Monday, June 30, 2014


No weekend recap today folks.

FW and I have been in intense preparation and re-arranging our house in anticipation for a major construction job at our home aka Greenview Manor. The hardwood floor refinishers are coming bright and early this morning to finish the job they started months ago after screwing up the original job they had done over a year ago...

Both bedrooms and our spare room are now living in our den and dining room. It sucks.

The silver lining being that since our bedroom is in the dining room, I wont feel like a fat slob for eating cheese and crackers in bed.

So long story short, after a weekend of righteous forest activities and our material lives being in shambles, I havent had the time to assemble a proper post.

Stay tuned tomorrow for a weekend recap...

To keep you entertained here is a fun activity courtesy of

Have fun!

Friday, June 27, 2014

That was quick...

...and faster than a turtle on a skate board I'm back...

The last few days have been somewhat of a whirlwind. New (to me) house, new job, and new city...lots of new to be had.

I got everything settled in for the most part and all my junk is stored neatly into boxes for easy access.

Most importantly I have my very own box to keep "secret bike stuff".

The secret being that its full of v brake calipers and 8 speed bits that are older than Methuselah and virtually useless. Unless all the west Asheville hipsters adopt 8 speed v-brake bikes thereby making them "hip" again...worked for mustache wax and Nazi haircuts.

In bike-cycle news...

 I started my new job. Its awesome and I'm really looking forward to learning everything there is to know about down-home NC handmade bike-cycle parts. Its unreal how much skill and craftsmanship go into making these components. I can see why thy are the best in the biz...quality.

I even got today off and that means a three day weekend aka trouble...

Last night I participated in my first ever Asheville City Recreational Volleyball League match.

 My team is the Blue Ridge Blockers and we kick ass and take names... our sportsmanship is unparalleled in western NC.

We played at Carrier Park which is an old velodrome the city converted into a park. Many an Ashevillian still use the old velodrome for bike-cycle riding and they even have bike-cycle repair stations located throughout the park... pretty rad.

In FW/Agricultural news...

The garden bed I built for FW is starting to blossom and produce sustenance for us to enjoy.

 'Maters is all we have now but this garden will be expanded next season to produce all manner of vegetable delights. The combination of our organic compost bin in the back and my expert knowledge on how not to kill plants will surely keeps us well fed through the lean times and imminent zombie apocalypse.

Last but not first...

Its Friday which means I will leave you guys with a beer and some tunes to keep the stoke levels strong through the weekend.

This weekends brew is Dale's Pale Ale which is a hoppy golden nectar-of-the-gods and is brewed right here in NC.

 This is not one of those super pretentious craft beers made in small batches by celibate Tibetan monks in artisanal porcelain vases. No, its just a damn fine Pale Ale and one I have been feasting on all week...Mostly because its available at the gas station 1000 yards from my house.

For tunes to get ya through to Monday...

I have selected this'un from folk-grass group Trampled By Turtles. Not only is it a great song but it also features one of my favorite shows...Squidbillies.

I suggest you start watching it. RIGHT NOW!

Have a superb weekend ya'll!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Hey now,

Today is the day I make my last ride up I-40 for quite some time. My employment at my old job is over and my employment at my new job starts Thursday.

Its going to be weird not riding down Hwy. 200 to Waxhaw, NC everyday. I've been a Park Ranger for almost 6 years and through the good times and bad its always been something I have enjoyed. But...

I am mucho stoked to be starting my life and new career in our shining western mountains. I've always been a nature nerd and usually prefer being in the forest to anywhere else. Spending my free time in the forest has a balancing effect on me and I highly recommend you all "get back to nature" yourselves. If for not for your mental and physical health, then for when we're all fleeing from the zombie apocalypse you will at least know how to climb trees and what berries give you diarrhea...

Important stuff.

I'll be doing my best to update you all with my weekly shenanigans but don't panic when I don't post for a few days. Moving to a new town, starting a new job, and transitioning to my new life with FW in AVL will take some getting used to.

Its been hard on FW taking care of our home all alone for the past 10 months. I've done my best to do what I could for the brief spells I was there, but at the end of the day she was all alone and having to make do. I cant say enough about how awesome she is and how proud I am to be her FH. Now she has me to do all the manly chores like opening pickle jars, capturing spiders, and laying my coat over puddles as she walks to the car.

