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Monthly Archive for: ‘March, 2016’

Bluet Cluster

March 28, 2016

We caught the timing right to see the bluets! Their seeds wash into rock crevices and the sides of the trail where they are caught by brush and plants.  They are one of my very favorite wildflowers. Their blooms are no larger than a dime and look like little blue stars.

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MTS StonyBaldOverlook

March 28, 2016

Stoney Bald Overlook to Elk Pasture Gap This segment of the Mountain to the Sea Trail is fairly easy walk in the woods. This particular day, there were more trillium blooming than I’ve ever seen on a trail. It took longer because I kept stopping to take pictures.

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2016 03 26 Avery Creek Feature 1

Avery Creek Ridge Loop

Today Phil and I hiked the Avery Creek Loop … 10.8 miles, with 3162′ of elevation gain. It was our second time to hike this particular loop. It is a hard hike. We took a couple of PBJ’s for lunch and lots of water. We didn’t really make good time because we had to keep stopping for mountain bikers to go by. It …

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2016 03 26 Avery Creek Loop 28

March 26, 2016

This is a very hard hike.  What makes it hard is the elevation gain … going down hill … and having to re-climb the same 500 feet … over and over. In my opinion, it is easier to hike counter-clockwise. You climb a lot of the elevation early in the hike while you are still fresh. We’ve hiked it clockwise, …

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2016 03 24 CRSP Chimney 3

March 24, 2016

It was another great day at Chimney Rock. I feel so fortunate that this is practically in my backyard. I keep taking the same pictures each time I go.  I guess I keep thinking that each view is prettier than it was the day before. I thought I’d at least get pictures of the birdhouses that document some of the species …

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2016 03 24 CRSP Birdhouses 6

March 24, 2016

BIRDWATCHING I’ve walked by these birdhouses for years and not really paid much attention to them. Today, I thought I’d take a picture of each one. Each birdhouse highlights a species common on the state park property. Last year, there was a nesting pair of Peregrine Falcons up on the cliff ledges. The local bird societies were keeping track of …

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2016 03 Biltmore Feature 1

Spring at Biltmore

Spring at Biltmore is a flower fanatic’s dreamworld. The gardens are brimming with daffodils, hyacinth, forsythia, tulips and periwinkle, just to name a few. Today, the tulips were up, but they had not quite bloomed out. Maybe next week, I can go back and take tulip pictures. The current exhibit in the mansion and on the grounds is “Fashionable Romance.” …

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2015 06 Redbuds 1

Redbuds

I guess I’m trying to make up for sitting on my butt all winter, but over the past 8 days, I have hiked 22 miles!  That is 22 MOUNTAIN miles, folks.  My legs feel like noodles.  Going straight up steps or up steep grades isn’t easy and I realize just how much fitness I have lost since last November. I …

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2015 06 Redbuds 1

March 21, 2016

REDBUDS I guess I’m trying to make up for sitting on my butt all winter, but over the past 8 days, I have hiked 22 miles!  That is 22 MOUNTAIN miles, folks.  My legs feel like noodles.  Going straight up steps or up steep grades isn’t easy and I realize just how much fitness I have lost since last November. …

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Avery Creek Loop

March 19, 2016

Pressley Cove Trail is accessed from Avery Creek Road (Forest Service Road #477). Beginning at 2325 ft. of elevation, the trail climbs steeply for 1.1 miles ( 968 ft. elevation gain) to Forest Service Rd #5022. Turn right onto the road and walk for .2 miles to Pressley Gap, elevation 3328 ft.  

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2016 Mar17 CRSP 1

I Counted the Steps!

So, during my workout hike at Chimney Rock State Park, I counted 1322 steps on the main trails leading from the Lower Parking Lot at the ticket booth to the very top at Exclamation Point.  This does not include a few “detours” through the “Subway”and “The Outcroppings.”  I had counted the stairs a few years ago, before upgrades had been made. …

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2016 Mar17 CRSP 1

March 17, 2016

So, during my workout hike at Chimney Rock State Park, I counted 1322 steps on the main trails leading from the Lower Parking Lot at the ticket booth to the very top at Exclamation Point.  This does not include a few “detours” through the “Subway”and “The Outcroppings.” [pullquote3 quotes=”true” align=”right”]1322 STEPS TO TOP![/pullquote3]I had counted the stairs a few years ago, before …

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2016 Feb MT SkiTrip 1

February Ski Trip at the North 40

Bridger Bowl, Bozeman, MT We had an awesome time skiing with friends in Bozeman at The Bridger Bowl. It is approx. an hour drive from the North 40 so we don’t need to pay for accommodations. The ski resort is municipal, owned by the city of Bozeman. Driving up to the resort from our house is one of the prettiest …

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2016 Mar CRSP  10

March 11, 2016

Getting Back in the Swing of Things The beautiful, spring-like weather was very welcome after a busy, rainy winter. We haven’t had good weather on our off days that have allowed us to keep up our hiking routine. The BRP is still closed for the winter, but Chimney Rock is close to home and open. My hike was just limited to …

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Life is short, smile while you still have teeth.