Happy Turkey Day

I captured a picture of this lady on Nov. 1st near Hemphill Bald.  I saw about forty turkeys that day which I thought was rather apropos considering the date.

Share the Road

I'd like to make an appeal to my cycling friends.  If you're going to slap a bumper sticker on your Subaru asking others to share the road, please heed your own advice. If your fifty member cycling club is winding up Hwy 178 at ten miles an hour, you're not sharing the road. If you're riding down the middle of the Blue Ridge Parkway with ten cars behind you, you're not sharing the road.  You may have the same legal right to be there, but that doesn't give you the right to be rude and make everyone else wait on you.

On the other, to my motorist friends, although it may at times be tempting to run some of these self-absorbed folks into the grass, it's probably something we should make an effort to avoid.  (Save that temptation for the Floridians who drive like they've never seen a curve in the road before.)

Share the Road

Mount Mitchell

Update: I finally had a chance to see the new upgrades at Mt. Mitchell this weekend. The new lookout tower is really impressive.

Mt. Mitchell Restaurant is the highest restaurant on the east coast, located on the highest mountain east of the Mississippi. The menu ranges from burgers to mountain trout. The dining room overlooks the mountains. Since this is located in a state park there is no beer or wine offerings. If you want a similar dining experience with a more upscale menu and a great wine and beer selection, travel down the Parkway another hour to the Pisgah Inn. (Watch out for the Parkway police officers so you don't blow a needless 100 bucks as I did yesterday.)

Mt. Mitchell in November.

The state park offers great (although very strenuous) trails and a few nice tent campsites. If you’re looking for an easy hike try the Balsam Nature trail. It’s a beautiful trail and only a mile or so round trip. If you’re looking for something more strenuous try the Camp Alice or Old Mt. Mitchell trails. They are much easier going down the mountain than they are coming back up it.

Mt. Mitchell is located in the Black Mountains, which contains 18 of the highest peaks on the east coast. Several of these can be reached via the Deep Gap trail (also called the Black Mountain Crest Trail). The three peaks seen here are Big Tom, Balsam Cone and Cattail Peak. Just behind me a couple hundred yards up the trail is Mt. Craig, the second highest peak on the east coast. All four of these peaks are over 6500’. Deep Gap is one of the most beautiful trails you’re likely to find near Greenville, but is very strenuous. Fortunately the temperature, in theory, should be about 20 degrees cooler than in Greenville (3.5 degrees per 1000’ in elevation).

At this elevation the weather and temperature change rapidly so remember to take a variety of clothes with you. Also, it’s a good idea to call ahead to make sure the park is open.

Location: 35°45'53.49"N 82°15'55.02"W
Distance from downtown Greenville: 92 miles by Google. The best route though is I26N to I40 to 17, then hop on the Parkway for the rest of the drive.

This picture shows the damage from a recent storm on Bald Knob Ridge trail located about a half mile from Mt. Mitchell State Park. There are a couple hundred trees such as these down in this area, several of which have destroyed a campsite and covered the trail, so camping could be hazardous.

Asheville Film Festival

The 7th Annual Asheville Film Festival started tonight. This is a great little film festival. All the venues are within walking distance of each other and within walking distance of plenty of nice restaurants and drinking holes. There are also a number of workshops offered for free. I've got a short film screening there Saturday evening at the Fine Arts Center lower theatre. (I had a feature film screen there a couple years ago.)

Click here for more info.

Distance from downtown Greenville: 61 miles

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Open Studios Returns

Greenville Open Studios  is a weekend event which opens the studios of local visual artists to the public. The event, scheduled for November 7-8, 2009, showcases artists at work in their studios.

Saturday, November 7, 10am - 6pm
Sunday, November 8, Noon - 6pm.

Distance from downtown Greenville: 0-15 miles

Green River Narrows Competition

One of the the top paddling competitions in the country takes place tomorrow (Nov.  7th) on the Green River.  The race starts at 12:00 noon. 

If you'd like to watch the race here are the direction to the trailhead. There is about a two mile hike in from there. 

From Greenville, take Hwy 25 to I26 west.
Take Exit 53 and go right on Upward Road.
Go 1.5 miles and go right on Big Hungry Road (after brick church). (This is where it gets a bit confusing.)
Take first Left on Big Hungry Road.
Take first Right on Big Hungry Road (DON'T TAKE first Right on Gallimore Road.)
But continue 3.1 
more miles
Park in unmarked pull-off on right.

From there Just follow the crowd. Bring food and water and be prepared to scale down the side of the mountain to get to the river. It's well worth the effort. Check out the image here:

Update: These images are from today's race. 11.7.09

Distance from downtown Greenville: 45 miles

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