I'm sure all the unopened pickle jars have been piling up in the kitchen...

This might be last post for a spell but I promise I'll be back soon. My life is too lame not to share it with you guys,

Stay tuned kids...

Monday, June 23, 2014


Hey folks',

Much to the chagrin of my life insurance beneficiaries, I survived my weekend trompsing up, down, and all around Linville Gorge Wilderness.

Dont be so surprised. I've done this same loop about 5 times now and aside from a few near fatalities I am 99.9% intact.

In summation it was a fine hike. Having some company in the form of Beatty trail coordinator and tick magnet extraordinaire David G was a nice addition to a hike that I usually do solo.

If you recall The Plan... We were attempting to do the ITAYG (Is That All Ya Got!) loop of 22 miles as a single night adventure. It might have seemed like we were biting off more than we can chew. Thats usually awesome when pimento cheese is involved...with Gorge miles not so much.

22 miles is not that big of an overnighter...usually. I've been known to hammer out 15-18 miles in a single day solo. However, those were not hikes in "The Big Ditch". Its common knowledge amongst Gorge Rats such as myself that one Gorge mile is equal to approximately 2-3 miles anywhere else. The trail is narrow, rough, rocky, often hidden by dense foliage, and will test you mentally and physically.

The Gorge is where ankles go to die...

However, once we made it up to the cool breezes and foresty aroma of "The Big Ditch", and after spending a night in Momma Natures bountiful bosom, we were more than willing to give it what for!

I will spare you the mundane details of getting "misplaced" for half an hour, nearly being attacked by carnivorous whip-poor-wills, and David G coming to terms with his own mortality on Leadmine/MST connector. What I will bore you with is photographic evidence of our ITAYG experience in order of occurrence.


"The bridge is out unless you suck"

Beer...a matter of course of course
Cathedral Falls...


David G coming to terms with his mortality on Leadmine/MST connector

Shortoff Mountain.

Room with a view up on Shortoff

Breakfast courtesy of Momma Nature...

mountain spigot...

Damage from the recent Table Rock wildfire...the culprit is still at large.

When this picture was taken, David G was feeling exactly opposite of that trees feelings... : (

Heading out of the woods...

When it was all said and done it was a grand hike...

Now I'm off to check myself for ticks again, then again...then again.

Happy Monday!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Weeeee kend.

Hey there now!

Hope everyones end of week celebratory endeavors have been planned and are in fruition going into this Friday. Mine sure as shoot are.

This weekend I'll be ditching the bike and shouldering a back satchel to spend the weekend in the Linville Gorge Wilderness.

Wild as hell...

I'm mucho excited to be doing so. It has been many a year since I backpacked in "The Big Ditch" and the last time didn't go so well...

It was July 4th weekend of 2012 and FW, The Bear, and I set out to do a loop affectionately called the ITAYG (Is That All Ya Got!). The ITAYG is 22 miles of some of the most rugged and scenic hiking in the Southeast and the name is very suiting cause its a bitch of a hike. We planned it as an overnight'er (something I had done twice before solo), but a late start and a bad thunderstorm put us waaaaaay behind for day one.

Long story short over the course of the hike I developed a severe sinus infection and blew out my knee, FW almost broke up with me from my desire to hike "just one more mile", The Bear nearly died of dehydration, and all three of us were nearly killed by lightening...seriously.

This time will be different!

On this Pisgahdventure I will be joined by none other than Beatty trail crew leader, expert hole digger, and craft beer connoisseur David G. The plan is do the ITAYG as an overnighter...again...

The Plan: 
      Head up the mountain, night hike in a few miles, drink beers that have been packed in (why? because beer...thats why) wake up Saturday and hammer out about 16 miles, wake up Sunday and plow through 12-14 miles back to the car, then go eat burritos somewhere on the way back down.
 Piece O' Cake...

I really enjoy these Wilderness Areas, especially Linville Gorge, mostly because they're remote, not well traveled, and really test your skills and comfort levels in the back country. Once in The Big Ditch you are literally on your own. No rescue crews, no cell phones, no way out. Its F'n awesome...

