#hiking

First Hike of 2019!

Atlas soaking up the magnitude of the waterfall.

Atlas soaking up the magnitude of the waterfall.

Today just happens to be Monday the 7th of January and that is only important because it marks the first hike of the year for us. Today is the last day of Christmas break for Atlas and Austin while Jaryn had to start back last week. Atlas and I decided to take advantage of the uncommon warm weather and our itch for adventure and put left foot over right in nature. His growing adoration for hiking and exploring excites me and I love watching him see the world for himself. We wanted to discover somewhere new to us so after a few minutes of searching, we landed on Sills Branch Falls. We packed our bags, his with waters, snacks, his GoPro, and first aid kit; mine with all things camera related and we were off. The directions we used were terrible and led us to the end of Bumpus Cove in Erwin, TN. I was quick to grab my phone and dig unit I found another site with better descriptive directions. It took us longer than we preferred but it was nice to have the morning on the road with Atlas, singing songs and asking questions. This hike is quick and easy. Only has one real climb and even it was short and sweet. You will find yourself at a fork in the trail just before this climb where you bare left, and cross a small stream and up you go. Once you top the hill, you are rewarded by a magical waterfall. The canyon walls are almost round cut out above the fall walls and feels so other-worldly. The walk is short, not even a mile in according to my Apple watch. Almost every step you take from the parking lot at the trail head ( left side of the road ) is accompanied by the melody of the stream that flows from the feet of the waterfall above.

A rare selfie with my hiking buddy. Hes growing up to quickly.

A rare selfie with my hiking buddy. Hes growing up to quickly.

We made our way pretty quickly to the top where we had our snacks that Atlas prepared. We then took some time to enjoy the spoils of our short walk among the trees. I took photos as this is what I do, and he explored our surroundings. I brought the Pentax 645n and shot the last of the pre loaded Ilford Hp5 BW film. I also finished up a roll of 35mm film in the Minolta. The only digital shots I took are below and all shot on my Ricoh GRii. I have a few on the phone as well but I rarely share those the same way.

Fall Break Adventures

Chimney Rock, North Carolina

Chimney Rock, North Carolina

Life never hesitates to throw complications and we have two choices. We can roll over and hope it passes soon, or we step up and push threw. This summer has had many highs and lows but so far, this fall break with Natasha and the boys, has been one of my favorite adventures yet! We love to hike as a family, and I long to complete the entire AT someday. This love for nature, and wonder I am blessed to share with my family, so when we stated talking and planning our trip it only made sense to include a trip outside. Natasha and I have backpacked alone, and I have taken Jaryn on a one night trip as well, but Austin and Atlas had never been. More importantly we have never been all together, so it was time to change that. Upon lots of options weighed, tents borrowed ( thanks Simerly ), we had a plan. We decided to hike the Appalachian Trail from Indian Grave Gap, to Uncle Johnny’s Hostile in Erwin. Speaking of Uncle Johnny’s this is were we started our adventure. We hired them to shuttle us up to the trail head. We ended up hiking in to the shelter which was a double decker beauty and was about 4.2 miles in. The boys did incredible, considering the weather was dreary and they were toting their own bags and belongings for the trip. Once we found the shelter we quickly went to work setting up camp for dinner, and searching for dry firewood. An hour later, we have fire, and the jet boil was up and running cooking a much needed hot meal for the day. We were greeted by a Thru Hiker names Patrick, his trail name I unfortunately cant recall as of writing this, and was happy to share the space. He is headed South to Georgia from his home town in PA. Day 2 was much nicer to hike and we easily completed the 4.1 miles out and to our car. We quickly loaded up Valak and grabbed some lunch. Then our adventure continued to Hickory Nut Gap, North Carolina were we planned to visit Hickory Nut Falls, and Chimney Rock State Park. The weather was dark, and power lines were down, and after some driving around we found a place to stay for the rest of the week. The boys were quick to hit up the arcade were we played way to much air hockey per Atlas’ request. Jaryn and Austin shot pool and the pinball machine was a classic. The small town was very close to being flooded and washed away but luckily it was only a scare. We had some hick up’s but we are tough and unified so on the last day we took the boys to the Park for the views and Waterfalls. The rest you can see below. I didn’t take a camera on this trip so everything is a cell phone shot and I feel that needs to be stated. Thanks for reading

PS. Atlas even pulled a tooth on this trip as seen in the photo below, and I apologize for how random some images fell.

Bays Mountain Hiking

Bays Mountain Park

I'm still on vacation as this hits the site and should be relaxing in the sun or something but here I am. I don't relax well, and I never stop working. Whether that's thinking about blog topics, looking for locations, editing, learning new techniques, or approaching new people. Being a small business owner is hard. Very hard, but I still love spending time doing thing's I love and doing that with people I care about so last weekend we decided to take the kids hiking. We love overnight trips, and the kids are showing interest in joining us so we are "training" for a longer hike. We loaded them up with light packs and headed to Bays Mountain Park.  Bays Mountain is special to us, as Natasha and I were married here but love to take the kids to see the animals and hike the trails surrounding the lake.  This is exactly what we did. I'm not writing much, but here are the images from our day.  All images were taken with my Fuji Xpro2 and my Xf16mm lens. #onelensandgo

Correction, the wifi ended up being so slow that I decided to wait until I was back home to upload this post. I just got in a few hours ago from second shooting a wedding with the brilliant Katy Sergent and uploading some pictures from the beach and remembered it was time to post this. So here it is.

This is not a perfect image, but this is the spot where Natasha and I were married so this means more to me than all the perfect lighting in the world.  Amazing how things have changed Sweetpea.

This is not a perfect image, but this is the spot where Natasha and I were married so this means more to me than all the perfect lighting in the world.  Amazing how things have changed Sweetpea.

In case you notice my tee shirt and new stickers, I thought I would share that I am currently an ambassador for AwakeThe Soul. Their moto is "Stay positive, be happy and live free", and they share passion for the outdoors and adventure as well. Go check them out. 

One foot after the other

buffalo mountain - johnson city tennessee - hiking - east tn - overlooks

If you live in or visit our lovely city of Johnson City, Tennessee and love to hike then keep reading! Buffalo Mountain is close to ETSU and just off the interstate so that makes it easily accessible to anyone passing by. Its a fairly easy trek with gradual climbs and descents  with views spread out along the way. A few stream crossings to break up the single track and you will probably be accompanied by the songs of nature. Bees and birds singing their tunes to sweeting the journey! 

I have hiked most of the Mountain and it has never disappointed. Two of my absolute favorite hobbies are hiking and photography, so today I combined the two again. If you follow me then you know this isn't uncommon and if I'm honest it's when I like my work the most! Hint, lets take your pictures somewhere special!  I am keeping this one short but this was just what I needed to clear my head, focus my chi, and have a conversation with the Lord! It all came together beautifully and reminds me just how big this life can be. I want more than anything to travel, photograph the world and the people in it! Enjoy