Friday, December 26, 2008

Pine Mountain Sunrise

This sunrise we caught from Pine Mountain in South Carolina, near the town of Westminster. Laura and I drove up early and started up before sun-up. I stumbled upon this place during one of my many solo hikes I took while Laura was deployed. It was really fun to be able to take her back there and experience it with her. It was pretty amazing watching the sun press into the mountains and watch the fog lift from deep in the valley's cracks.

The other significance to this is, it was our first trip since finding out we were pregnant. Wow! What an exciting feeling. I have dreamed for a long time about the day when I would welcome my first child to the world. Its unbelievably exciting to know that it is coming soon. One day I will stand on this mountain with a new addition to the family, and we'll all catch this sunrise together.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Three Forks Junction With My Parents

The Three Forks Junction is a place where three creeks flow together to form the West Fork of the Chattooga River (The river where the movie "Deliverance" was filmed). From the north, Overflow Creek flows in. From the west is Holcomb Creek, losing elevation fast and flowing narrowly between two mountains before reaching the junction. From the east flows Big Creek. Big Creek carries the most water into the junction, and has some amazing waterfalls just upstream. Right in the middle of all this there is just enough flat and soft ground that allow you to set up camp with water flowing in all directions, surrounded by mountains. The amazing scenery combined with a fairly simple, yet rarely undertaken hike makes it my favorite camping spot. I wish everyone I knew had a chance to come and spend a couple nights out here. I had the pleasure of taking my parents on their first backpacking trip here. It was a great experience for all parties involved.

That very trip will be one that I remember for a long time. The biggest skeptic was my dad. We had to wheel and deal to get him out there. Part of the deal was we would find a way to get him an air mattress AND the pump to the camp site. And we would hike in real food, not trail food. Also, his pack had to weigh less than 20 pounds. I recruited Greg for the trip, and me and him stuffed our packs, including the air mattress and pump, so that Daddy's demands would be met. I could see that both my parents were really enjoying the scenery on the way in, even though the trail was in really rough shape. We ended up decending a mountain side completely off the trail at one point because the markings were gone. It ended up being one of the more rugged hikes I've taken. I felt bad about promising my parents an easy hike, then running into all the problems we did, but they laughed about it once we were at the campsite. We set up camp and then began playing around on some of the boulders and waterfalls surrounding the campsite. It was great to see Momma acting like a twelve-year-old, jumping across creeks and playing on big rocks. My mom talks all the time about that trip, and they plan on making another go at it next time they are in Georgia.

Here are some of our photos from the trip we made in December. The weather was nasty, but it was a rare warm weekend in December, so we headed out anyway. Enjoy!¤t=1884453d.pbw

In the Beginning

Ok. Take Two. I tried to start a blog last year, but it fizzled after only one entry. The blog was titled "My Weekend Adventures". At the time, my wife and I were stationed in separate places. Now that Laura is done with her fun in the Marine Corps and living with me in Georgia, it's only fitting that I change the title from "My..." to "Our Weekend Adventures". When I started the blog I had only been out hiking a few times. Since then, I have lost count how many times I have been out. Our focus for these rants will be our thoughts and opinions about the hikes. Of course, we reserve the right to go off on tangents about anything our mind wanders to, especially if it wandered there while hiking! Our weekend adventures are sure to take us more places than just trails, but trails are the most frequent (and my favorite).