Monday, May 19, 2014

Myrtle Beach

The reason we decided to go for the contract in Ashville, NC not only for the location but for Mike to be able to spend time with his grandkids. They are growing up way to fast as the time moves so quickly. He took the trailer to Ocean Shores Campground for a few days. The campground is huge but very nice. People actually have their RVs in storage there and then the campground sets them in their space once the owners are on their way.
Peyton and Mia on the beach. I think Mike had so much fun but tired at the end of the day. Hiking up mountains takes less energy.
TJ and Bryceson growing so much but good hearted smart kids. Mike was glad he was able to spend time with them a few times before we had to be on our way.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Smokie Mountain National Park

We camped at Smokemont Campground and enjoyed the peacefulness of the area. The best loop is F which was not open yet and sat along side the creek. We had previously stayed in the KOA in Cherokee which was fine for someone with kids and that want a pool.
Mingus Creek Trail climbs past old farms to the Smokies high country
We would take our trail magic, Cliff Bars, while hike the trail and meet thru hikers that were thankful for a treat and someone to visit with for a brief time to tell some stories.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Mt LeConte and Alum Cave

What a great hike in the Smokies. After getting thru a bear jam, the tourists stop in the middle of the road and look at bears in the trees and actually walk away from their vehicles and leave traffic backed up until the Rangers move people along. Climbing up alum Cave into Arch Rock on the way to Mt LeConte is very pleasant walk.
The Alum Cave Trail is the shortest and steepest of the five trails leading to the Le Conte massif, which contains four separate peaks in all, the highest of which has an elevation of 6,593 feet. Due to its short length and beautiful scenery (it is often considered Le Conte's most scenic route) it is the most common footpath for hikers seeking to reach the summit of Le Conte. Along the way you will pass by Arch Rock, Alum Cave Bluff which is not a true cave. It is what geologists refer to as a rock shelter. At the top you will find the LeConte Lodge which provides the only commercial lodging in the national park, as it operates about 10 rustic cabins with no electricity or appliances.
We met a few people hiking to spend the night at the top which reservations are required and often difficult to get unless in advance. We hear the sunrises are beautiful. It is still early spring and not a lot has bloomed yet. We are quite pleased to be spending the next couple of months in the area while working at the Asheville Mission Hospital. Our apartment is next to the river and a couple of miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Boone and Blue Ridge Parkway

Went to Boone to see more waterfalls and stayed at the KOA. Not a lot of campgrounds open this early. It was a nice town and kind of chilly yet. But we have to get out there and see it while we are here.
Named for legendary explorer, Daniel Boone, Boone, North Carolina retains the pioneer spirit, it has grown into a busy college town, the home of Appalachian State University. The surrounding area is one of the country's best destinations for outdoor adventures. Walk across the Mile High Swinging Bridge to Grandfather Mountain's Linville Peak, the highest point in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Catawba Falls, Northwestern North Carolina

While working in Ashville, NC, this is one hike we enjoyed very much. It is very peaceful with lots of areas to get off the trail and enjoy the small waterfalls along the hike.
It's located on an isolated tract of Pisgah National Forest property near Old Fort, NC, at the southern end of the Grandfather Ranger District, just south of I-40. A new parking area and trail culminates years of effort to provide public access to this special area, which required a variety of legislation to accomplish. Today, Catawba Falls is open to visitors and a highly recommended destination
Starting at the new parking area, the trail heads upriver on old road beds, crossing the river once on stepping stones. You may have to get your feet wet here, and it may be an impossible crossing in very high water. (A bridge is planned for this location in the future.) The trail climbs moderately past some old building foundations and an old dam, before ending at the base of the lower falls.

Cuenca, Ecuador

An Expat Destination The morning after returning to Quito we boarded an hour-long flight to Cuenca. Driving up the winding roads would have ...