I'm not a "Man vs. Wild" kinda guy though. I don't go out with a "me against nature" a fight for survival...there are already too many of those guys running around the forest. I use these adventures to try to become one with Momma Nature and pass unnoticed and with as little trace as possible. My spirit animal is the turtle...haha j/k.

But seriously...its the turtle.

If you don't hear back from me by Tuesday, bury me with my banjo, divide all my possessions amongst yourselves, and shotgun an IPA at my funeral...

In Beer and Music news...

This weekends beer for your enjoyment will be Tsingtao.

This beer is a crisp, refreshing Chinese pilsner and its just the cats pajamas on these hot days we have been tortured with. My advice is to drink many of them this weekend.

For your listening pleasure I invite you to enjoy this gem from The Steep Canyon Rangers. Listen to it on repeat hanging by the pool, on the trail, or by the grill....hopefully while consuming many beers with good company.

Check back here on Monday for a Weekend Recap!

Enjoy it ya'll!


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Goodbye...and Good Luck

Hey folks!

As previously mentioned, Wednesday nights are set aside to get rad at Col. Francis Beatty Community Park in Matthews, NC. Last night was no different aside from the fact that it was my last "Official" Wednesday night group ride. It seemed fitting that I go out with temperatures in the mid-90's and the trail as sandy as ever due to recent rains. Beatty has always been my go to trail and riding it the last "official" time in less than ideal conditions just felt right...

We had a great turnout too. All the cool kids were there and even a few non-regulars who just stopped by to say their good byes.

I have been fairly active with the local mountain Bike-cycle club the Tarheel TrailBlazers for quite a number of years. I've made some great friends and they will surely be missed. On the bright side, most of them also like those far shining mountains too so I'm sure our couch and spare room floor will be inundated with dirtbag mountain bike-cyclers every weekend from now to who knows.

FW cant wait....

Since it was the last time I'd be riding ole' Col. Beatty for a good while, I pulled Charlene Darling out of retirement. Charlene weighs a stout 32lbs and with 6"+ of fully suspended travel she aint the quickest bike in the bunch. However, I doubt I'll ever bring her back down to ride the Charlotte trails again so I suffered through it.

We hammered out lap 1 and stopped at some newly minted trail work to grab a few pictures...

The skies started to darken toward the end of lap 1 and a decision was made to wait it out. During the waiting period, the group decided that before the next lap I should chug a beer. Peer pressure won out and I proceeded to slam a 7% APV Hop Drop and Roll IPA In about 1.5 seconds. 

After pedaling my ass off on a 32lb freeride bike for 6 miles, the beer hit me like a dump truck full of hops. It was awesome!  

W set off on lap 2 at a less than "social" pace thanks to Tom Tom leading the pack. I was pretty sure I was going to see that beer again sometime soon. But! liked its new home in my gut and actually made lap 2 pretty interesting. Nothing like hitting jumps, drops, and technical rooty climbs with a luke warm IPA sloshing around inside of you.

After we finished another decision was made to consume more "fancy" beers over at Duckworth's Taphouse in yuppie-WASPville, USA aka Ballantyne. I would not normally associate with "those" people but I was promised good beers so off I went.

We ended up having the whole patio to ourselves. Stories were told and retold, much merriment and mirth ensued, and many beers were drank

I will surely miss these people and this town but hey...its not like Im moving to China right...?


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Changes are a comin'...

Hey gang,

For those of you who read this blog that don't know me well, I have been trying to relocate to Asheville, NC for many years. Anyone who has ever ventured forth to those far shining mountains knows well the awesomeness that is Asheville, NC. It has its own aura of craft beer drinkin', mountain activity participatin', mellow vibes absorbin' goodness. Generally speaking people that live there are pretty stoked to be doing so.

I love mountains, always have. As a Bike-cycle enthusiast, camping enjoyer, backpacker, fly fisher, and occasional kayaker...the mountains are a literal playground for me.

Where was this when I was a young lad!?!

Since meeting FW and our mutual decision to start our lives together in said mountains, I have been madly searching for gainful employment in "The Land of the Sky". Dividing my time between our home there and my home in SW Union County has been difficult and my poor red truck has taking the toll. On the plus side I am now intimately familiar with everyone who works at a Cook Out on either I-85, NC 321, and I-40 between SW Union County and Asheville, NC. 

