Bluegrass Benefit as an annual tradition.

Once again, it proved to be a fun and rowdy night of world class bluegrass tunes performed in front of a music loving crowd in Asheville. It was a great way for the local community of music lovers, artists, and businesses to take time to help the hungry in western North Carolina.

Thanks, Town Mountain for taking the lead on this. You guys rock.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Hometown Hiker's Live Band List 2014

Gnometown didn't really knock it out of the park this year with live music, but we did the best we could. Between working night shift, taking a summer Europe trip, and hanging with the grand kids, we skipped out on seeing some music. Here's hoping for a groovy 2015!

Here are some of the great bands that we were fortunate enough to see in 2014.

Railroad Earth, Donna The Buffalo, Yonder Mountain String Band, Town Mountain, Jim Lauderdale, Green Sky Bluegrass, Jeff Mosier, The Traveling McCourys, The Duhks, The Royal Tinfoil, Punch Brothers, Jason Isbell, Steep Canyon Rangers, Grandpas Cough Medicine, Ralph Roddenbery, Henhouse Prowlers, The Honeycutters, Sam Bush, Del McCoury Band, Jerry Douglas, The Avett Brothers, Southern Soul Assembly, Sloppy Joe, Dread Clampitt, The Freight Hoppers, Porch 40, Dustin Martin and the Ramblers, Jon Stickley Trio, Mandolin Orange.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Bartram Trail in October

There is no more beautiful time to hike in the southern Appalachians than October. The crisp air, changing colors, falling leaves, and clear views, all combine to create some of the best hiking conditions of the year. Here are some pics from a little jaunt I took on the Bartram Trail today from Jones Gap to Whiterock mountain. I hope you enjoy them.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Bike and Barge: Day 7.

8/1 To Amsterdam! 50km.

Today was our final day of touring, and we aimed our bicycles towards Amsterdam. During breakfast, we sailed from Utrecht to Breukelen. From there, we mounted our bicycles and rode through the Dutch country side. Piet asked if we wanted to visit a charming cheese farm, and the group agreed. The woman who owned the farm gave us a tour of the milking barn and the cheese room. She talked to us about the cheese making process and then led us to their retail store, where we were given samples and the opportunity to buy. Susan picked us up a couple of wheels of her favorite, the delicious and unusual stinging-nettle cheese.

After eating lunch, we cycled to Muiderslot and looked at the castle, without actually touring it. The Muiderslot is a beautifully restored 13th century moated castle, located at the mouth of the river Vecht, where it flows into what used to be the Zuiderzee. We did not get to actually tour the castle with the group, but thankfully, we had visited it the week before joining the bike tour.

Next, we followed cycle paths along the final 15 km into the city of Amsterdam, where we immediately merged into the crazy and crowded, vibrant city traffic. We stuck with Piet and enjoyed an exciting urban ride into the city center and rejoined the Sailing Home at her mooring, near Central Station.

For a final dinner, Markus prepared smoked trout, shrimp done 3 different ways, and duck breast. As a special going away treat, the sweet crew sisters, Rita and Rianne baked us a going away cake in the shape of a bleeding heart. It was their way of saying they would be sad to see us go, but in actuality, we were sorry that our trip was coming to an end.

A pretty calf at a cheese farm.


Quintessential Dutch farm.

Muiderslot Selfie!

Bike bridge into Amsterdam.


Central Station, Amsterdam.