Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ashley and I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. We hope you have a wonderful day celebrating with family and friends.  We truly have so much to be thankful. Remember, the day after Thanksgiving is a great day to get out and do some hiking while everyone else is shopping at stores on black Friday. We will be out hiking tomorrow, anyone else got any big hiking plans during this holiday weekend?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Hiking the Shining Rock & Middle Prong Wildernesses (Book Review)

Recently the folks at Peachtree Publishers sent Ashley and I a book to review titled: Hiking the Shining Rock & Middle Prong Wildernesses by Tim Homan. Tim Homan is an experienced hiker and is widely known as an expert on hiking the trails of the Southeast. He is the author of other regional hiking guides, including Hiking Trails of North Georgia, Hiking Trails of the Cohutta and Big Frog Wilderness, and Hiking Trails of the Joyce Kilmer - Slickrock and Citico Creek Wilderness.

Hiking the Shining Rock & Middle Prong Wilderness contains write-ups on 34 different trails in sections of the Pisgah National Forest and near the Blue Ridge Parkway. One of the great things about the book is the detailed history of the region that the book provides. The book provides a history the Shining Rock Region which was once part of the Cherokee Nation. The book also provides a detailed historical account of how the Blue Ridge Parkway was constructed. Additionally, the book talks about the development of North Carolina's Mountain to Sea Trail system, and other preservation efforts in North Carolina.

The hikes in the book are broken down by geographical region. Part 1 contains hikes in the Shining Rock Wilderness, Part 2 are hikes in a nonwilderness area, and Part 3 are hikes in the Middle Prong Wilderness. Each hike provides a rating on how strenuous each hike is, the location of where the trail begins, and other pertinent details of what to expect while hiking on the trail. The author has taken his time in providing you an account of what to expect when on the trail. One of the neat features of the book that Ashley and I liked was the Nature Notes category of each hike write-up which details the type of unique flora and fauna that is found on each particular hike. The only improvement that could be made in the next addition of the hiking guide would be to provide an individual trail map for each hike. As currently printed, the trail maps are present at the beginning of each section as a generic overview.  Additionally a couple of more pictures in the book would be a great addition as well. Overall, this is a detailed in-depth guide for these hiking trails in the Pisgah National Forest and Ashley and I are looking forward to visiting several of these hiking trails in the near future!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Grandfather Mountain Winter Weather Contest

Below is a fun contest from the folks at Grandfather Mountain regarding predicting the weather, good luck!. For more information on our trail write-ups at Grandfather Mountain click Here.
The Woolly Worm has made its prediction and all the weather experts are completing their forecasts for the coming winter, now it’s your turn. This year marks the 7th Annual Winter Weather Contest for E-Club members. Enter to win by November 14. 
“Winter” for this contest is November 15 through April 15. Those interested are asked to fill out the questionnaire with their winter predictions. 
Please note that the snowfall measurement used for this winter’s contest will be taken from data gathered at the Entrance Gate. High winds at the top of the Mountain have affected precipitation data in previous years and the amount recorded at that location is generally less than what the Mountain actually experiences. Temperature and wind readings will continue to come from the top of the Mountain. 
Grandfather’s previous winter weather data has been included under some questions to provide reference. Since the location for the snow measurements has been changed for the contest, no past reference information is given on questions pertaining to precipitation.
A Winter Weather Winner will be named at the end of April and will receive a day pass for six to the Mountain with lunch included at Mildred’s Grill. 
All Grandfather Mountain Winter Weather forecasts are due Wednesday, November 14 by midnight. Click HERE for contest.