Oh, you fancy huh!?!


It is with great relief, and a bit of bittersweetness, that I announce that I will be officially moving to our home in the hills next week. Somehow, somewhere, someone thought I was worthy of being paid a sum of money in exchange for my daily labors and for this I am mucho stoked.

My new place of'...ah...I mean employment is Cane Creek Cycling Components located in Fletcher, NC.

These folks make the best parts for Bike-cycles around. Headsets, seatposts, brake levers, and now shocks for fully suspended Bike-cycles. They've been in the game for a while and have a rock solid reputation for quality, affordability, and general radness. Plus they're a good ole' NC company and make everything from scratch, in house, without outsourcing to some foreign realm. 

Needless to say I am mucho excited to be delving into the seedy underbelly of the Bike-cycle industry. Can I call myself and "industry insider" now? I hope not... That would require arguing with complete strangers on Bike-cycle forums about wheel sizes and why 29'ers are indeed not "gay".

The best part of all of this is that I get to spend everyday with FW and our animals. 

Family...That's what its all about. 

Now for no reason, here is a video of some Cane Creek employees testing the new shock in our NC mountains...



Monday, June 16, 2014

Weekend recap mother truckers!

Where can I get a sweet Reebok pocket tee?

Straight outta the Weekend!
...and were back to reality.

Hope everyone had a splendid end of week celebratory couple of days. I didn't. I had to work like some sort of laborer of sorts. Working weekends is terrible. I'm stuck watching other people have fun, knowing that I cant join in. I can only imagine that's what dogs feel like when your grilling burgers...So close to awesomeness but helpless to do anything about it.

"I will strangle you in your sleep if you don't give me that hamburger..."

Another part I hate is that it completely destroys my motivation for doing anything fun and physical outside. In case you've been in a carbonite time capsule for the last week or so...its f***'n hot here in SW Union County, NC. I mean like Hot (haught, hawt, hoot, caliente), cereal.

This means after working all day that my off hours are usually spent in pursuit of cooling down and searching feverishly for ice cold Pabst. These abominable conditions have put a strain on my fitness. The hotter it gets, the more I desire Pabst and pimento cheese to ease my pain. The more P&P I consume, the lazier I become...its vicious.

For the more analytically inclined of you out there, I have created a graph to express my problem...

Math... this shits serious

There has got to be a better way to spend my working weekends other than binging on pimento cheese until I lapse into cheese induced hallucinations and slowly descend into madness............. or just get a tummy ache....same diff.
I'm thinking hummus...

In Family News...

FW  and the dogs came down from our mountain home to spend a few days with me, and to see her papa for the annual day of patriarchal honoring. Also, since I had to work the weekend I am off today and Tuesday. The weather is looking great, no rain, warm temps and cool enough mornings for me to get rad on at least one of my Bike-cycles. We might even take The Bear and The Goose out for some hiking at our local secret section of the Carolina Thread Trail.

In Bike-cycle news...

 I'd like to share a video filmed at the most recent event of the UCI Downhill Mountain Bike-cycle World Cup. The event took place on some sweet gnar gnar over in Leogang (not to be confused with Lego-Land), Austria. US rider Aaron Gwin flatted on the first couple hundred feet of his run but proceeded to shred the mountain on rim alone.

For those non Bike-cycle enthusiasts, that would be like Cam Newton taking the snap, dropping the ball, then picking it up and throwing a 75yd touchdown pass to himself while shotgunning a beer and tying balloon animals. Ballin'...


Last but not least I would like to express my deepest thanks to all the papas...papa's papas...and papa's papa's papas. Fathers sometimes don't get the love and affection that our Mom's receive and I want to say THANKS to this man... Thanks for being there, supporting me, and always willing to help me...even when that means letting me make my own mistakes...

Also thanks for giving me that bodacious Flack physique! Ladies love bird legs and knock knees!


Friday, June 13, 2014


Its Friday ya'll...

Which means that you should be in preparation for a fun weekend.

Whatever you end up doing, do it big and live it up. Weekends are why we work the other 5 days...So we can afford to party and do what makes us happy. I'll be working this weekend but that wont stop me from enjoying it.

