Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Smokies Hike 2009

I had a great Smokey Mountain hike with Segue this week. We enjoyed beautiful weather, an unbelievable wildflower display, and met many interesting hiker-type-characters who kept us entertained. It was great to back on the trail.

Segue and Hometown at Newfound Gap

Friday, April 24, 2009

Heading out to the Smokies

I met Segue last summer in the Whites, while I was thru hiking the Appalachian Trail.
Rethinker and I had been hiking in a deluge (and met up with SiteSee, Apostle, and Sir Bacon along the way) and we all headed into Crawford Notch to escape the rain. We found a bunk house at the campground where we met fellow hikers, Segue and Boy Floyd.

Segue and Hometown in the White Mountains.
Rethinker and I ended up taking a zero the next day because of continuing rain and I really enjoyed getting to know Segue and Floyd. We hiked with them on and off through the Whites and spent a memorable night at Lake of the Clouds Hut at the foot of Mt Washington. We ended up parting company close to the Maine border, but as thru hikers tend to do, we were destined to see each other again.
Segue hiked into Franklin this week and spent a zero with me and Black Betty at the Hometown Hostel. I'm awful glad that he did because I'm going to spend the next five days hiking the Appalachian Trail through the Great Smoky Mountains with him.
I can't wait to reconnect with the trail! Thanks, Segue!

Friday, April 17, 2009

5th-Graders assault Siler's Bald

On Siler Bald (5216ft)

  • Today was the big hike day for the 5th grade class at Cartoogechaye Elementry School. It turned out to be the most beautiful of Spring days, a great day for a hike.
  • We broke the 70+ kids into groups of 5 and hiked on the Appalachian Trail for the 5-mile round trip to the summit of the grassy Siler Bald and enjoyed lunch surrounded by the stunning panorama of the beautiful Nantahalas of Macon County.
  • The kids did great, they are lots of fun to be around. I wish more folks would spend the time taking kids into the outdoors. They really did enjoy it and maybe some seeds were planted for future hiking endeavors.
  • Man, we are so lucky to live in such an awesome place!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Services 2009 with the Dead

Black Betty and Hometown ready for Shakedown Street!

We enjoyed a glorious and celebatory Easter at the first show of The Dead last night at the Greensboro Coliseum. We arrived with family and friends early enough to enjoy several hours of parking lot hippie action before seeing the big sold-out show.

All in all it was great, the band seemed to really gel, Phil's singing really didn't sound too bad, Billy and Mickey kicked ass with their drums, AND the band threw a pretty cool Watchtower to Warren. The band sounded good and the vibe seemed right. The set list seemed a little strange, but who am I to complain? I had lots of fun!

Set List 4/12/09 Greensboro Colesium
set 1)The Music Never Stopped>Jack StrawEstimated Prophet>He's Gone>Touch Of Grey>I Need A Miracle>Truckin'
(set 2)JamShakedown Street>All Along The Watchtower>Caution>Rhythm Devils>Space>Cosmic Charlie>New Potato Caboose>Help On The Way>Slipknot!>Franklin's Tower
(encore)Samson And Delilah

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Confessions of a Southern Appalachian Ramp Eater

We've had a nice visit with Scott (Schooner) and Megan (no trail name) from Indiana. They are staying at the house for a "zero" day today as the snow showers fly, and we've really enjoyed the company.
Jeff and I went and dug ramps yesterday and we came out with Black Betty to Miss Janet's Hostel in Franklin this morning and cooked up a big breakfast with lots of pungently delicious ramp goodness! We cooked up 10 pounds of potatoes, 5 pounds of sausage, 6 dozen eggs, tons of ramps, and Jeff even brought a pan of his killer cheesy biscuits along. Hikers filled plates to overflowing and everyone ate to their hearts content.
The smell of ramps filled the air as Miss Janet enthralled us with the tale of her unintended night spent in the woods (the night before) as she got turned around and off trail while she went to retrieve her dog. All in all a great morning!

AT hikers ready for a ramplicious breakfast.

Ramp cookers: Jeff, Hometown, and Schooner going all rampy!

Hometown sharing photos of his hike with Megan, Schooner, and Jeff.

