Cedar Rock

Park in the Hatchery Parking Lot and begin the Cat Gap Loop trail hiking counter clockwise. You will walk past Picklesimer Fields. Continue on this trail bearing right toward Cat Gap at the intersection of the shortcut cut-off trail.  When you get to Cat Gap, turn sharply to the right on the Art Loeb. In about .6 mile, at Sandy Gap, there will be a trail that cuts off to the right beside a really big oak tree with a faded red blaze.

  • Distance: 7.1 Miles RT
  • Elevation Gain: 1844′
  • Difficulty: Strenuous

We Have Water

We got a call from the builder Sunday. Apparently, the well drillers had spent a few days drilling for water at the spot that Mr. Bandy (Dowser) had indicated that we would find water. The drillers drilled 400 feet and only found 2 gal/minute.

That flow isn’t enough. The builder made the call to go another 100 feet. At 500 feet, they measured 3 gal/minute. At this point, we got the call. A decision had to be made. We had the option to drill further or bury a holding tank and add another tank pump to the system.

Phil told them to drill another 100 feet and luckily, it worked. We have 5 gal/minute at 600 feet. The dowser was right! We had to go deeper than 500 feet to get enough flow for household use. Yay for the home team!

This was our last unknown expense. If we stay within budget for the rest of the building process, we shouldn’t have any more financial surprises.

Mt. Hardy – Green Knob


Park at the Rough Butt Bald Overlook and walk across the Parkway to the Mountains to the Sea Trail. This section of the MTS runs parallel to the Parkway for several hundred yards before it forks right into the Middle Prong Wilderness proper.

  • Rough Butt Bald Overlook
  • Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 425.4
  • Elevation: 5300′


It had been some time since we had hiked these trails and wanted to see if we could find the way out to Green Knob before the summer weeds take over the trails. In the hottest summer months, the briar thickets hang out over several sections of the trails in this area and if you have on shorts and t-shirts, you can get fairly scratched up.  Ask me how I know.

Middle Prong

Junction at 1.87 Mile Point

Anyway, the briars had not come out yet this year so we thought we would be able to find the trail easily.  1.33 miles from the trailhead, we took the right fork. So far, so good.  At 1.87 miles, we came to another junction. We turned left. We went another 1/4 mile or so came to a stand of spruce trees.  The trail went straight through there and onto a field turning back down the hillside to what looked to be the opposite direction.  The trail we were looking for, should have connected near the stand of spruce trees turning back a hard right to run the ridge line out to Green Knob.

We meandered about quite a bit and it looked like we were going to have to crawl through the thickets to find it.  We decided that was more than we really wanted to do, so we turned back toward the car.  Upon further investigation, other hikers have noted that they too had to blaze their own trail just sticking to the ridge line.  There must not have been enough traffic over the years to keep this trail tramped down.

Biltmore Rose Garden

Sunday at the Biltmore

Biltmore Rose GardenLiving near the Biltmore House in Asheville has it’s advantages. Bloom reports are sent periodically to all season pass holders. This week’s bloom report was all about the roses. They are gorgeous. Walking out of the green houses, you immediately smell their aroma. Your blood pressure lowers and everything slows down. I imagine what it would be like to spend days alone reading surrounded by all of these flowers.

Roses go through phases (for lack of another word) where they bloom then look a little ratty before they bloom again. Today, the roses were in various stages. Petals were everywhere. Even Phil enjoyed the gardens today.

We really live in a beautiful place.

Wolfpen Gatehouse Update

Apparently our homeowners association has found an architect to handle the replacement of our gatehouse.

It was just a tiny little nothing shack with fancy rock work. Having a high powered architect seems a little “overkill.” But, since the county water department knocked it down, I guess they are paying and our HOA isn’t that worried about cutting costs. LOL!

Phil says the water department truck driver that knocked down the building is probably in the “witness protection program” for his safety.

My Patterns Were Featured

Three of my sewing patterns for dolls were just featured on this week’s newsletter publication from YouCanMakeThis.com! This is huge in the doll clothes market! So excited.

You can find my patterns featured on etsy.com, craftsy.com and youcanmakethis.com as well as my own website at bonnetsandbums.com.

The next big thing is to get these ebooks on cd’s and get them listed in Amazon. That is a little more involved and I am about 1/2 way through that process. It feels good to be the captain of your own ship … even if it is just a dingy 🙂