Every Friday I'll leave ya'll with a beverage of choice and some tunes to kick off the weekend right and instigate good vibes, good times, with good folks...

This week I invite you to enjoy Pisgah Brewing Co.'s Pisgah Pale Ale. Now available in cans. Used to be you had to live in or visit the greater Asheville area to partake of this fine beverage, but now a little slice of the mountains can be had anywhere that sells quality brews...

Get you some...

For your musical enjoyment, I offer a new one from Larry Keel and Natural Bridge. These guys can pick and they chose to honor the late-great Doc Watson on this one... Matty Groves is an Olde (with a little "e") English folk song and on this one Larry is joined by Rashad Eggleston who gets nasty on the bass cello...


Enjoy the Weekend Ya'll!!

We miss ya Doc!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Making it rain...

This was my yearbook picture Junior year...

Well that sucked...

Wednesday nights are a very cool night for me. Im privileged to host a mountain bike-cycle social ride at Francis Beatty Park in Matthews, NC and I very much look forward to it all week. I even somehow managed to procure a sponsor for these rides in the form of Ultimate Bicycle of Matthews. A couple years ago I convinced owner, and occasional social ride attendee, Mike Perry to give me free stuff to give away at the rides. In return I would promote his shop and all the great work they do there.

It was a solid thing for him to do and I enjoy speaking of the awesomeness that is Ultimate.

So after riding Tuesday night at the Mutt's Tuesday Night Social, I was super jazzed to ride tonight at Beatty. Well Momma Nature had other plans. About halfway to the trail the skies opened she made it rain all over SW Union County.

So around I turned and headed back to the Hizzy. Sitting there watching the rain  feeling like a prom date who got stood up at the last minute... all dressed up and nowhere to go.

A dark mood fell over the house and I made a decision, a very bad decision. A decision that is every bike-cycle enthusiasts worst moment...

I decided to ride my trainer.

Looks like awesome fun right!?!?

Bike trainers are like non-alcoholic beer, turkey bacon, vegetarian hot dogs, fat free ranch dressing, or any other thing that pretends to be something good but invariably sucks...Almost not even worth it but when your desperate you do crazy things.

My trainer is un-affectionately named "The Machine". Much like that character in 8mm.

Nicholas Cage has a massive nose...

So I rode the trainer for about an hour. Afterward I drank a damn beer and took a cold shower to wash off the shame and humiliation. 

Trainers can give you one hell of a workout if you try. They're useful if your training for a race snd cant find time to ride outside (which I was when I got the thing) but they really really really suck...doing intervals while watching PTI isnt very motivating and using a trainer is only one rung above doing nothing at all...

Hopefully that will be the last time I break out "The Machine" for a while.

In Future Wife news...

She is almost done with her job for the year. For her this means a Summer of sleeping in until 10am, relaxing in the hammock eating bon bons, and hanging out with The Bear and The Goose all day...

But not really... She has landed the dream job of being a sales associate at REI. REI has a stellar reputation for being a great place to work and they treat their employees very well. This also means a hefty discount on gear for the two of us (and even the dogs haha).

FW has officially donned the green vest and will spend the summer helping people get outside and enjoy our awesome mountain adventure-paradise-land o' milk and honey...

Im not sure if she's required to have "flair" on said vest but it wouldn't hurt sales I'm sure...

So Congrats to her for completing another year working in the NC Public Education System.

The plan tomorrow, since trails will be closed due "wet conditions", is to do a "real" road ride around the booming metropolis of Mineral Springs, NC. aka "Miserable Springs"

Folks please...try to contain your excitement.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Holiday Hangover...

Hey now!

Last week I was on my annual "Kickoff to Summer Rad-fest 2014" sponsored by Pabst Blue Ribbon . Every year for the past 5 years I've taken a week off in early June and hiked, mountain biked, fly fished and bummed my way across Western NC...usually all fueled by generous amounts of the blue ribbon beer.

.  Last week was no exception and I camped, got rad on some Pisgah mountain bike trail, avoided rattlesnake bites, and trout fished for a whole dadgum week. Like waking up from a weird dream I came back to reality this week and the broken pieces of my adventure are everywhere.

Yesterday I spent the better part of the afternoon cleaning, fixing things that broke during the week, and packing away my gear until my next adventure. The good news is while I was on vacay some new bike parts came in!