Wyatt loving on Megan.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Sam Quinn and the Japan 10

Sam Quinn + Japan Ten: "Hello" @ Ramseur Records HQ from Ramseur Records on Vimeo.

I just can't resist mentioning Sam Quinn + Japan 10 this morning. We've been big fans of the Everybodyfields since we first saw them a few years ago opening for the Avett Brothers. As a matter of fact, I even hitched a ride into the Grey Eagle from Hot Springs during my thru-hike to see them play.

The Everybodyfields, featuring the song writing and singing of Sam and Jill Andrews, are "on break" and Sam Quinn is touring with his own band. Sam's haunting voice and beautiful lyrics have a way of reaching deep into your soul and grabbing hold. I can't wait to see them again....

Franklin Hosts Fifth Annual Hiker Bash

The Hiker Bash is ready to pop this weekend. Ronnie Havens has done a great job promoting this thing and turning it into an event. Appalachian Trail Hikers will be literally coming out of the woods to partake in the fun and games. I'll be there tonight (sorry, I have to work Saturday and Sunday) to help with the feeding of the masses. I'm looking forward to seeing lots of friends.

Here's the article by the MaconNews:

Thursday, 02 April 2009

Events will include town’s first-ever Hikers Appreciation Day
By Tony Wheeler Staff Writer
The Town of Franklin will sponsor its first “April Fools Trail Days” on Friday, April 3, and Saturday, April 4. The event will celebrate Franklin’s appreciation of the Appalachian Trail hikers, whether they are long distance thru-hikers, section-hikers or day-hikers. The event is a partnership with the fifth annual Hiker Bash hosted by Ronnie Haven, owner of the Budget and Sapphire Inns in Franklin.
Haven, an avid hiker himself, is dedicated to the AT hikers, and worked in conjunction with the town and the Main Street Program to consolidate the annual bash with the hiker appreciation days.
“This is the perfect place for a celebration of hikers,” Haven said. “Almost 2,000 people showed up for the bash last year.”
Franklin is located 100 miles north of the traditional Spring starting point of the 2,175-mile trail at Springer Mtn., Ga. The trail’s northern terminus is Mt. Katahdin in Maine. The trail runs through Macon County about 10 miles from downtown Franklin, at Winding Stair Gap. Haven said that at one time, before Franklin became recognized as hiker-friendly, the trekkers would resupply at Hiawassee, Ga., and not stop again until they reached Wesser, N.C., 14 miles west of Bryson City. He has provided free shuttle service to hikers over the years and is well-known along the trail, having contributed his local knowledge to a series of AT guidebooks. He once hauled a record 216 hikers from the trail to town and back on a single day, in April 2007. “I’m trying to do a good job of representing the town of Franklin to the hikers,” he said.
Ronnie Haven, owner of the Budget and Sapphire Inns of Franklin, is an avid hiker and Appalachian Trail enthusiast.The celebration starts on Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. with a cookout and live music at the Sapphire Inn. Saturday morning, the day begins with a free breakfast for the hikers sponsored by the First Baptist Church. Then on to the Big Bear Shelter on the Greenway from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be food, entertainment by the Frogtown IV, educational booths from the Nantahala Hiking Club, the Appalachian Trail Conversancy and other organizations, book signings and hiker games. Bill Dyar and the Boy Scouts will set up their historical camping display. The Franklin community will get a chance to meet the hikers and learn about their experiences on the trail. Thru-hikers that have hiked the entire Appalachian Trail will be on hand to answer questions. On Saturday night from 5 to 9 p.m., the Sapphire Inn will again host food, live music, book signings and a talent show.
Linda Schlott, executive director of the Franklin Main Street Program, encourages the community to come to the Big Bear Shelter on Saturday for a day filled with fun, food, entertainment and a great learning experience. “We know that the Appalachian Trail hikers have a positive economic impact on our town and we want to celebrate that.”
For further details, contact Linda Schlott by calling (828)524-0476.
Admission will be $10 per person to cover entertainment and food expense at the events held at Sapphire Inn. There will be shuttles available from Fontana and the Nantahala Outdoor Center to and from the bash with Starlite Limo Service in Cherokee for a fee. Call (828)586-5466 for information. Budget Inn of Franklin, (828)524-4403; Sapphire Inn of Franklin, (828)524-4406.