I have a stage 5 bike addiction and like any good bike-cycle enthusiast I never cease improving and buying new blingy bits to afix to my velocipedes to make them go fast, or at least look fast. My newest steed is a Canefield Brothers Yelli Screamy affectionately known as Thelma Lou.

She was Barney's girl...reliable, sturdy, and due to her large wheel size she rolled over roots and rocks better than the other girls in Mayberry.

Unfortunately my addiction, like its prone to do, surpassed my financial means. I had to cannibalize parts off another of my stallions to get Thelma Lou up and runnin. That meant that my Santa Cruz Nomad aka Charlene Darling got the knife.

Like her namesake, and like Andy and Barney know too well...When Charlene's around, trouble follows. Which for me usually means bruises, scrapes, and trips to the orthopedist. 

Last but not least is my road bike, Aunt Bee. Shes the oldest and least fancy of my rides at 5 years old, but she keeps my in line...happy and healthy.

So, with new bike parts in hand, I can finally put Charlene Darling back together and back on the trails. This is good news for my orthopedist...bad news for me...but in the best way possible. Having a bike stuck in limbo and collecting dust is a sad, sad thing. My life is back in order and now its time to see what trouble I can stir up out there in forests and fields...

If the weather holds and the creek dont rise Im heading out this afternoon for a bike ride.

See ya'll tomorrow.

Monday, June 9, 2014

On top of Old Smoky....

Hey folks,

Well here we are once again staring down the barrel of Monday and another week at work...

Hope everyone had a solid and stupendous weekend.

We surely did because we saw one of Mother Natures most fascinating natural phenomena in the form of bugs...lightening bugs to be precise. Future Wife and I had made plans many moons ago to visit one of NC's natural treasures, The Great Smoky Mountains National Park .

In said park, there resides a species of synchronous fireflies that just so happen to perform an amazing light show every night in late May and early June. Needless to say the nature nerd in me was mucho excited to see this. I had experienced the lighten'n bugs first hand many years ago on a week long solo backpack through that area and ever since I told her, Future Wife has been dying to go. The Smoky's are a backpackers paradise but they dont allow dogs in the back country. This is not good news for The Bear, who is our #1 hiking companion on all our adventures. Never the less, we were bound and determined to see these bugs so we dropped off  The Bear and The Goose at a friends and took off for the far hills for an over nighter of bug inspired awesomeness...

The hike in was mostly uneventful aside from some sweet fungi and me boring future wife with my encyclopedic knowledge of the local flora. She always feigns interest and I appreciate her listening to my rambling about False Solomon's Seal, Galax, and why Sassafras tea will cause your liver to shut down.



We ran into many a day hiker enjoying their tax dollars at work and even saw some wildlife. We made it to campsite #30 on the Little River Trail hoping to have the place to ourselves. However this would not be the case and we wound up sharing it with some of the finest women N. Georgia has to offer in the form of AWE(Amazing Women Exploring) an all female adventure club. These ladies were the real deal and its great to see people out enjoying nature first hand.  I was the only dude amongst us but it was ok and made for some "interesting" campfire conversation.



After much relaxing and camping-esque activities Future Wife and I wandered down trail a mile to watch these fire bugs do their stuff. It was hard to get pictures of the show but man...what an experience! Imagine hundreds if not thousands of tiny bugs flashing in unison across the ridges, valleys, creeks, and every bush, tree, and plant around. I felt like a princess in a fairy tale...but in the manliest way possible. It was very surreal...

The show lasts about an hour or two, then it was back to the campsite for sleep and reflection on what a crazy-awesome place our mountains are. I highly recommend folks take the time and experience it for yourself.

After getting rained on for most of the night, we awoke to a beautiful Smoky Mountain morning. After breakfast we humped it outta there and down hwy 441 to civilization. Its always depressing to me hiking out of the forest into civilization, especially when that civilization is the touristy abomination of Cherokee, NC. Tourist trap flea markets, "Live Bear" attractions, and a small army of old folks throwing away their life savings at the casino always makes me sad.

But...Jim Gaffigan is performing there this weekend so there's the silver lining...

Hot pockets...

Have a great Monday ya'll...